The Bible’s answer
Appreciate them. You honor your father and mother when you are thankful for all they have done for you. You can show your appreciation by valuing their guidance. (Proverbs 7:1, 2; 23:26) The Bible encourages you to view your parents as your “glory,” that is, to be proud of them.—Proverbs 17:6.
Accept their authority. Especially while you are young, you honor your father and mother when you recognize the authority God has given them. Colossians 3:20 tells young ones: “Be obedient to your parents in everything, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.” Even young Jesus willingly obeyed his parents.—Luke 2:51.
Treat them with respect. (Leviticus 19:3; Hebrews 12:9) This often involves what you say and how you say it. True, some parents at times act in ways that make it hard to respect them. Even then, children can honor their parents by avoiding disrespectful speech and actions. (Proverbs 30:17) The Bible teaches that speaking abusively of one’s father or mother is a serious offense.—Matthew 15:4.
Provide for them. When your parents get old, they may need practical support. You can honor them by trying your best to make sure that they have what they need. (1 Timothy 5:4, 8) For instance, shortly before he died, Jesus arranged for the care of his mother.—John 19:25-27.
Misconceptions about honoring one’s father and mother
Misconception: To honor your father and mother, you must share in traditional rites of ancestor worship.
Fact: The Bible says: “It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.” (Luke 4:8) A person who worships his ancestors is displeasing to God. Moreover, the Bible teaches that “the dead know nothing at all.” They are not aware of any homage rendered to them; neither can they help or harm the living.—Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10; Isaiah 8:19.