Be An Honorable Parent

As a mom, one of the principles of parenting that has stood out to me the most is modeling – how my children copy my example whether I want them to or not.

I’m not proud to say this, but a few years ago, I made the mistake of losing my temper in a very bad way in front of four of my five kids. They lost pieces to an educational material that I needed to teach them mathematics. In my frustration, I dramatically threw the box on to the floor, letting all the parts fall out with a loud crash, and I raised my voice, scolding my kids about how they needed to be better stewards and more responsible.

After the drama, I looked at my children and they were all tearing…from the oldest to the youngest. This was the first time they had seen me get angry in this way and it scared them. It scared me too when I realized how easily I can snap and wound the hearts of my kids.

I asked for their forgiveness and had to talk with each one of them because they were deeply affected. It was a very humbling moment. I couldn’t take back what I had done so I just hoped they wouldn’t remember it as time passed.

Recently, as I was encouraging my kids to be kind to one another and speak respectfully to each other, I asked one of my sons this question, “Do you see mom getting angry or shouting at you guys?” I hoped he would say, “No, you don’t mom, we should be like you.” Instead, his very honest answer was, “No, you don’t lose your temper but,” he continued with emphasis, “there was THAT ONE TIME…” (referring to when I threw the box on the floor!)

Even just one ugly display of anger leaves an imprint on my children. My children can very easily become casualties of my bad example if I make losing my temper a habit.

IMG_9230While my dad was preparing for his Sunday message, he went over his points with me and emphasized the need for parents to be honorable. We commonly understand honor as something children are commanded to do for their parents, and he has preached on this topic many times. But during our conversation he added, “Parents shouldn’t make it difficult for their children to honor them. In fact, they should make it easy.” 

As I gave this perspective more thought, I recalled my own experience as a child. Even if my parents weren’t perfect, I wanted to obey them and honor them. I didn’t struggle with feelings of bitterness or resentment towards their authority. Were their times when I didn’t always agree? Certainly. But at the end of the day, I wanted to obey them. It wasn’t because my parents epitomized perfection, but they modeled consistency in one area that I want to highlight.

I saw the fruit of the Spirit in their lives – the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. Even if their ministry was very public, they were the same Spirit-filled people outside of the home as they were in private, with my siblings and me. They weren’t hypocritical, instructing people to do one thing and then giving themselves license to be selfish, temperamental, moody, or demanding at home. In fact, of all people in their lives, they were most gracious and considerate towards us, their children.
Up till this day, I am very grateful that my parents modeled being Spirit-filled to me, and they continue to do so. I would like to share with you two recent experiences with my parents where they encouraged me once again with their examples. 

 I will start with my mom. Some months ago, my mom and I tried to get into the CCF building using the same entrance we always do. We were headed up to the 8th floor for a leader’s meeting, when a very strict guard who was on duty that day stopped us. Apparently, there was a new policy about using IDs and this guard was a new employee who was very eager to enforce the rules. My mom didn’t know about the change in protocols. She always went up and down using the same entrance because it’s the easiest way to get to my dad’s office or to the floors where she has meetings with the other pastor’s wives.

With an interrogative tone, he questioned where she was going. My mom tried to explain that we had an elder’s wives’ meeting. When he wasn’t convinced, she politely tried to say that she was Pastor Peter’s wife. Still skeptical, he asked, “Can I see your ID?” She pulled out her wallet, looked for her driver’s license and showed it to him. I don’t know if he was looking for proof of marriage but his skeptical expression seemed to imply this. He looked over her license and back at her, and pulled out a radio. “Nandito ang asawa ni Pastor Peter?” It was phrased in a question form, so neither my mom nor I were too sure what he was trying to confirm.

In the meantime, I looked over at my mom who was a picture of calm and cooperation. Since the guard seemed to be well meaning even if he was a little bit clueless, my mom didn’t insist on using that more convenient entrance. She and I walked to the opposite end of the building so we could comply with the new security measure of wearing IDs before accessing the office floors during weekdays.

She didn’t get upset about being inconvenienced or make any remarks about the guard’s not too courteous behavior. Furthermore, she didn’t act like she was “above the policy” as the wife of CCF’s senior pastor. My mom’s example reminded me that we are all servants. Leaders should never have a sense of entitlement or expectation that they deserve special treatment. She modeled for me how leaders should be humble and willing to submit to authority, following rules with a positive attitude.

