Exodus 20 v 12. Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
This commandment carries with it the promise of long life. In Proverbs 4:10 we read, ‘Hear my son, and receive my sayings, and the years of your life will be many’. In Psalm 128 we read, ‘Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways … yes, may you live to see your children’s children’. In the Old Testament long life was always considered a blessing conferred by God upon those who walked in His ways. This has reference not merely to longevity but to the quality of life. The blessing of God rests upon those who act within the framework of God-given rules. For us today it refers to the many blessings that God gives to those who walk in His ways.
I know there are some people who have honoured their fathers and mothers and died untimely deaths but, because this happens from time to time, it does not do away with the fact that this command remains a promise of blessing to all who head it. There are exceptions to the rule but it is a general rule that those who live righteously will be happy and prosperous in life. Furthermore, this is a plain observation of fact. The people who are happy are usually those who enjoy good family relationships. It pays to obey the commands of God because they unlock the door to happiness.
However this promise of blessing extends way beyond the general blessings and contentment that flow from orderly and respectful family living. It means more than longevity of years but rather a life filled with God’s blessings and favour. Paul repeats this command in his instruction to children in Ephesians 6:1-3. In the Old Testament the promise concerns living in the land, but in the New Testament the promise points to the gift of eternal life, not given simply because parents are honoured, but because the honouring of parents is one of the evidences that the children have the gift of salvation and possess the new life which Jesus gives.
If you have any matters that need to be sorted out with aging parents, do it now. It is possible that for some the relationship may have become very complicated. Nevertheless as far as it is possible, do the right thing. If you need help, seek it. Above all. Talk to God about it.