What does it mean to honour your parents in your marriage?

Honour your father and mother so that your days on earth may be long – Exodus 20:12 has been a verse in the bible that most parents have used to keep their children obedient.

I also tell my children the importance of honouring me and their dad as parents because it is tied to having a long life. I am sure to threaten and coerce children into obedience was not the reason God gave this commandment.

In a devotional I read recently, it said the commandment was first given to adult children. I agree with this statement because the ten commandments were issued to the Israelites. There was nowhere it specifically states, it was for young children. No matter how old you are, you are still a child to someone, to your parent you will always be a child. Therefore, to apply this verse as a tool to enforce obedience or coerce children to honour was not God’s intention.

To honour is not only about respect and obedience, to honour means to hold in high regard. The dictionary meaning of honour is “high respect; great esteem.” It means you understand because your father and mother are your parents, they’ve forever brought you into this world. That you couldn’t have brought yourself into this world, is a good enough reason to hold your parents in high esteem. It is very easy to honour fathers and mothers who go beyond just bringing us into this world, but also cared for and nurtured us. If you are very lucky to have a father or mother that sacrificed their time, money and other resources. They loved you sacrificially, supported your growth to become the person you are today, to honour them will not be a difficult task. Honouring our parents become a problem when we feel, they do not deserve to be held in high esteem. It is rightfully so when someone does not behave respectably, their value and respect diminish. Value and respect are linked to how we honour people. But here the bible expressly commands us to honour our parents, without any condition attached.

Therefore, I am going to implore you if you are finding it difficult to honour your father or mother. Because of what they may or may haven’t done, please find it in your heart to forgive them. Choose to obey God’s commandment so that you may lay hold of the blessings of a long life. Now it is not out of fear but out of reverence to God that you honour that abusive father or an absent mother or whatever trouble they may have inflicted on you and others. Jesus turned down requests from his mother Mary because He had to obey His Father in heaven. Matthew 12:46-50, Jesus did not dishonour his mother, He knew the priority at the time was the work of His father. I grew up in with a polygamous father, but I love my dad so much, when I am talking about him to my children, they wonder how I am still able to find good memories and stories to tell about him. I let them realise the love of having him as my father, is not based on what he did or did not do. I just chose to keep the good memories alive and destroy the ones that were not so good. This has helped me to honour my dad, even when so many people who know him would think, he does not deserve to be loved. I love him, honour him and celebrate him on Father’s Day and every day.

You may be asking how would I show my father or mother honour or hold them in high regard?

  1. Acknowledge without them, you will not be on earth, talk less of growing and becoming who you are today.
  2. If they are still alive, forgive them of all their errors, after all, you are not perfect too, if you are asking God to forgive you and allow you into His heaven.
  3. Take care of their needs as best as you can, make sure you show and love them despite their shortcomings.
  4. Call them and speak to them regularly, never let them feel alone.

As you do this, your heavenly father is the one who can give you a long life, he will fulfil that promise because you have obeyed Him.

“You are not going to have a long life because you obeyed your parents. You are going to have a long life because you obey God”.

Does this bring me to how should we honour our parents in marriage? 

Honouring parents in marriage have been twisted to obeying their wishes. Instead of receiving the blessings God promised, honouring parents’ wishes in marriage have contributed to many miseries in marriage.

God commanded a man, to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, that means physical leaving and emotional leaving. It means you have to reprioritise who is important in your life. As a husband, you can no longer rely on your parent for your needs, you have to transfer those support you seek from them to your wife. This is where many men have gotten it wrong. They cling to the person they have known since the day of their birth. Their parents have been guiding and caring for them, suddenly once they are married, they are now required to transfer their trust and look to their wife to meet those emotional needs. What causes the issue is the feeling that they are abandoning their known and most trusted ally, for a stranger who has now come into their lives to take over. Therefore, some men will not fully commit to their wife.