By God’s grace, I am also blessed to have a dad who is a good role model of being spirit-filled. Earlier this week, I asked him if he could visit the sick father of a close friend of our family’s. In fact, I really begged him to because this man’s lung cancer had spread and multiplied, and his body was becoming unresponsive to treatment. His lung doctor gave him a very negative prognosis. So I requested that my dad go to see him in the hospital so he could share the gospel and pray with him.

My dad’s free day was Tuesday evening. But Tuesday is normally his most hectic day, since he has back-to-back meetings with church leaders. However, he told me he would make himself available at 6 PM so I confirmed this schedule with him and my friend. For some reason, I thought the hospital we had to drive to was in St. Lukes, Quezon City, so we headed in that direction. Edric and I were with him in his van, instructing the driver where to turn using the Wayz app so we could avoid the evening traffic. When we were a minute away from the hospital, I called my friend to let her know, and she said, “Okay, so you are near Global (referring to St. Lukes, Global City)? I will come down to see you in the lobby.”

“Global?!” I panicked. “I thought you said St. Luke’s Q.C. Oh no, wait a minute, I will call you back!” I had to excuse myself from the conversation and put the phone down to check my text messages. Sure enough, my friend had specified St. Luke’s Global. I don’t know how I missed this! I called her back to apologize and explain that I made a mistake.

My dad heard the entire conversation, but he very calmly said, “It’s okay. We can go tomorrow night.” I couldn’t believe it! There was NO trace of annoyance in his voice or in his body language. He even added cheerfully, “This is great, I can be home earlier and have dinner with your mom.” Not only did he refrain from embarrassing me or making me feel stupid, he saw the unfortunate mistake from a positive perspective!

After my dad dropped Edric and me off so we could ride in our own vehicle, I started to cry. This was partly because I was frustrated at myself for inconveniencing my dad and my friend with an idiotic mistake. But even more stirring to me was my dad’s graciousness. (The next evening he made time again to go with me all the way to the right hospital…St. Luke’s Global City.) 

 The point I wanted to make about parents being honorable is this: Honorable parents honor God in their responses. They represent Christ to their children in such a way that their children want to have a relationship with Him, too. To the best of my recollection my parents were like this but if there were occasions when they weren’t, they asked for our forgiveness and how they could improve.

As parents we need reflect on some hard questions. Do our children see evidence of the Holy Spirit in us when we encounter stress, trials, unpleasant circumstances or relationship issues? Do they see convincing proof that we are followers of Jesus Christ in the way we handle our time, money, or choose our habits, attitudes and values? If not, what can we change? If yes, then praise God!

I pray that all of us will seek to honor God in our lives so we can lead our children to do the same. God has given us the unique privilege and responsibility of primary influence so let us be honorable parents in the way that the apostle Paul said to his spiritual children, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1)

28 thoughts on “Be An Honorable Parent

  1. “Parents shouldn’t make it difficult for their children to honor them. In fact, they should make it easy.” – never thought of it this way but it makes a lot of sense. It definitely is applicable not just to children for for anyone in particular. Thank you once again for sharing your experiences and knowledge. More importantly for being so honest. As your reader, it makes me feel somewhat normal 🙂 I also pray that I become a fully imitator of Christ. There are days when I find it so difficult and frustration gets the best of me. I just try hard to think that everything that I do is for the Lord and it truly helps. I just need much more practice 🙂 Thank you again for sharing your blessings. May God continue to bless you and your beautiful family. By the way, you and your mom look very very pretty in your picture together!

    1. Ha ha ha I am very normal!!! That’s why I need Jesus in my life!!! We all need him to control our emotions and temperaments. It’s really a daily struggle to remain spirit-filled and self-controlled.

  2. What a good reminder for all of us, and thank you for sharing your humbling experience, we all lose our tempers but not everyone is quick to admit it, and would even justify it. You are an awesome mom for quickly turning it around and asking for forgiveness from your kids (again, this is something not all parents tend to do…) , and you can rest assured that as vivid as the memory of you losing your temper is to your kids, likewise they will remember your graceful and humbling gesture of asking for forgiveness. This too will also be something they will model in the years to come 🙂 Thank you for showing us what true parenting should be like! <3

      1. Thank you so much for sharing. Was inspired by it. Reminds me of the old chorus “they are watching ?you seeing all you do, hearing the things you say

  3. Blessed to have witnessed Elijah, you and your mom speak this afternoon. Elijah’s story made me tear up and I was really touched. Your family is an inspiration to many and I hope to build a God-centered family like yours in the future. You are such a blessing, Ms. Joy! Please continue sharing through your blog. May God bless you more!

