Why This Commandment Is Important
Honoring your parents is an important part of our daily lives. When we can learn to treat our parents with respect, we learn to treat God with respect. There is a direct correlation between how we treat our parents and how we treat God. When we don’t honor our parents we become susceptible to things like bitterness and anger. When we allow other things to become excuses for not honoring our mothers and fathers, we make it easy for other things to come between us and God. Parents aren’t perfect, so sometimes this commandment is hard, but it is one that we must strive to follow.
Painful Toxic Or Abusive Parents
We know not all parents are good. There is abuse and neglect in many households, and survivors need to maintain strict physical and emotional boundaries to stay safe and break toxic patterns. But those boundaries should be instigated with humility and respect, because even bad parents are made in the image of God . The relationship between adult child and abusive parent may be different and more distant than other examples, yet we can still be respectful. If possible, we should take steps to restore the bond, but it may be wise to do so under the guidance of a trusted counselor.
The relationship between a child and their parent is an irreplaceable one to be treasured. Our parents deserve respect and honor, even if they’ve failed us in small and large ways, because of they are creations of God and have been given a special role in our lives.
So What Does It Mean For Children To Obey Their Parents
In the Fifth Commandment, honor implies submission, which implies obedience. All offspring are to esteem their parents. Children who have not become autonomous and mature adults are under the authority of their parent, so they are to yield to them. In the Bible, children who have grown up continue to honor their parents but, again, there is no call for them to obey. So, what is obedience?
Biblical obedience has several facets. It involves listening attentively, applying a directive, or conforming to a command. In the Old Testament, The most common word for obey is shema. Shema is to internalize, ponder, reflect on, or to understand what they are told with the purpose of doing. In the New Testament, the word commonly rendered obey is either from the Greek hupakouo or peitho. Hupakouo is to listen from someone above or to listen intently as one who is under another. Peithos definition means to be convinced, moved, or to respond. Of course, the context of the word gives it a clearer definition.
Here is a simpler way to understand biblical obedience: to listen and do is to follow after you, and to follow your way is to obey.
We need to note that obedience is not the most important thing in the parent-child relationship. It is not the goal. Numerous books and seminars for Christian parents present obedience as very important if not the most important thing a child does. Many make dogmatic claims that children must obey:
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What Does Exodus 20 Mean By ‘honor Your Father And Mother’
Honor your father and mother so that youll live a long time in the land that GOD, your God, is giving you.Exodus 20:12 MSG
God gave the Ten Commandments to His people through Moses as they camped around Mount Sinai in the desert after He freed them from slavery in Egypt. Thunder, lighting, billowing smoke, and trumpet blasts announced the presence of the Lord atop the mountain as He called Moses up . These commands were never meant to be legalistic, but to draw us closer to God. Honor your father and mother, specifically, means to prize highly, care for, show respect for, and obey” authority in our lives. When we are young, we rely on our parents for food, care, and comfort. As we grow, the natural rebellion in us pushes against their authority. But still, we often learn to listen as they keep us safe from dangerous situations and provide basic needs for us.
The Ten Commandments/honor Your Father And Your Mother
Honor your father and your mother is one of the Ten Commandments, which are widely understood as moral imperatives by legal scholars, Jewish scholars, Catholic scholars, and Post-Reformation scholars. The Book of Exodus describes the Ten Commandments as being spoken by God to Moses, inscribed on two stone tablets by the finger of God, or written on tablets by Moses.
Honour your father and your mother so that you may live long in the land that Yahweh your God is giving you.
In the Torah, keeping this commandment was associated with individual benefit and with the ability of the nation of Israel to remain in the land to which God was leading them. Dishonoring parents by striking or cursing them was punishable by death. In the Talmud, the commandment to honor one’s human parents is compared to honoring God. According to the prophet Malachi, God makes the analogy himself:
“The son honours his father, the slave stands in awe of his master. But if I am indeed father, where is the honour due to me? And if I am indeed master, where is the awe due to me?” says Yahweh Sabaoth to you priests who despise my name.
The divine fatherhood is the source of human fatherhood. This is the foundation of the honor owed to parents. It is required by God’s commandment.
Catechism of the Catholic Church 2214
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Find Things To Be Grateful For
For some of us, the only thing that we can be thankful for is that our parents gave us life. Other situations could be a mixed bag of good and bad. In my case, while my parents could be neglectful or abusive, they also did some things right.
