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Undeserved Honor
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A question recently posed to me sent me into a quandary. “How do you honor grandparents who are in error?” The question stumped me and I did not have an answer. After many days of soul searching and praying, a revelation came.

Life doesn’t afford everyone good and godly parents or grandparents. But when the situation involves dealing with grandparents, our responsibilities as parents must include creating a safe and loving environment that will help shape our children’s characters.

Although giving respect and honor to people who hurt you, played favorites, erred, or didn’t get along with you is difficult, it’s even more complicated when injury or some form of abuse transpired. God does not intend us to stay in an environment where abuse or mistreatment occurs. He simply beckons us, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12).

We are simply called to honor our parents! Not live with them, not go to their house everyday or even trust them. Still the question arises, how do I honor someone when they don’t deserve it or haven’t earned it?

Pray for Your Enemies

Matthew 5:44 and 45 presents our very first clue; love and pray for your enemies. Whether the person is a stranger or family, this verse applies to all. We are not to harbor hate against parents who’ve abused us or who have disappointed us. We’re not called to approve or support their wrongs, but we are called to forgive and to honor them. Our own characters must be forged in the fire so we can, by God’s grace, give our own children love and acceptance. Striving to be like Christ, we are to pray and ask God to give us a spirit of forgiveness and shun any signs of disgust. We in turn receive God’s blessings when we seek to follow His commands.

Secondly, keep a line of communication open with grandparents; refrain from any derogatory remarks, rude comments, or disrespect. If abuse is known, you may not allow your kids to be alone with their grandparents, or even visit them often, but honor can still be granted them. Our lives are to be lived in ways that not only teach our children to honor their grandparents, but that we may also bring honor to our parents through our own example. I once heard someone say, “Our own behavior might bring them the honor they have never earned.”

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By Daniel LaFlair. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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