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Honouring your parents

God asks us to honour our parents, that is a fact.

The first passage in the Bible that tells us about parents is found in:

Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

This is the first time we have the notion of father and mother in the Bible. Chances are that it was Moses who added this verse to his book of Genesis, not Adam who uttered the phrase in verse 24. This is not our topic today, but I think it is worth adding briefly that just because Moses says that a man should leave his father and mother, it does not mean that a woman should not do the same when she marries.

We only have to read the previous verses to realise that Adam was the main subject. God takes Eve from Adam, and Adam discovers his new male person and his new companion. In this context Moses wrote the above verse 24, which is why he only spoke of the man who will leave his father and mother to be with his wife. However, the woman will also leave her father and mother to cleave to her husband. Note also that it is not a question of leaving his two mothers or his two fathers, but his father and his mother. This leads us to say that no matter what your situation is you have a father and a mother, a man and a woman, not two mothers or two fathers as parents.

With this in mind, we can continue to see what the Bible means when it talks about honouring your father and mother.

This is quite an important topic because it is repeated more than 5 times in the Bible. The idea of honouring our parents is first found in the 10 commandments given by God Himself.

Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

Often most people only quote the first part of this commandment of God. As a result, many think that honouring our parents is simply an action that follows from the fact that we are to be good, respectful Christians and love everyone, including our parents. But here God gives positive consequences to honouring our parents. It is interesting that when this passage is taken up in the New Covenant, and particularly when Paul takes it up, he no longer quotes the second part of this command.  

Ephesians 6:2 Honour your father and mother...

This is simply because Paul was speaking to non-Jews, and God did not promise His Church that He would give her any particular country. This commandment is the first one that God gave with a promise attached to it. Even if this promise, in its last part, is no longer relevant for the Church today, God still added a consequence. It is not only a rule to follow, but a commandment from which positive actions in my life will flow.   

Furthermore, we can consider that honouring our parents is a very important point for us. If we take the context of the Ten Commandments, we can see that God gave two tablets to Moses on which He wrote ten rules to follow. It is easy to imagine without taking risks that God could have had dozens of subjects to write on these tablets, and about these 10 subjects. He chose to tell the Hebrew people to honour their parents, if they wished to prolong their days in the land He would show them. 

Moses repeats this word of God in this passage below, and this time he gives further guidance:

Deuteronomy 5:16  ‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

Moses talks about being happy, honouring our parents makes us happy. It is God who created the concept of family. This concept was made to bring balance to every human being.

 Later Jesus Himself quotes several passages from the Old Covenant where He says this:

Matthew 15:4 For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’

This passage refers to:

Exodus 21:17 “And he who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.

Here the original word translated as "who curse" is QALAL. This word gives the notion of "treating with contempt, bringing dishonour".

Under the Law of Moses any child who despised his parents was punished by death.  This is a terrible sentence, and we might say that it is a bit of a stretch to put a child to death for despising his parents. Seen from this angle, yes, it does seem disproportionate. However, it is important to remember that under the Law there was no way to free a person who was under the influence of a demon. At that time demons had good advantages, because no one had the power to cast them out. It is therefore easy to understand that there were many more possessed people than today, since the Church has since received the power to cast them out.

But this does not prevent the fact that despising one's parents was an act extremely reprehensible to God. However, this does not necessarily mean that today a child who despises his parents would be demon-possessed.

Jesus even takes up this important point when answering the Pharisees in:

Mark 7:10  For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’

This shows us that it was not a mistake, nor an exaggeration, because in that case Jesus would not have confirmed this word of Exodus 21:17. This does not mean that today a child who despises his parents should be put to death.

Ephesians 6:2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise:

It is clear here that Paul is telling us, and endorsing, that honouring our parents will have an effect on our lives.

So some people might say to me, "Okay Frank, everything you're saying here is good. It's easy to honour your parents when they are honourable. But I can't honour my father or mother after what he or she has done." 

