Honoring Parents

An emotional moment between father and daughter this past Sunday.

How did you celebrate Father’s Day? Here in Cambodia, the holiday is not nearly as well known as others (for example, the Queen Mother’s Birthday, which was yesterday). Cambodian culture places a high value on respecting parents and ancestors, but all too often this takes the form of gifts of money or offering sacrifices to idols on their behalf.

For many Cambodians, to honor their parents means to live in complete subservience to their parents’ wishes, in relationships more reminiscent of servant/master than child/parent. This unhealthy mindset has been modeled for generations and is deeply rooted in Khmer culture.

To truly honor someone from your heart means to revere them by recognizing their value. This is what honor means in Scripture when it tells us to honor our father and mother, and this is what we are trying to teach Cambodians who have for far too long seen honor wrongly defined as co-dependency or control.

Many in Saang have never heard of Father’s Day or Mother’s Day, which is why we choose to celebrate both of these special days in church. Below are some photos of this weekend’s Father’s Day service, where God as our Heavenly Father was honored in worship and earthly fathers were encouraged and blessed through songs, teaching, a drama, and small gifts. We pray that your Father’s Day was blessed!

- In His Steps