The 4th Commandment

man with mustache and hat standing by a woman
My Great Grand Parents

Honor Your Mother and Father

I memorized the 4th commandment according to the Holy Christian Apostolic Church along with the other six  in confirmation class. I didn’t give it much thought because when my dad lived with us honoring wasn’t a choice, if you didn’t–well, let’s just say there was pain involved.

After my dad left, it was easy to honor my mom. She found a job for the first time in 16 years, managed to pay the bills and keep us clothed–while she went without.

So why bring it up?

I attended a memorial service this week. The pastor had an another way of looking at the commandment that I’d never heard.

Even  after your parents have died you are still to honor them by the choices you make in your life.



He said, “God picked those parents for you. They brought you up with morals, values and Christianity. After they are gone, it is your job to continue honoring them by living in a way that reflects those things to the those younger than you.”

Those aren’t his exact words but close enough.

I have trouble honoring my dad or even thinking God gave me him as a parent. And yet if I take the time to sift through those days he was around, there are things I learned. Learned them the hard way but the lessons have stayed with me.

I learned: not to lie, keep rules (he was a policeman) and stick up for those who aren’t as strong. Ironically he also taught me how to pray the Lord’s Prayer.

Guess, I need to honor his memory after all.
I’m still learning about him. I researched my parents on My dad’s family is a mystery beyond my grandparents. It’s possible he didn’t know what a good father was supposed to act like. His father left when he was young and his step-father was an abuser.

My mom will always get my respect and honor.
Her family cared enough to keep records–they date back to 985, which is another blog post someday.

Maybe honor isn’t a natural thing, but something learned and passed on? If that is true that 4th commandment is more important than my 12 year old self could imagine.

If it isn’t difficult for you, tell me in a comment how you feel about honoring your parents.

*ROW80 check in
Worked out 2xs
Sent the first proposal to my agent
Staying on track with blog posts

About Diana Brandmeyer

Christian author Diana Lesire Brandmeyer writes historical and contemporary romances set from the Midwest to the Mountains. She’s written Mind of Her Own, Frontier Legacy Brides, Small Town Brides, and A Time for Love, among others. Once widowed and now remarried she writes with humor and experience on the difficulty of joining two families be it fictional or real life. *affiliate links are used on this site. It won't cost you more but those extra pennies keep me stocked in tea, thank you!

17 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Honoring someone is such a major concept, and this post enlarge it for me. I wonder if this is what the disciples felt when Jesus enlarged “Thou shalt not kill” to including the attitudes of the heart. Because ultimately, all the commandments come down to the attitude of our heart. If we honor our parents in our hearts, it will come out through our actions all of our lives, as well as our speech to them and about them, and so much more. Ugh! My heart need more work!

  2. I'm not sure if it is honoring or not, but as a parent myself… I do everything I my power to do better for my kids than they did for me. I won't talk about the height of that bar. In this world, no one is perfect. Maybe I honor them by forgiving them just a tiny bit here and there.

  3. I don't know how old you were when your dad left. I was 12 when mine took off. There wasn't a lot of respect in that relationship for a long time. You can visit my blog from father's day to see that some of that was healed as the years wore on, but never truly restored. It's about choices, theirs and ours, but it's never about just one person. My father shows up in my writing a lot in little ways. He's in this weeks blog post as well, you just have to look past Terri to find him.

    1. Sharon I was 15 –4 months from my 16th birthday when he left. He stayed for Christmas and was out the door by New Years Eve. Before he died we did get to a better place and I have forgiven him. The pain is still there- as you I'm sure well know. I'm checking out your post. Would you please leave a link here?

      If you all want to read Sharon's blog, here's the address

  4. Diana, interesting to find out a little more about you. And what a fascinating topic, one I can relate to. In short, my mother was a very mentally ill woman. My father, while not mentally ill, had a few life lessons to learn before he could get a few kinks out to appreciate me more. My mother died a little less than a month past her 46th birthday due to cancer. My father is alive, and after many years of back and forth estrangement with him, the two of us are mending over the rough patches.

    While I still dream and wonder why I wasn't brought up in a Christian, loving home, I choose to believe that 1) God (always) knows what He is doing and 2) I choose to believe that to the best of my parents ability they loved me the best they could. To think otherwise is too painful, and doesn't resolve things.

    1. Elaine, you makes some very good points. I probably should have stressed that the pastor was talking to the children and grandchildren when he said God chose to have them born into a Christian family.

      I know His ways are not our ways. I'm impressed at how you've grown to be such a strong Christian woman without the help of your parents. You are a light to others.

    2. Thanks, Diana, for your sweet words. I remember believing in “something” stronger than anything else around me beginning at the age of 6, before I could grasp the meaning of God. Today, as an adult, He is the only reason how I'm able to get out of bed each morning and jump over Cheerio boxes. 🙂

  5. I knew your father and I understand why you feel like you do, and your Mother was a saint, but j agree that he had some good qualities and I'm so glad that you can recognize them. That makes you a much better person!!

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