I understand this kind of situation. Some people have had (or still have) parents who were absent, sometimes irresponsible in various areas of life, or who abused them mentally, physically or even sexually. Of course these situations are terrible. I don't want to minimize the fact that some children may have experienced or still experience terrible situations with one or both parents. Even if this is not the majority of cases, it is nevertheless worth mentioning. Do not think that I am detached from your situation. Of course I don't live it, but of course I can imagine and sympathise with this suffering. The Bible shows us in dozens of places that the only solution is forgiveness, because forgiveness frees us from the anger or bitterness that will eat away at us. We will talk about this a little further down.

On other occasions, children may misjudge the intentions of one or both parents. In some situations, children may make wrong assumptions about their parents, and may even be completely mistaken about them. This shows us that everyone can make mistakes, both children and parents, and it is important to emphasise this so that everyone can recognise their mistakes as appropriate.

Let's go back for a moment to the fact that parents act or have acted badly with their children. In this case, everyone can say that he or she does not want to, or cannot, honour his or her parents for the various reasons we have mentioned above.

Do you think that God did not know that families would be created in our world and that children would sometimes be abused by one or both parents?

Of course He knew, because God is omniscient.

But why then did He command us to honour our parents without any restrictions or exceptions?

God did not say, "Honour your parents only if they are honourable!”

Can we really esteem a person who has done or is doing us harm, or who simply ignores us?

Of course, it is not a question of rejoicing in the evil we may receive, but we can nevertheless not let anger, bitterness, resentment, denial, frustration, or disappointment take root in our thinking about it.

It is important to understand why God asks us not to express all these kinds of attitudes. It is not so much because we should let it happen, but simply because these attitudes listed above are harmful to us first. Even though I have never experienced it, I can still understand the pain of some terrible situations, to name the most important ones. But I cannot say anything other than what the Bible tells us.

You see, it is not God's intention to make us into people who are hardened to suffering, gnashing their teeth in every situation to try to get used to suffering. God has no use for that kind of attitude.

God asks us to forgive simply because holding a grievance against someone will slowly destroy us.

Most of the Christian people I have met who a problem with forgiveness had told me that forgiving would not change anything in their lives.

What a mistake! The problem in this case is that it is sometimes difficult to realise what you are missing in your life if you are not aware of what you could gain in your relationship with God.

Forgiveness in the biblical sense does not mean accepting what has been done to us or what is still being done to us. To forgive is to decide not to add a double penalty to oneself, if I may say so.

Why is this?

Simply because unforgiveness (which also includes ignoring people) cuts us off from our relationship with God by blocking our growth.

Some people might say to me, "But Frank, I didn't forgive my parents, and yet my relationship with God is still good."    

That's what you think, but I guarantee you it's far from reality. Your relationship with God should be much deeper than it is today. Anger, resentment, indifference, denial, are ways of thinking that prevent us from realising what we have received and what we can receive from God. Not because God would not want it, but because these kinds of thoughts will position your soul as the leader before your spirit. And if your soul is the leader of your spirit, then your soul in its weakness will lead you into this area of unforgiveness. Also, God speaks to us in our spirit only, so if my soul is in a leadership position, I cannot receive from God. 

So of course you will be able to stay on your spiritual achievements if I may say so, on the other hand not only will you not progress any more but you will also regress with time.

That is why it is important to know what the Bible means here in practice when it speaks of honouring one's parents.

Again, it is not about agreeing with everything our parents may do or have done, without restrictions.


For those who are fortunate enough to have honourable parents, it will be easy to honour them.

For the rest of us, we all have at least one reason to honour our parents, in the sense of acknowledging a particular act with respect. No one in this world can say that he or she was born into it without a man and a woman. In this sense everyone has a father and a mother who gave him or her a part of their body so that he or she could be alive in this world. 

Neither you nor I could be alive today, and therefore eligible for salvation in Jesus, if a man and a woman had not given a part of their bodies to give us life.

This is a point that is very important in the spiritual world. The life that God has established on this earth is passed on through a man and a woman. It is our parents, the ones who gave us the opportunity to live in this world, that we must honour.

