Living Lessons: Seeking Stable Society through honoring Mom & Dad
by: Christopher Wiles with contributions from Dan Williams
Our responsibility to honor our parents is written into the fabric of the Bible. It is the fifth commandment in the Ten Commandments – this is the way it's meant to be! The first four deal with our relationship with God, while the last six outline our responsibilities to others, our social obligations. First on the list of the relationship commands: our obligation to our parents! This is basic; but it's also beneficial! Notice the BENEFIT to honoring Mom & Dad in the command and the following verses: "so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you." (Exodus 20:12)
- · Deuteronomy 5:16 “… so that you may live long and that it may go well with YOU in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”
- · Proverbs 4:10 "Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many.”
- · Ephesians 6:1-3 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother - which is the first commandment with a promise - that it may go well with you that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
God clearly wants us to understand that to be good to our parents is to be good to ourselves. But why? Why does honoring THEM mean a good life for US? The parent/child relationship is a fundamental building block of society, basic to life, what makes the world function. The command to "honor your parents" gives order and stability to life. Just remember the Sunday school teacher that asked her students, “Is there a command that teaches you how to act towards your parents?” The class responded in unison: “Honor your father and your mother!” Then the teacher asked, “Is there a command that teaches you how to act toward your brother?” The group was stumped for a few moments, until one little fellow called out: “Thou shalt not kill!”
Every nation is made up of families. When the family crumbles, the nation will collapse! This commandment was taken seriously in ancient Israel – they practiced the death penalty for its violation! (Ex 21:17, Lev 20:9). A rebellious son was a community concern. (Deut 21:18-21)
Our problems today with juvenile crime, delinquency, vandalism, illegitimacy, etc. are not primarily due to racism, education, or environment – they are primarily family problems. When the family is functioning as it should then society will be stable. The command to honor our parents is fundamental; part of the "glue" that holds the world together. "There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents...." (Timothy 3:1-2). Failure to honor Mom and Dad is even part of the terrible times in the Last Days. To honor our parents is to make society itself stable.
So honor your parents on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, the world depends on it.