Honouring our parents – Vicar’s weekly thought

Honouring our parents

We have parents (but some no longer do), we have spiritual parents (someone has influenced us!), but we are all God’s children (whatever age we are). These words connect our themes of the last few weeks. When we are commanded to ‘honour our father and mother’ Jesus and others certainly mean our biological parents [1] , but there is a lot too in the Bible about those around us who are our elders. Perhaps very relevant in our day when many elders live alone, but are near us rather than their own families (if they have them). For instance, Paul writes to Timothy, ‘Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him respectfully as you would to your own father’ and ‘Treat older women as you would your mother’ [2] . I think there is probably a deep well of willingness among older people to engage with younger generations that is being ignored. Surely both our biological parents and the elders around us are more often ‘for us’ deep down, even if they are not very good at expressing it or even seem the opposite! There is something here about the call to the Church to honour all, and in some way particularly our elders. We need the care of each other, but we have a particular call to give genuine respect to the generations above us.

[1] e.g. Matthew 15.4;  [2] 1 Timothy 5.1-2