Thursday, March 12, 2009

Exhortation-Fifth Commandment

Exodus 20:12 Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee.

This commandment has far reaching implications. I believe that sinning against God in this way is the fountainhead of a multitude of other sins. The sins of the entire second table of the law flow from the failure to honor father and mother.

If we honor our father and mother, then we will not kill, commit adultery, steal, perjure, or covet. Children, and you are all children, you need to do what your parents would have you do. Of course, that is not universal or absolute. Some of your parents might teach you to covet wealth or power or worldliness. But that is the exception in Christian homes, rather than the rule. Every godly Christian parent wants his children to be moral, godly and industrious. So, children, heed God and heed your parents. Or, shall I say, obey God by obeying your parents.

If you submit yourselves to your parents, and desire to please them with honor, you will also be honoring God and your neighbor. If you refuse to honor your parents, it will be impossible for you to honor God and therefore impossible for you to honor your neighbor. And I think it fits to simply replace love for the word honor here. You cannot love God without loving your parents. You cannot love your neighbor without loving God. You cannot love your neighbor without loving your parents.

For you adult children, this may look a little different. Giving honor may not mean strictly obeying them. You have now established your own households. It is okay that you go to a different church and believe some different doctrines and practices. But those doctrines and practices should be fully consistent with honoring your parents. So, do not use your different views as a means to dishonor them. If you think you have a deeper faith and better practices, then that faith and practice should produce more honor, not less. If you are unable to honor your parents, then your understanding of your faith and practice is dramatically misplaced. Confession and repentance are in order.

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