    1. If you keep following God, he will surely help you to have a Christ-centered family! He is the reason why you see what you do in any of us. God bless you too and your walk with him!

  4. hi! i’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks now and i’m so blessed. i have a 13-month old son and he’s starting to do things on his own – including not so good things that sometimes gets me crazy at home. but i thank God for your blog because it has given me inspiration to be the best mom that i can be for my son and the best wife that i can be for my husband. i am thankful to God because He uses people like you to touch lives. i hope and pray that God will also use me to model a Spirit-filled and Spirit-led life to my son 🙂

  5. For so many, many years I had struggled with my angry attitude. I prayed, fasted and cried to GOD to deliver me from this. Thanks to Him for His faithfulness, He has transformed me. But when I read your article I realize that the transformation process on the aspect of patience/temperance is still ongoing. I really thank GOD for giving us human examples that model Spirit-filled lives, your parents. I really thank GOD for putting me in the church that help in building godly character. Thank you, Joy, for sharing. GOD bless your families.

    1. Praise God Claudia, I am glad that this blog helps somehow. As for my parents and family, it’s all by His grace. All glory to Him!

  6. When I saw this on my email, I knew I had to read it. At the first half, I was sobbing and went to the bathroom because I couldn’t contain the pain, shame and guilt. Just last night, I was pissed with my only child, my daughter who is 5 years old. I was hot headed the whole day bec. of my frustrations to a loved one. I tried to reprimand her, but when she did not listen for the 3rd time, I snapped. Just like that I lost my temper, I began screaming and cursing. Then I got a belt and commanded her to lay on her tummy, she was crying and pleading, but I told her to stop the drama, and went on to lashing her behind 5 times with a belt. After that, I told her to sit on a corner of our bedroom and face the corner of the wall. She was crying and sobbing, I was numb. I know it wasn’t right, but I did not know the right way, I lost my temper. After that I explained to her why I had to spank her, I said it was to discipline her, and I told her all the things I did not want her to do. She said she understands, but I knew deep inside I just wounded her free spirit and young soul. I knew it was a damaging act for both of us. And i’m crying inside of how cruel I got, i did not want to be this kind of monster. I am a single mom, I have a homebased business, and I personally care for my daughter. I had a good childhood with a mix of scar, as we grew up in a home were cursing is normal and grew up seeing my father beating my mom. Mom was submissive, my brothers do not listen and sometimes do not respect her. So I grew up with the vow of not letting anyone, especially a man hurt me, or my children. That’s why I wanted my children to be tough. I wanted to discipline them so they would listen to me. Because in my perspective, there is no father for my child to discipline her, it’s all on me. And then I saw your article, and saw how twisted my beliefs and values are, I love my daughter, she is a wonderful gift from God, and I cherish her, I try to make her feel everyday that I am always there for her, that a lot of people love her despite our situation. I tried to take down notes on the examples given, and what stood is, to be an honorable parent, one should be filled with the fruit of the spirit and honoring God in one’s responses.Thank you so much for being a vessel of God’s word for me today.

    1. Oh Annie! I cried reading this. As parents we really need to be spirit filled because being me-filled can be so ugly. When I am tempted to get angry I remind myself that I want to love my children to Christ, I don’t want to push them away from Him. I hope that helps you too.

    2. I just cried while reading your comment, Annie. Though I’m not a single parent, I can understand where you’re coming from. Yeah, it’s tough to be taking care of our kids when their father is not around. My husband is working abroad so I am shouldering everything here in the Philippines to take care of my two kids until our immigration application is approved. It’s tough on my case because my eldest grew up with her grandparents for quite a while so there are tons of corrections to be made. I am also praying that God will enable me to be a good parent God desires me to be in such a way that it won’t be difficult for her to honor me as she grows. Thanks Joy for a wonderful blog. I enjoy reading your articles.

  7. Thanks for reminding me on this area. I smetimes use my voice just to make my kids follow me. Now i will try to be calm and talk to them in lower voice. You are a blessing…

  8. Thank you for sharing this and for giving me a chance to reflect on how I can improve myself as a parent. Your blogs are more helpful than you know. May God continue to bless you.