Some cannot even bear to leave their parents’ physical house. If they move out, they find an opportunity to move their parent in, still making sure they are not feeling isolated from the love they have grown to know. This is especially difficult for men who love their parents. It is also vice versa for women, but God expressly gave this commandment to the men. As we can see in our society, in-laws on the men side are often the most feared and are seen as a terror to a marriage. The mother in law lay claim to statements like, “this is my son’s house”. “You are coming to take over my son’s life” and so they become very defensive of their son. What ignorance for a man that allows that and destruction they bring into their marriage? You need to understand and let your parents know you honour and respect them, but as a married man, your wife is your priority. You must ensure that you are not abandoning them, but you must obey God and cleave to your wife. When you get this wisdom and priority right, your marriage will be right. Some people would easily leave their parents and cleave to their spouse physically and emotionally, especially when they is loving and caring, other may not.

Some women would cleave to their husband if he is available but the temptation of returning to parent starts with an unavailable husband. Therefore, the woman goes back to where she knows she will be safe if her husband is abusive and where would she seek counsel? If not from her trusted parent. Again, this needs to be corrected on the women’s side, seek wise counsel from mentors as parents can be biased.

Therefore as a man, I will encourage you to honour you parents but when you become a married man, do not let the commandment and fear to honour your parents make you disobey Gods commandment on loving your wife as Christ loved the church. Do not allow yourself to feel guilty. Some parents are very good at that, they will make you feel guilty, but you are not to succumb to such manipulations. You should assure them; you love them and will take care of them. Once they realise you have made up your mind, they usually take the position you allow them to take. In marriage, husbands and wives should honour both of their parents. Do not abandon them, look after them, if you both agree to live with any of the parents, do so knowing and letting them know, they have no control over your marriage affair. It is even better if you can afford it to leave physically because that will give you and your wife space to bond without any intrusion from them intentionally or unintentionally.

For you as a parent to your children and for those of you married couples who are still trusting God for the fruit, I pray you will become a parent soon. The way you honour your parents will show your children how to honour you. Make sure your children see you talk to your parents with respect, make sure you all call them on their birthdays and special days such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day. Get your children to buy their grandparents’ cards and presents at Christmas and other festivities. Visit them regularly if they live close to you, if not plan holidays so they can see how you cherish your parent. If you have had to forgive your parents because they were not so caring, let your children know and show them how forgiveness works through your actions. They will, in turn, forgive your own mistakes, of which you and I will do, but they would have learnt how to forgive through to your actions. If you do not forgive your parents, you are indirectly teaching your children unforgiveness and that will affect every area of their lives. Let me shock you, “children do as I do” but, “parents say do as I say”. That is why your children will become a version of you if they do not meet Christ.

I hope we can see how to honour our parents in marriage, the world and traditions have twisted it and made it difficult for many marriages to thrive because of family and parents’ intrusion. Keep your home in order, it is never too late to let your parents know you honour them, but they cannot be making decisions in your marriage. If you are too emotionally dependent on your parent, act now, transfer that emotional need to your partner and see your marriage intimacy skyrocket. The peace you have been looking for will suddenly appear and you will enter into your inheritance on earth. A godly and peaceful home is heaven on earth. Most Christians who are going to heaven are supposed to have a taste of heaven on earth, but they are missing it due to lack of knowledge, disobedience and lack of desire to even believe it.

Your marriage can be blissful if only you will be resolute to apply God’s word, leave traditions behind and do not care what the world would say if you choose to follow God.


Maturity is needed to build a successful and happy marriage

Are you wondering why you are having difficulty managing your relationships? 

Being mature is one of the requirements of a person who is going to have a successful relationship especially in a marriage relationship. Maturity is defined in the dictionary as the quality of behaving mentally and emotionally like an adult. 

A mature person is someone who has grown to 18years of age and above. As an adult they ought to have grown and developed, mentally, emotionally, and able to behave responsibly. Some people grow in age but refuse to mature emotionally and mentally and continue to behave in an immature way. 

Immaturity is behaviour that does not show wisdom, emotional and mental development. 

This quote by Eleanor Roosevelt captures the essence of a mature mind. 

 A mature person is one who does not think only in absolutes, who can be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and all things, and who walks humbly and deals charitably.

By Eleanor Roosevelt

In marriage, you and your spouse need to be matured in age, emotionally, and mentally. Sometimes people can advance in age but not mature. Some older men and women increase in age but not mature in other areas. They remain immature at an emotional and mental level. 

Immature people are hardened by life trials and struggles, they tend to succumb with self-pity, they have no idea how to manage relationships especially conflicts and therefore they are stressed, confused, and may become insecure.