I had a nice home, clothes, and my Christmas wish list was usually fulfilled. My mother could be loving at times. My father changed late in life and became more loving towards me.
Face And Deal With The Pain They Caused
My parents both had anger issues that did me a lot of harm. I was told I was stupid and could not do anything right. I was never praised or encouraged by them while I was growing up. They believed in spankings which sometimes left me black and blue. I was often on my own and neglected as a teen. I was full of resentment and righteous indignation over the way they treated me.
How could I honor parents who had hurt me so badly? I had to face the fact that the people who were supposed to build up my self-esteem, and love and nurture me actually harmed me. I had to acknowledge it and let go of my pain to be emotionally healthy. One way I could do that was through forgiveness.
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Should You Honor Your Mother And Father When They Are Abusive
Most of us have a complaint or two about our parents, Dr. David Hawkins writes, None were perfect and many carry scars from their childhood. Gods command to honor our father and mother teaches us to trust Him to ultimately defend and protect us. Parents arent perfect, yet we can choose to honor them anyway, trusting we have been placed in their care by our Almighty God for a purpose. He doesnt make mistakes.
In our fallen world, many of us will endure heartaches and injustice at the hands of the very people that we are supposed to honor and trust. God certainly doesnt want us to remain in abusive situations. His compassionate heart for us aches when we suffer at the hands of injustice. We should do all we can to remove ourselves from life-threatening situations, and reach out to others caught in such a crossfire as well.
Humanity is fallen. The world is at a war between good and evil that we cannot see with the visible eye, but know exists according to Gods Word. We honor our parents by releasing judgement for their behavior to our just God who defends and protects us with mercy and compassion. God tells us that He will bless us as we honor our parents, Dr. Hawkins wrote, Consider how you might honor your parents, no matter how you have been raised. This may seem like a huge challenge yet it is one I believe God will bless.
Must The Child Always Obey
No. Sometimes children do not or should not obey their parents. Here are examples:
Weve seen what the Bible means when it calls for parents offspring to honor their parents. Honor is showing great respect for the qualified parent throughout life. Obedience to parents is an aspect of honor and is a tool for inculcating Gods way of life and wisdom in dependent children. It is not unconditional compliance to the parents demands. Instead, it flows from the trust and love for parents where the child listens, heeds, yields, and applies biblically-informed teachings.
This post is an excerpt from my upcoming book, Cultivating Kids .
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What Does Bible Say About Honoring Your Parents
honorparentshonoring GodsaysrespectmothersaysGod yourrespect
. Just so, what does the Bible mean by honor your parents?
Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. In the Talmud, the commandment to honour one’s human parents is compared to honoring God. According to the prophet Malachi, God makes the analogy himself: A son honours his father, and a servant his master.
One may also ask, what does the Bible say about obeying parents? “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ , ‘that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land. This is the instruction of God and his will.
In this manner, how do you honor your parents?
Here are 10 ways to honor mom and dad:
What does the Bible say about how do you treat your mother?
1 Peter 4:8 Above all, maintain an intense love for each other, since love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Timothy 5:2 Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters. Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
Honour Thy Father And Thy Mother
“Honour thy father and thy mother” is one of the Ten Commandments in the Hebrew Bible. The commandment is generally regarded in Protestant and Jewish sources as the fifth in both the list in Exodus 20:121, and in Deuteronomy 5:123. Catholics and Lutherans count this as the fourth.
These commandments were enforced as law in many jurisdictions, and are still considered enforceable law by some.Exodus 20:1 describes the Ten Commandments as being spoken by Yahweh, inscribed on two stone tablets by the finger of God, broken by Moses, and rewritten on replacement stones by the Lord.
Try To Understand Them And Accept Their Flaws
When children are young, parents are almost godlike to them. As children grow into adulthood, however, they realize that parents are not perfect and make mistakes. Some parents may have been deliberately cruel and mean, so it is a mystery why they acted as they did. Others may have harmed their offspring unintentionally.
In my case, I do not think that my parents deliberately set out to hurt me. I have come to believe that my parents were angry and abusive because, in part, they had untreated post-traumatic stress disorder from their horrible experiences during World War II. I do not excuse their hurtful behavior, but having some idea where my parents were coming from helped me to extend mercy to them and forgive them.
