Ephesians 6:3. “That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”
Why should we honor our parents? Partly because it is the first commandment in Exodus 20 that comes packaged with a promise–a benefit, if you will. To honor our parents gives us the benefit of a good life, and even a long one.
Verses like this have always created some controversy, because there have been those who have done their best to honor their parents and yet they have had trouble in their lives, or perhaps even have died without living a full life span. I asked my pastor years ago how we can understand a promise like this one while we know very well that it doesn’t always work out that way.
He told me, “Linda, we have to look a these passages as proverbs, not iron-clad promises. The truth is that when we honor our parents, we are rewarded with God’s blessing on our lives. That blessing often comes in many forms, including having a good and long life. But sometimes things happen that are out of our control. We are not being punished. It is true that the rain falls on the just and the unjust.”
I believe that honoring one’s parents is indicative of a life given over to honoring God as well. We cannot prevent illness or accidents that may shorten our lives, but the over-all sense here is that God honors us for honoring and obeying Him.