Below are three indicators of maturity, there are many more, but I believe if you can master these three, you are on your way to maturing and becoming sweet like an old wine.  


At age 18 years a person is now an adult, responsible and accountable for their actions. 

A mature person will take responsibility for any circumstance they find themselves; they own their failure and success and would not blame other people for the outcomes. A mature spouse will take responsibility bestowed upon them in their marriage. If as a spouse, you are still blaming your other half for your failures, lack of progress, inactions, and so on, then you need to work on becoming mature in this area. I used to blame my husband for some of the choices I made in my career path and greatly resented him for the outcome of my choice.

It was not until I owned my failures and accepted, I made those choices by myself due to my convictions. Therefore, as a matured mind, I cannot blame him, I had to pick up myself and develop my career. This time I was aware of my choices and my decisions were based on the outcome I wanted. This helped me to become free from any bitterness and able to relate to him as a loving wife. You have to be objective and do not allow emotions to cloud your judgment when making decisions or accepting decisions made for you in your marriage. Once you accept it, please be ready to own it. It is your responsibility to accept or reject any actions you may or may not like. When you learn to own and take responsibility for your actions, you are less likely to blame and criticise your partner. You are less likely to feel they have cheated you or wrecked you. When you become mature in your marriage relationship, your behavior is down to you and you only.

It is an immature and irresponsible partner that will leave what they ought to do and not do it and then blame their partner for that decision. This is where the trouble starts in a marriage, one partner will behave badly and then blame that action on the other spouse because they made them do it. No that is wrong, your actions are solely your responsibility. The bible says to him who knows how to do good and do it not, it will be counted as a sin. To be matured in marriage is to own your actions, your failures, take responsibility for any circumstance you find yourself.

The good news is you can change yourself; you can decide to grow, and you can make better choices. It is never too late to mature.

Growth Oriented

Maturity does not come naturally as we grow in age, yes physical maturity is happening, but the body is being fed and nurtured in other to grow fully and healthy. If a child is starved of the basic nutrition needed for proper growth, they will become deficient in some areas and end up with stunted growth. There is the need to feed your mind with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate issues of life, in other to become matured emotionally and mentally. Many people have not developed their minds or mental capacity to become matured in this area.

Reading books, learning how to act responsibly, and becoming emotionally intelligent are ways of becoming mature in these areas. However immature people do not want to learn, or they learn and will not apply what they have leaned due to one reason or the other. Sometimes some people because they have grown in age assume, they are mature automatically. Marriage needs people who are emotionally and mentally matured to create a good home. There are going to be many issues and hurdles to cross in marriage, even two best friends, best-matched couples will have to face this challenge.

The difference between a thriving or struggling marriage is directly related to their emotional maturity level. Where one spouse is immature, couples would not be able to resolve differences and conflicts successfully. Unresolved issues will lead to resentment, bitterness violence, and so on. Are you learning how to become a better version of yourself? If you are having issues in your marriage, I will recommend you take a look at yourself and see how you can improve your emotional maturity. If you are still looking at your partner as the problem and wished you could change him, please work on yourself first. Start by reading and investing in your personal development. I am more aware of actions and triggers that affect me emotionally and have since developed and become emotionally intelligent. This has helped me to manage my own emotions and has taken control of how I respond to actions that previously would have set me alight.

I encourage you to develop yourself by seeking to learn and develop yourself not just for marriage relationships, it will impact every other relationship in your life. 

Available and open-minded

A mature person is an open-minded individual, who sees things from a different perspective and can allow other people’s opinions without getting hurt or defensive. They are open to interruptions and are accessible. An immature person is unable to communicate effectively, they will rather go an shut themselves in a room, and wait on their partner to beg them to explain what is wrong with them. Maturity means you value other people’s opinions, able to ask for feedback and receive constructive feedback to develop any identified areas of weakness. Maturity helps people to manage their ego, it reduces the chances of developing a sense of entitlement which can lead to an over-inflated ego.