Blessed Are The Children Of The Righteous
âThe righteous lead blameless lives blessed are their children after them.â
Righteousness doesnât lead to wealth and prosperity. But it does change the way we respond to our circumstances and how others see us. A father who pursues righteousness wonât find himself in compromising positions or be an embarrassment to his children. Rather, heâll provide his children with a model worth following, and his righteousness will change the way others treat his family as well.
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Where Does The Bible Talk About Honoring Your Mother And Father
Honor your father and mother is mentioned twice in the Old Testament and six times in the New Testament . Originally appearing in Exodus as Moses introduced the Ten Commandments to Gods people, the command is again repeated in Deuteronomy 5:16.
In ancient times, and even in some cultures today, deceased ancestors were honored. In Israel, the honor due to parents has a definitely covenant context and pertains to accepting and passing on the Torah, according to the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible. It was a passing down of their faith from generation to generation.
Jesus spoke of this commandment to the Pharisees in Matthew 15:4 , and again when He spoke of commandments that prohibit wrong actions and attitudes against others. He also mentioned it when speaking about those who will inherit the kingdom of God in Matthew 19:19, and Luke 18:10.
In Ephesians 6:2, Paul emphasizes honor your father and your mother as the first commandment with a promise: so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on earth.” When Paul wrote these words, the covenantal promise of occupying the land God had prepared for them had already come to pass. So, why would Paul repeat it? Why is it important for us, New Testament believers, to remember?
The entire Old Testament is the story of Jesus. The entire Bible points to Him, and we as His chosen and adopted people look forward to the promise of His return.
A Prayer To Honor Our Parents
Parenting is humbling. At times, we as parents feel helpless to our own faults. We know we wont get it right every time. There will be many times when our patience expires and our choices will not align with Your will. We ask for Your forgiveness, Father, for when we fall short as parents. Bless the generations that have gone before us, and the legacies and lessons they left for us to learn from. Help us to honor our parents and caregivers. Work a miracle in our hearts to forgive those who have mistreated, oppressed and abused us. We cant do that in our own power, God. Nor can we see each other as You see us. Adjust our perspective daily, to see and honor the people You have placed in our lives. Especially, our fathers and mothers. Forgive us for criticizing them, battling them, and dishonoring them with our words and behaviors. Help us to honor You, God, by how we honor them and each other. Praise You for making a way for us regardless of how far we fall short. Your love is leveling and there is power in Your name. May we call on You, always.
In Jesus Name,
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What Does Honoring Your Parents Mean
by Gary Hunt
I recently sent in a question about Honoring your father when he is not acting as a Christian. Please explain to me what the term Honor means biblically.
To start with, the Bible clearly teaches that one of the foundational principles by which we are to be guided is, we should honor our parents. This is stated in both testaments. Exod. 20:12, Eph. 6:1-4.
Before I get to your question, let me also say that parents have a responsibility to children to guide them in a godly manner and to provide for them what they need . Eph. 6:4, 1 Cor. 12:14, Mt. 7:7-12. Rather than abusing them, parents should love their children and do what is best for them. Although this is not always the case, it is the ideal set forth in Scripture.
Now, what does honor mean and imply as it is used in regard to our parents? And, are there limits on this honoring of parents? To answer this, notice the following:
1. To honor parents means we should obey them when we are under their authority. Exod. 20:12, Eph. 6:1. Without obedience, honor is just an empty concept. Along with proper respect, obedience must follow. Further, this obedience does not depend on whether parents always lead us in the right direction, but it is a matter that parents are entrusted with authority over children. To disobey is not only harmful to individual families, but also contributes to the downfall of society. Rom. 1:28-32.
For What Children Are Not Disciplined By Their Father
âEndure hardship as discipline God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?â
The writer of Hebrews encourages believers to treat our struggles against sin and difficult circumstances as discipline from our father. The passage goes on to suggest that while our earthly fathers discipline us to point us toward what they think is best, God disciplines us so that we may share in his holiness.
âMoreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.â âHebrews 12:9â11
Similar to the encouragement we see in James 1:2â4, this passage isnât suggesting that our hardships are in any way enjoyable or that Christians donât suffer through them. Rather, we can be encouraged by the knowledge that our trials are refining our faith and transforming us into better Christ followers.
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