The other day I heard a preschool child mock her parent. It was not the first time. The parents and nearby adults laughed, thinking the child’s feisty attitude showed spunk. In truth, the disrespect revealed the beginnings of a path filled with trouble.

In the Bible (Ephesians 6:2&3) we read the following counsel: “‘Honor your father and mother.’ This is the first commandment with a promise: if you honor your father and mother, ‘things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.'”

We can conclude from this that the opposite is also true: if a child does not learn to honor his/her parents, things will not go well for them. This is a hard truth to consider, but you can see the practical application of this. In school, a disrespectful student gets detention or suspension. In the community, a police officer who has to endure sarcasm will not favor the son or daughter who was speeding. And in the workplace, no employer is going to tolerate rebellion and dishonor. All this “attitude” may promote a certain peer popularity now, but it also makes for a hard life.

If we are to raise up a generation of strong, committed children of God, we must not succumb to the popular misconception that a child with “attitude” is a child who will succeed.

As parents, when we demonstrate honoring one another in our homes and families, let us take the time to explain to our young children why. Respecting one’s elders is not an old-fashioned idea. It is the means by which we obtain a rich and rewarding life.

(A Faith Classic)

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