  9. hello ms joy,

    Your blogs are really inspiring and educational. I am one of your followers. I would just like to ask some questions about this topic.
    I am not a parent. I am a young adult who still lives in my parents house. How do we honor parents if their actions are not honorable nor respectable? I will share few examples which are true to life stories. An example is a mother who speaks vulgar and obscene language in public and humiliating her children and even her husband as well. – Or a father who is in adulterous relationship where in the girlfriend is about the age of his daughter. Or a father who is an alcoholic or a gambler. Or parents who physically fight in front of the child. These stories I gathered from my friends who are also young adults; some are mine. Honoring or Respecting parents is challenging for us because of our exposure with samples I mentioned above. Can we argue with parents? I understand that parents make mistakes too, but its difficult for children who grew up with this kind of exposure.

    How about Obeying parents? I believe we can draw a line to this, right? Of course, children should not obey their parents if the parents teaches them immorality.

    I also have friends whose father is adulterous.

    I understand that parents make mistakes too. how do you respect

    1. You can honor even if you don’t feel love for them by considering their wishes and giving preference to what they would like you to do. If they ask you to do something against the Bible that’s when you should obey God rather than your parents. Sometimes it is the very act of honoring that causes a parent who doesn’t know the Lord to be persuaded to come into a relationship with Him. Furthermore, the command is for the good of the child. Even if honoring parents does not reward a child with the privilege of seeing their parents behave and think in honorable ways, God will be the one to bless the child who chooses to honor their parents. It’s the same way in a marriage where a wife is called to respect a husband who is not respectable. She does it as unto the Lord, looking to him for the blessing. If the husband asks her to do something contrary to Gods word, then she shouldn’t do it.

  10. Teachings of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) – How to Behave with Parents

    The Importance of Obedience to Your Parents

    Parents are to be treated well at all times, and The Almighty’s blessings in having enabled you to do this virtuous act, be considered as a great asset in this world as well as in the Hereafter. The respect we ought to pay our parents has been time and again emphasized in the Holy Qur’an. In one of the verses it is stated:

    “Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and ye be kind to your parents.” (Qur’an 17:23)

    Showing Gratitude towards Parents
    Be grateful to your parents. It is one of the cardinal principles of good manners and the acknowledgement of debt. One should be grateful to the parents for all the kindness, extraordinary love, and unparalleled sacrifices hey undergo in bringing us up. The Almighty has decreed that when we render thanks to Him, we should express gratitude to our parents as well.

    “And we have enjoined on man (To be good) to his parents: In travail upon travail did his mother bear him. And in years twain was his weaning: (hear the command), ‘Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents: to Me is (thy final) Goal.'” (Qur’an 31:14)

    On the authority of Hazrat Abu Ayub Khalid Ibun Zaid Al-Ansari(R.A.), who said: A man requested; “Prophet (S.A.W)! Tell me the action which will get me admitted to Paradise and keep me away from the Hell.” He answered: “Worship Almighty and do not associate anybody with Him: establish Prayer; pay Zakat and join the ties of kinship.” -(Bukhari and Muslim)

    On the authority of Abu Sufian Sakhr Harb (R.A.), who said: During his meeting with Hercules, the Roman Ruler, the latter asked him; ‘What does your Prophet (S.A.W.) ask you to do?’ I said: ‘He asked us to worship only One God, and not to associate anybody with him; not to follow the habits and practices of our ancestors; he further asks us to perform prayers (Salat), tell the truth, keep chaste, and to treat our blood relations well.’ -(Bukhari and Muslim)

    Note: “Not to follow the habits and practices of our ancestors” means that in previous times, people used to follow what their parents did; such as, worshiping idols, stealing, killing, and committing other sins Because their ancestors sinned, people assumed it was justified. The Prophet (S.A.W.) commanded them to change their behavior and become more righteous.

    On the authority of Ibn ‘Umar (R.A.), who said: The Prophet (S.A.W.) said: “He who just returns the visits of his relatives does not completely fulfill the obligation of relationship. But he who ignores the mistakes of his relatives, forgives them, and visits them in order to bind the ties of relationship when they are broken does fulfill the obligations of relationship.’ -(Bukhari)

    On the authority of Jubair bin Mut’im (R.A.), who said: The Prophet (S.A.W.) said: “He who breaks off the ties of blood will not enter Paradise.” -(Bukhari and Muslim)

    Note: This Hadith preaches the person who breaks off relations with his family by not visiting them or helping them will not go to Paradise.

    On the authority of Abu Usaid Malik Ibn Rubia Al-Saedi (R.A), who said: While we were sitting with the Prophet (S.A.W.) a man of the Bani Salamah tribe came and said: “O Prophet (S.A.W.)! Is there anything, I can now do in benevolence towards my parents after their death? The Prophet (S.A.W.) answered: “Yes, by praying for them and soliciting mercy and forgiveness towards them, fulfilling their promises and undertakings, doing kindness to those who may be related to you through them, and respecting their friends.” -(Abu Daoud)

    Note: “Benevolence” means kindness.

