Respect is a key component to any family relationship or friendship. However, it is also all too often seen as something that begins only when we reach adulthood. Some adults even forget about their parents’ hard work throughout their childhood and adolescence when they fail to show them the respect they deserve after growing up.
The Bible mentions respect for your parents more than 20 times in its New Testament alone. These verses hold a lot of wisdom for adults and children alike.
Bible Verse about Respecting your Parents
One of the greatest commandments in the Bible is to honor your father and mother. This commandment has been repeated in each of the Ten Commandments. It is one of those commands which we can control as believers and non-believers alike.
Ephesians 6:1 – Submit first and foremost to Christ’s authority.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
Ephesians 6:1 (ESV)
As Christ’s disciples, you must reject all other authorities and submit first and foremost to Christ’s authority. Parents and elders have more life experience, knowledge, and wisdom than children do. A child will benefit from listening to them.
Obedience that pleases God entails choosing to do what someone in authority appointed by God tells you to do because you trust and love God. Only after you have been clothed in Christ can you overcome sin and temptation and make the right decisions.
And these choices are motivated by love rather than fear. Remember how much God loves you and how much Jesus gave up to demonstrate that love. And Jesus is telling you to listen to your parents. Focus on the love when you are struggling.
Exodus 20:12 – Rebellion is expensive.
“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)
This command is wise and good because respect for parents is a necessary foundation for the stability and health of all society. If younger generations are constantly at odds with older generations, society’s foundations will crumble.
To honor one’s parents means to value them, care for them, and show them respect or reverence. The promise is that your days on the land will be long.
Rebellion is expensive, and many people have paid a high personal price for their rebellion against their parents.
Leviticus 19:32 – The elderly must be honored in the same way that parents are.
“You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.
Leviticus 19:32 (ESV)
The elderly must be honored in the same way that parents are (Exodus 20:12). God will despise and condemn a generation that does not honor and respect its forefathers.
The command is thus to stand up when the elderly enter our presence, which is reinforced by the notice: “I am the LORD.” Children oppressing their elders and women ruling over men (Isaiah 3:5, 12) indicate the end of a culture and its impending judgment. The modern youth cult is not Biblical.
Ephesians 6:1-3 – Obey your parents in the Lord.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”
Ephesians 6:1-3 (ESV)
This is the first commandment God ever gave to mankind, and it comes with a promise. Consider how incredible this is: You and I have a guarantee that things will go well if we simply honor our parents.
From birth, our biological fathers and mothers are God’s authority in our lives, and we are to obey them until we marry. As explained in Matthew 19:5, when you marry, you are no longer under their authority.
This means that those who marry will leave under the authority of their parents and join their spouse so that God can establish a new family authority. We are still called to honor our parents after marriage.
Proverbs 1:8 – The most important priority.
Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching,
Proverbs 1:8 (ESV)
This extends beyond simple obedience to include concepts such as respect and consideration. Solomon came to the understanding that following God’s will is without a doubt the most important priority of our lives (Ecclesiastes 12:13–14).
This verse serves as a warning against folly and the allure of sinful behavior. Solomon begins this warning by pleading with his children to respect their parent’s instructions.
As any parent knows, it’s often best to outline a negative behavior before addressing its consequences. The example used appears to be extreme, but it is intended to point to an obvious conclusion.
Deuteronomy 27:16 – Parents deserve to be honored as representatives of God’s authority.
‘Cursed be anyone who dishonors his father or his mother.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
Deuteronomy 27:16 (ESV)
Dishonor means to treat with contempt, disgrace, hold in low regard, or regard as worthless. God’s people were commanded to honor their parents.
This is demonstrated by their love, obedience, and support for their parents. Parents deserve to be honored as representatives of God’s authority.
Such obedience was so important that the Mosaic Law allowed parents to hand over any rebellious or stubborn child to the community for capital punishment if the parents had exhausted all other options for correcting that child.
Proverbs 10:1 – The wise son lives his life in accordance with God’s commands and ways.
The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.
Proverbs 10:1 (ESV)
The wise son lives his life in accordance with God’s commands and ways. He goes through life with the Word of God at the forefront of his thoughts and decisions. What’s interesting here is that the Bible says this son makes his father happy.
The foolish son causes his mother grief. the one who has no idea how to live successfully, practically, and godly before God He lacks true spiritual wisdom and understanding of life.
He is oblivious to the concept of living for God’s purposes, plans, and glory. As a result, while he may be a huge success in the eyes of men, he is a spiritual pygmy in the eyes of God.
Proverbs 23:22 – Remember not to let your frustrations turn into negative attitudes.
Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.
