Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the lord your God is giving you. Exodus 20:12 ESV
by Michael Moen
Honor – The word kabbed is found 376 times in the Hebrew Bible. It is used over half the time as a reference to a “weighty” person in society, someone who is honorable, impressive, worthy of respect. Today is my birthday and now I am turning 24 years old. My father asked if I would write a Today’s Word edition and I chose to speak about an issue I believe to be very important. I look to this verse and wonder why my age group has turned their gaze away from honoring their parents and elders. For whatever reason I originally grew up with the utmost respect for my elders, especially my grandfather, but as I grew into my teens it seemed that my age group and society in general whether it be social media or my educational environment, promoted the belief that I was capable of figuring out my life and path on my own. After all, I knew what trends were more popular then my parents; I knew how to use a computer and a cell phone better then most adults; so it seemed reasonable that what the world was feeding me was right, that I didn’t need the guidance of those who walked before me because it seemed I was capable of figuring it all out without them. However, what I came to discover was the more I ignored the counsel of those who walked before me, the more I became lost in my faith.
Today society promotes what is new. Even before the iPhone 5 came out people were already beginning to discuss what the iPhone 6 was going to offer. What was popular was always what was new, technology and everything else. Many ministries I look at and churches I have been involved in adamantly promote young adults to go off and represent what the ministry and church is about, because youth appears to be more attractive. What I have realized as a young adult is that when the whole world is telling those my age how wonderful it is to be young and how I need to do all I can right now while I have the opportunities, I slowly begin to neglect or disregard what those with years of experience have to offer me. I no longer need their advice. After all, most of the advice I get is not in the best interest of me becoming popular because most of it explains what I am doing wrong, and I don’t believe I am wrong. I believe that what I know is more accurate than what my elders tell me because I grew up in a different world than my elders did. They just don’t understand how things have changed. I look back at this and thank God that He showed me the error of my ways. Millard Erickson writes, “In our day, especially in western cultures old persons are sometimes looked down upon. In part this is due to the cult of youth; youth is exalted as the fullest expression of humanity.” Erickson explains that the Hebrews held great honor for those of old age. I now know why this was the case. My Grandfather, my parents, and my mentors all have lived out their lives in relationship with God and have deepened their relationship with Him in ways that only experience can obtain. Just like marriage or friendship, the longer you maintain it the deeper it becomes.
I now look to my elders again with an open mind knowing that what they have to tell me will help me as I experience the same struggles they faced, even despite the fact that they may have experience these things under different circumstances. I hope and pray that my life will help others my age look towards their elders with respect and open minds. I hope and pray that your children learn this valuable lesson that will help serve them in their lives as they grow into the men and woman of God that He is calling them to be. I pray that my age group begins to realize that youth can be fruitful in many things but there is so much more for us to learn before we really have the capability to be effective in God’s plan for us. I hope that all of those who read this know that I wish to learn from you and what you have to say, so I might strengthen my relationship with God and prepare myself to endure the hardships that a life of faith involves. I thank all of those who have gone out of their way to give me advice and counsel. I hope that the young men and woman that all of you influence learn the value of what you have to offer them!
Topical Index: honor, elders, parents, Exodus 20:12i kabbed
 Millard Erickson, Systematic Theology, 2nd Edition, pp. 568-569.