    Showing Tolerance towards Parents
    You should always try to please your parents and avoid deeds that may hurt their feelings, especially when they get old and short-tempered.

    In old age people do tend to make unusual demands and claims but it should be tolerated cheerfully without any retort in anger or frustration. It is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an:

    “Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them but address them, in terms of honor.” (Qur’an 17:23)

    Service of Parents
    Parents should be served earnestly and with sincerity; always keeping in mind the unparalleled kindness and affection shown by them. It is the service of our parents that would lead to our redemption and earn for us The Almighty’s blessings.

    Your Love and Obligation towards Your Parents
    Love your parents and this love should be regarded as an honor and means of recompense and redemption in the Hereafter. Hadrat Ibn Abbas narrates the following Hadith of the Holy Prophet (PBUH):

    “Dutiful and good natured children who cast one loving and affectionate look at their parents, receive from The Almighty blessing equivalent to one approved Hajj (pilgrimage).” -(Muslim)

    When the Parents are Non-Muslims
    Even if the parents are non-Muslims, they are to be treated well and all courtesy be shown to them. But obedience in matters of religion should be refused and they are not to be followed if they ask you to commit a sin or an act of associating somebody with The Almighty. It is stated in the Holy Qur’an:

    “We have enjoined on man kindness to parents: but if they (either of them) strive (to force) thee to join with Me (in worship) anything of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not, ye have (all) to return to Me, and I will tell you (the truth) of all that ye did.” (Qur’an 29:8)

    Prayers for Parents
    Always pray for your parents, recalling their kindness and beg for their weal from The Almighty and His Mercies for them. It is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an:

    “And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: “My Lord! Bestow on them Thy mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.” (Qur’an 17:24)

    Special Treatment of the Mother
    One should have special regard for his/her mother. It is the mother that carries the fetus in her womb for nine months and then nourishes the child with her milk. It is stated in the Holy Qur’an:

    “We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents: In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth.” (Qur’an 46:15)

    On the authority of Asma’a bint Abu Bakr Al- Siddiq (R.A.), who said; “My mother came to Medina from Mecca to see me, while she was still an unbeliever. She had come to demand something from me. I inquired with the Prophet (S.A.W.): ‘My mother has come to see me and she is expecting something from me. May I oblige her?’ He said: ‘Yes, be kind to your mother.'” -(Bukhari and Muslim)

    Note: This Hadith has two main points:

    1.Be kind to your parents, no matter what their religion is.
    2.A Muslim must be kind to other people no matter what their religion is. For example: The Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W) used to visit his Jewish neighbors in Medina. Also the Prophet (S.A.W) used to give charity to his poor Jewish neighbor.
    On the Authority of Abu Hurairah (R.A.),who said: A man asked the Messenger of God (S.A.W.) who amongst his near ones had the greatest right over him, the Prophet (S.A.W.) replied: “Your mother”. He asked, “Then who is next?” The Prophet (S.A.W.) replied: “Your mother”. He again asked, “Then who is next?” The Prophet (S.A.W.) replied: “Your mother”. He asked: “Then who is next?” The Prophet replied: “Your father.” -(Bukhari and Muslim)

    On the authority of Al-Mughirah (R.A.), who said: The Prophet (S.A.W.) said: “God forbids all of you to disobey your mothers.” -(Bukhari and Muslim)

    Note: It is very important to obey and respect one’s mother in the Islamic religion for the following reasons:

    1.A mother carried her baby for nine months in her womb.
    2.During pregnancy, the mother experiences great hardship. Then during delivery of the child, the mother suffers extreme pain. Many woman die in childbirth.
    3.The mother is the one who feeds and nurtures the baby.
    4.It is an innate instinct for mothers to care more for their children than fathers do.


  11. What a powerful and humbling post. Thank you for writing this. It inspires me to be more prayerful that I too may be more spirit filled and honorable for the sake of my family. God bless you!

  12. I’m crying right now because THIS is exactly what I needed to read today. I lost my temper with my son in a really bad way last night and was still feeling remnants of it this morning because I snapped at him again when he was getting ready for school.

    I’ve been wracked with guilt since last night. Then I saw a link to your post that was shared by a friend of mine on FB. What you wrote has made me realize so many things. Thank you for sharing your experience and your thoughts. And thank the Lord for giving me the answers that I needed today.

    God bless you!

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