Jesus said to Nicodemus that to be saved we must be born of water and spirit. To be born of water in this passage of John 3:5 means: to be born physically of a man and a woman; in other words, to be alive in this world in a body of flesh.

And therein lies the source, or the primary reason, for honouring our parents according to what God says: for the fact that they gave us a part of their bodies as well as life in this world. This life they gave us allows us to be eligible for the new birth, regardless of their more or less good attitudes towards us in other areas. Our father and mother gave us this body, this life, and it is this that we must acknowledge and respect first. No one can say, whether he or she knew his or her parents or not, whether he or she had or has a good or bad relationship with them or not, that he or she did not receive a body and the life that goes with it to become a living being in this world. It is in this sense first of all that everyone should honour their parents. And this is independent of the attitudes that parents may have had, or still have today. I will honour them by acknowledging this very fact.

I was never abused in any way or abandoned by my parents, however I cannot say that in my youth I had parents who communicated love to me as I expected. They surely did their best, and with what they had as knowledge and example in their lives. Therefore, we cannot really say that they are totally at fault.

There is no school for becoming a parent, everyone comes to this responsibility with more or less competence and maturity. I think that more people become parents while still immature in this area than the other way round.   

So I never really had a strong loving relationship with my parents. Each of them already had "their backpack" to carry, if I may say so, and surely I had mine too.

So I can't say that I was intimate or close with my parents, especially in my youth and even part of my adult life as well. Our relationship was good, but with no more demonstration of love than that. I had nurtured an indifference without realising it, I loved them but could not have a real loving relationship.

Then the day my father went through the new birth on the one hand, and me going through my transformation into the image of Christ on the other, things really started to change. I became aware a little later that this commandment (which I already knew) was a command, not just a counsel from God. Without going into details, I gradually entered into a process, eventually praying every day to honour my father.

Much the same thing happened with my mother, where I had to ask her forgiveness for all those years during which I had shown her indifference many times, sometimes anger. She did the same for herself, telling me that she hadn't always been up to it either.

Today my father has been back home for a few years, with his creator. He was the first person to go through the new birth through our TRGN ministry, and I am very happy and proud of that.

 My mother, in her eighties (as I write this teaching), is still going strong. She is enrolled as a student in a great Bible school of international renown, and I am very proud of her, to see that she always wants to learn, always to be more transformed into the image of Christ.

This is a result of the fact that for years now (and when my father was still in this world), every day I go outside to pray with my eyes wide open, addressing the heavenly assembly while looking up at the sky above me. This is something the spirit showed me years ago, and I really enjoy doing it, because I understand the power of it.

There I pray, I command, I proclaim, about situations, about people who are dear to me, and for my ministry.

Then there is always a moment when I honour my parents (today only my mother, my father having entered the kingdom), saying something like this:

Today before the whole heavenly assembly, and before satan and his demons, I honour Nicole, because she gave me a part of her body to form my body, in order to be alive in this world!

I command that she permanently overflows with peace and joy!

I proclaim that she becomes more and more a mighty spiritual warrior for the kingdom!

I command in the name of Jesus that her body and soul be in perfect health until her mission is successfully accomplished in this world, and she will only leave at the perfect time, her mission fully accomplished, being satiated with days, in good health! Ready to enter her kingdom.

We have many more beautiful years to enjoy each other in peace and joy! 


This is not a model but a simple example.

Whether we are in harmony with our parents or not and whatever our situation, if we are a born again person we need to command and proclaim this kind of thing about our parents regularly, and adapt it according to whether they are born again or not, and according to the relationship we have with them of course.  

 But what is certain is that if you want to live happily, and really enjoy all that God has already given you, then you need to access this level of revelation. Don't think you can avoid it, because you'll be the first to suffer (often without realising it).

God places a very special emphasis on honouring our parents. We can see, for example, that one of the causes of the exile when the Hebrew people were deported to Babylon was that the children no longer honoured their parents.

