“Honour your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
To honour is to regard or treat someone with respect. It also means to give special recognition to someone. The opposite is to dishonour, disrespect or despise. Honour builds, but dishonour destroys. One key feature of truly godly people is their sense of honour: “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honour” (Rom 12:10).
Now, you cannot honour anyone and destroy their reputation. You cannot honour someone and assassinate his or her character at the same time. You cannot gossip about someone you respect. You cannot ruin the reputation of someone you honour.
Don’t be in the habit of making fun of and mocking those you’re supposed to honour. I cannot honour you and humiliate you at the same time. I cannot honour you and ridicule you at the same time. The same goes for your father and mother. And for your brethren in Christ, as well as for your spiritual father. I’m surprised that many believers find it easy to dishonour their biological and spiritual fathers.
Also, honour covers instead of exposing. Remember the story of Ham and Noah? Ham’s problem is that he chose to expose his father’s folly rather than covering it (Genesis 9:22-23). He did not care about preserving his father’s dignity. Note that honouring your father has nothing to do with whether or not he errs. It’s about understanding the principle. It’s about accepting the wisdom of God’s Word.
Another practical way of honouring your father and mother is to treat their offspring and relatives with love and respect– for their sake. Therefore honouring your father necessarily includes treating your mother, siblings and relatives with respect.
Practice the principle of showing honour towards everyone (1 Pet 2:17). Don’t be comfortable treating anyone made in God’s image disrespectfully. Happy Father’s Day!