Matured spouses in a marriage can work with their other half to solve issues, reach mutual agreement on how they want to do marriage, and make allowance for each other’s faults. To build a happy and successful marriage, it requires you as a spouse to be humble, let your partner know your weakness, and make up for that blind spot in your life. Being humble will make you as a spouse to accept you made a mistake, correct the mistake, and make amend. Matured spouses will not be concerned about who is right, they will be more concerned about what is right and the preservation of the relationship. Maturity in marriage demands a new you, a new way of setting priorities. For example, as a single lady, I could go anywhere I like at any time without the need to consider my actions on other people.

When I became married, I realised I cannot go anywhere I like, without informing my husband and be back at a reasonable time. Letting my partner know where I am going is not for monitoring purposes, but the consequences of not doing so will impact him and our children. Maturity demands that I am conscious, disciplined, and determine to change my attitude to reporting where I would be and when I would be back home. As a mother, I needed to grow to a new level of maturity and that is why maturity is continuous learning and re-learning of new principles. Be present and make time for what matters in your marriage, a partner that does not get his or her priorities right in marriage will come across as immature. If you are needed to take your child to school and you have a work commitment, as a matured father, your priority is your child, to do otherwise is to show you are not available to be a father. How too often have we seen absent fathers and mothers in families, this leads to trouble and breakdown of the marriage relationship. If you have not matured in this area, please work on it and develop a growth mindset. Some 50-year-old men and women have the intelligence and maturity of 20-year olds. Age alone does not show maturity. 

The challenge is we want other people to change but the real challenge is to change yourself.

Marriage demand a new and matured you!


Build love legacies and traditions to sustain your love.

It is true that love alone cannot and will not keep your marriage if you ignore the covenant. If you rely on your own strength and ability, and most importantly, if you refuse to honour and apply the principles that make marriage work.

However, when love is present and maintained, it is an essential binder and glue that will strengthen the bond of your union. Love is the first thing that brought you and your spouse together, exemption would be where marriage was arranged or set up with the wrong motive. But generally, marriage begins when two people fall in love and promise to share that love with each other forever.

Suggested read: Don’t stop dating each other

Falling in love is the easiest thing to do, keeping in love is the hard work and falling out of love is real and possible. No couple madly in love, would ever expect that they will fall out of love, but my friend that is the expectation, reality is people fall out of love. The proof is seen in many marriages broken and divorced today; it all began with the death of love. Love is passion, it is a flame kept burning by constant refueling and fanning to flame.

Love consumes resources and energy to keep it aflame. I love this song we usually sing in my church; it talks about keeping our love for God burning, it was composed and sang by Jonathan Miller. It goes like this; “Light a flame, within my soul, Holy Fire consume my all, spirit blaze, shine out of me and burn for all the world to see”. Your marriage is kept glowing because of the flame of love. You must be ready to continue to fuel your love and fan it. How do you do that? I have noticed from my experience and those of other married couples around me, that establishing love traditions early in your marriage and a commitment to honour and uphold that tradition, no matter how horrible you feel can rekindle the flame of your love for each other even in the dark, cold days of your marriage.

You can also read: Choose to be happy in your marriage

One of such that works for me and my hubby is celebrating our birthdays as a family. We have always put in the effort to buy each other gifts, bake cakes and wake up earl to celebrate and share our joys. Even on rare occasions when we do not feel like talking to each other, because it has become our tradition, there is still that need to go and buy gifts and cards for each other. No matter how terrible we feel at that point, we are deliberate to show love and celebrate, we end up going out, laughing and dancing. What love tradition or legacy would you put in place in your marriage? Here are some tips, go on yearly holidays, do something romantic on your wedding anniversary, have Friday special dinners, yearly visit to a special place that resonate with your love or relationship.

It is my birthday and I have the joy of being celebrated by my husband and children, I look forward to it every year. Build a loving legacy today if you haven’t got one in place already.

Read about my forthcoming book: Are you ready! Marriage Expectation Versus Reality.


Choose to be happy in your marriage

Choose to be happy in your marriage, your happiness depends on the well of joy inside of you. If you are looking to your spouse to make you happy, then you are building a high expectation. A great marriage consists of two wholesome people, who are enjoying each other and increasing their joy, by walking and working together. If one spouse is reliant on the other for their joy and happiness, they will always be unhappy. Nobody can make you happy, if you choose not to be happy. Deliberately choose to be happy in your marriage.