Next time we roll our eyes at Mama, remember this: that is counted among a number of heinous sins. For instance: "slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents" (Romans 1:30).
Twice the Lord commands holiness and immediately afterwards follows it with a command pertaining to parents: "You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy. Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father" (Leviticus 19:2-3).
"Keep my statutes and do them; I am the LORD who sanctifies you. For anyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother; his blood is upon him" (Leviticus 20:8-9).
If you skipped reading those verses, go back and read them through -- all the way.
I don't think we get this. I don't think we truly understand what exactly parents are for, why we were given them and just how important it is to honor and obey them. Girls I know flagrantly, flippantly disobey their parents. They're not ones to keep their disobedience in the closet, in other words. They speak openly of she grounded me for this or he wouldn't let me do that accompanied with the Teenage Eye Roll.™
Then there's me. I won't tell you the things I do. You get the point quickly, I hope.
Parents aren't cool anymore, especially the ones with rules, the old-fashioned rules that include curfews, dress codes and a vigilant background check of friends. We have our bubble in the current time period that lets in modern standards, fashion and theories of life. That bubble certainly has no room for parents in all their strictness.
I mean, don't they get it? It's just a party. It's just a date. It's just one little thing that won't wreck my life. It's not as if I'll get tempted or do something dumb. I'm mature. Remember?
And what's up with the emphasis on chores, speaking respectfully, doing my best work, limiting technology, barring me from the happiness others experience?
They just don't get it.
But that's the point. Parents don't "get" us because we, as teenagers or preteens or even post-teens, are living in an alternate universe. Currently we do not understand ourselves, our world, our friends, our temptations, our future life. It might be more accurate to say we don't "get" them. We don't understand wisdom, or temperance, or discipline. We haven't lived long enough to know what's going to hurt us in the long run.
I know I've sometimes felt that my parents don't understand me, that I don't agree with their policies, that I certainly will remember what it felt like to be a teenager when I have my own. Strangely, I've noticed every single time I've balked at my parents' rules, they turn out to be right after all.
Even if some parents are overprotective -- even if some parents do dumb things -- even if parents are sometimes flat out wrong, that still does not release us children from obeying them, honorably.
I've thought about it and I came to the conclusion that God wrote, "Children, obey your parents, for this is right" for a reason. I figure He had me and my situation in mind too. I'm quite sure He understands all complaints I bring to Him in the Parent Department. He Himself is a Father, you know. He has prohibited me from some things, has disciplined me, has led me on paths I loudly grumbled against along the way. One of those paths was the family I am in.
The stork didn't drop me off at the wrong doorstep, you understand. He (God, not the stork) knew I would bloom best right in the Bergmann household, parents and all: meaning, that obeying my parents is to my benefit.
We think of obedience as something parents get to yank out of us, something only parents will benefit from. We don't stop to thank God for our parents when they say, "No, sweetheart, you can't go to this youth function." In the long run, the youth function or whatever else commanded or prohibited won't matter much anyway; but also, the Lord is using that for a reason. We will see it in the end. Obedience primarily benefits us and glorifies God while building a sound, helpful relationship that will last.
Now, some of us have obedience down pat. Happily or grumpily, we know it's our duty to obey. We don't talk about honoring much, even though it made it into the Ten Commandments. To put it in a nutshell, honoring our parents means treating them with respect, talking truthfully and prudently about them to others and truly listening (and more often than not, accepting) their advice.
Telling the store clerk about the latest fight you had with your mother is probably not honoring. Curtly answering your daddy when he asks you about your day isn't either. Asking other people for advice before your parents -- rolling eyes -- delaying disobedience -- complaining and grumbling against them -- anything that lowers your parents in their eyes, other's eyes or your eyes. That's dishonoring.
Ultimately, it boils down to how much you honor God the Father. He certainly wouldn't appreciate an eye roll.