Proverbs 23:22 (ESV)
Dealing with older people can be frustrating, but we must remember not to let those frustrations turn into negative attitudes. We may not always have warm, fuzzy, altruistic, loving feelings when we help or serve others.
Sometimes we do, but sometimes those feelings come later — but we can protect ourselves from the negative. Loving parents instill in their children the fear and admonition of the Lord. This necessitates the parents’ knowledge of God’s Word.
It’s easy to become frustrated or dismissive of parents as they get older. Nonetheless, God commands us to respect our parents. Those “who gave you life” should not be forgotten as they grow older.
Romans 13:7 – Give everyone their due.
Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
Romans 13:7 (ESV)
The Bible commands us to give everyone their due, honor, respect, and reverence. Paul’s teaching in Romans Chapter 13 is about being submissive to government authorities, those whom God has given the privilege of being in government, and it appears that the government being addressed here is the civil government, but we can borrow from this and apply it to other areas of human relationship.
Proverbs 22:6 – Discipline makes an impact.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)
Proverbs 22:6 warns parents that if they let their children have their own way, they will not change their ways when they are older. It should not be interpreted as a guarantee that Christian children will always make good decisions.
No, it should be interpreted as a caution. If parents do not discipline their children wisely, their children will make foolish choices and will continue to do so as they grow older.
A wise parent recognizes this and carefully considers how to guide the child to become self-aware and self-controlled so that he can learn to make wise decisions in his youth and continue to do so throughout his life.
Proverbs 20:20 – A rebellious son frequently disrespects not only his parents but also anyone who seeks to control him.
If one curses his father or his mother, his lamp will be put out in utter darkness.
Proverbs 20:20 (ESV)
Our Heavenly Father is our Lord God Almighty. Our earthly parents are supposed to reflect our relationship with God, which is full of love, honor, and respect. Regrettably, not everyone is raised by godly parents.
God, on the other hand, expects believers to respect and honor their parents. The person who disrespects and insults his parents violates God’s commandment (Exodus 20:12) and will perish prematurely.
A rebellious son frequently disrespects not only his parents but also anyone who seeks to control him. Allowing a child to grow without discipline puts them on a dangerous path, according to previous advice (Proverbs 19:18).
Unruly children can grow up to be lawbreakers, resulting in long prison sentences or the death penalty. God gives us commandments for our own good, and if we break them, we will pay a high price.
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
Philippians 2:3 (ESV)
As Christians, we gain nothing from comparing ourselves to others or being motivated by what others think of us. Our identity is rooted in the image of God in us and the Holy Spirit. We lose nothing by elevating others above ourselves.
It can be accomplished by refusing to violate the rights and lives of others. We would not impose our will on others. We will not seek to gain at the expense of others.
On the contrary, we will spend our time working for the good of others by preaching the gospel and showing them the ways of God.
When given the opportunity to forgive an offense or bless a persecutor, we should not hesitate to walk in the way of love that our Savior, Jesus Christ, modeled for us.
A wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke
Proverbs 13:1 (ESV)
Learning from our own mistakes is an inevitable part of life; choosing to learn from the mistakes of others is especially prudent. When a father or other worthy figure offers their viewpoint, it’s a good idea to listen to them (Proverbs 12:1, 15).
Some people have a superior attitude; they believe they know more than those who attempt to correct them. A rude awakening awaits anyone who goes through life believing they are above reproach. Destruction is preceded by pride.
Leviticus 19:3 – Respect to parents is respect to God.
Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and you shall keep my Sabbaths: I am the Lord your God.
Leviticus 19:3 (ESV)
The word “fear” replaces the word “honor.” If you have a fear of someone, you will respect them as well. Human beings are taught to fear God and their parents.
If you are a child who is properly related to his or her parents, you will revere and honor them. Then, as you learn about God through Christ, you will learn to revere and honor God as well.
Hebrews 12:9 – It is an act of kindness.
Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?
Hebrews 12:9 (ESV)
Suffering and adversity are not always punishments or evidence of God’s abandonment. Loving parents, on the other hand, take an active role in “training” their children.
God’s purpose in disciplining, correcting, or challenging us is to make us more like Him. That is an act of kindness. Fathers and mothers correct, train, and challenge their children in order to guide their development.
At the time, that discipline was rarely appreciated. However, once we understand the end goal of that correction, we begin to appreciate it! If a child can respect the discipline of an earthly parent, we should be able to respect the discipline of our Heavenly Father.
Proverbs 29:17 – It gives parents reason to be proud of their children.
Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.
Proverbs 29:17 (ESV)
When children of any age love and live in wisdom, they bring joy to their parents. It gives parents reason to be proud of their children and gives them peace of mind about their children’s future. A father’s heart would break if he saw his son become a pauper as a result of vice.