From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
The Bible clearly says, “Honor thy father and thy mother” (Exodus 20:12, KJV). This passage sets no age limit on such honor. It does not say they must be honorable to be honored. This does not necessarily mean that we must “obey” parents who may be dishonorable. We must honor them. Honor has many shapes and affections. Yet adult children sometimes say things to their parents that they would never say to their friends.
While every circumstance is different, the Bible says, “In lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4). This speaks of “others.” How much more should we do so, then, for parents?
Stories of strained relations between mothers and daughters are not unusual, unfortunately. One woman wrote and lamented over difficulties with her mother, but when her mother died, the daughter grieved because she had not tried harder to heal the relationship and said, “I’ll never have another chance.”
We must be mindful that life is lived only once. One of life’s hardest lessons is that we cannot change the past—and this is especially so when death intrudes. It is a bitter lesson that leaves guilt and regret. The only solution is to ask God to open our eyes to things we need to do now. Jesus said, “As I have loved you, … love one another” (John 13:34).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)