Ezekiel 22:7 (NIV) In you they have treated father and mother with contempt; in you they have oppressed the foreigner and mistreated the fatherless and the widow.

Ezekiel 22:15 (NIV) I will disperse you among the nations and scatter you through the countries; and I will put an end to your uncleanness.

The word translated as honour in the New Testament passages is TIMAO. This word gives several concepts. The first is to respect, and the second is to provide. That is, we are to respect the person of our parents for the position they have in relation to us. And we must also provide for their vital needs in case they themselves cannot do so because of their old age.   

Honouring your parents does not necessarily mean agreeing with some of their attitudes or words. We can honour our parents according to the Bible in a respectful way even if their attitude is, or has been, sometimes unacceptable. Of course it will be easier to honour parents who are honourable, but if they are not, we must still do so in the right way. However, as I said above, it is important to understand the minimum that is required to honour our parents.

Of course, it is not a question of resuming a relationship or pretending that nothing has happened in the case where our parents are still in unacceptable attitudes (provided that they really are), which have or still put our person in physical or mental danger. In this case I will have to simply honour their positions as the father and mother who gave me life as mentioned above. This will allow me to acknowledge before God that I am a person who knows the difference between a person who is God's creation, and what that same person does or does not do. It is very important to separate the two, and to recognise a person as God's creation, even if he or she allows himself or herself to be led by satan sometimes.

Honouring our father and mother is above all a beneficial act for ourselves. Few Christians can understand this, because it requires an understanding of how God has set things up in this world. As I often say: "Salvation is free, but anointing comes with a price". Just as a husband must love his wife as Jesus loves His church, a wife must love her husband as she loves Jesus and willingly submit to Him. In both cases, it is the husband who is the primary beneficiary of loving his wife as Jesus loves the church. As it is the wife who is the primary beneficiary of loving her husband as she loves Jesus and submitting to him. Honouring our parents is in the same line: we are the first beneficiaries because we act like God.

Honouring our parents will put us in a much more authoritative position before satan and his demons. Does this mean that we will have more authority?

Not at all!

Every time I move into a way of thinking that produces an attitude consistent with God's nature, I am spiritually positioning myself as someone who is becoming more like God. And if I am more like God I get all the benefits. The more I manifest the same mindset that Jesus had on earth, the more I will get the same results that He had on earth. It is not more complicated.

Respecting what God commands shows me that I have the same way of thinking as He does in this area, that I respect Him too. And because I have the same way of thinking as He does, I can expect to have the same results as He did.

Honouring your father and mother is a choice. Whether I honour them only for the fact that they gave me life and part of their bodies to be alive in this world, or whether I honour them in every way, it is an attitude I must adopt, and do so willingly.

If God tells us that honouring our parents makes us happy, it's not so much because I enjoy doing it, but because if I don't do it, I'm in an attitude of anger, denial, indifference, or resentment, and these attitudes will eat away at the peace and humility that is within me. This is also true of anyone else I may have these attitudes towards, for that matter.

I have found over the years that there is no effective human way out of these attitudes. The one and only way that works is to decide to love with the unconditional love that God has given us.

Some people may tell me that they are fine with not honouring their parents and have written them off to be at peace. But that doesn't work. The worst thing is that when we are in this indifference we don't realise that we are missing out on the true happiness of being free of ourselves, of not being dependent on our carnal moods.  

That is why Jesus said:

Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies,…

This is because if I don't love and if I am in an attitude like we described above, I will block any growth in my relationship with God and in my human life, if I may say so. Even if I feel that everything is fine, it is not at all.

This is a situation where we have to trust God, because only when I come out of this harmful attitude will I then be able to see all the harmfulness that was in me.

It is just like when you went through the new birth. It was only when you entered it that you were able to see and evaluate the benefits of it, and of the harmful life you had before. Well, the same goes for honouring your father and mother.

Decide to trust God and go for it!


And if this seems difficult or even impossible, don't hesitate to contact us at TRGN by email, we will gladly help you get there if you really want to.

Bye for now...

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