10 Ways to Honor Your Mom and Dad
You may be 25, 35, or in your 40's—your parents may be in their 50's or headed for retirement. Age doesn't matter—you're still somebody's child and parents hold a special place we should never take for granted.
As children, it's still our responsibility to honor our parents, and that imperative doesn't go away just because we're grown-ups. Sometimes, we take things for granted, and, if we're not careful, we simply slip out of the habit of honoring them.
So now is a good time to think about what it means to honor our parents, and what deliberate steps we can take to help them understand how much they mean to us.
Here are 10 things to think about when honoring mom and dad (meaning your parents…your kids' grandparents):
1. Make your mom and dad look good:
Simply be an adult. People will make the connection. What more could parents ask for?
2. Let them know you understand what they have done for you.
Take a note here, a word of thanks dropped carefully, a card, a phone call, a hug, all these things express your appreciation. Try something like: "Dad… hey… I'm not sure I ever told you how much I appreciated your encouragement when I was struggling in middle school." "Mom… listen… You may not realize it, but I know that you pray for me every day. I wanted to say thanks…"
3. Listen to their stories:
- You might learn something
- The act of listening is going to affirm and encourage your parents
- You have provided the gift of presence.
4. Share your stories:
A surprising number of people with adult children don't know much about what goes on in the lives of their children. Get on the phone, take them out to dinner, or visit for morning coffee on the way to work. Whatever it takes, stay connected.
5. Be excited about their lives:
Who cares if you don't get the finer nuances of shuffleboard. So what if your dad's work as an elementary school tutor fails to excite you. Do you really think they always looked forward to listening to you back in middle school band? Get on board and show some enthusiasm - about whatever it is they're up to.
6. Strengthen your marriage:
No matter how things happened for your parents, their hopes and dreams for you are happiness in a marriage that works. We've all heard the saying about "Stay together for the kids…" but how about, "Make this marriage strong because it will honor our parents?" Those are two different questions.
7. Love their grandchildren:
Okay, so maybe mom and dad's real #1 desire is to see their grandkids happy! So honor your parents by loving your kids with the kind of love that doesn't let go, never gives up, always teaches and directs, and makes their grandparents' hearts sing.
8. Don't expect them to bail you out:
If your parents are careful about money, then you already know it bothers them to see unrestrained spending and mounting debt. So be a good steward. Work hard to avoid dishonoring them by looking for a bailout. Whether or not you agree, your debt reflects negatively on them.
9. Pick up the tab once in a while:
They may not let you get away with paying the check, but it will mean the world to mom and dad when you offer.
10. Try not to run over their values:
From childhood, you grow to develop your own mind about politics, acceptable language, where you stand on drinking, smoking, movie ratings standards, and personal choices—all sorts of things that may have shifted since you left home. It's okay to disagree with Mom and Dad on a variety of issues. The point is to honor your parents even when you disagree.
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