Summary: God promises a special blessing for all children who honor their fathers and mothers.
To learn of the first ’duty’ that a godly child or young person is to perform, we want to go back in time to the occasion when Moses brought the children of Israel out of Egypt to a mountain called Sinai.
Exodus 19:17-18, 20, "And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. The LORD came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain; and the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up."
20:1-12, "Then God spoke all these words, saying, I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing loving-kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.
For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy. HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER."
What does it mean to "HONOR OUR FATHER AND MOTHER"?
I believe that the Scriptures teach that the way to ’honor’ our parents is to:
(1) Obey them,
(2) Respect them, and
(3) Never cause them pain.
Let’s look at these three points a bit closer:
1. OBEYING PARENTS.
In Ephesians 6:1, the Apostle Paul instruct the young people: "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right."
Can we only obey our parents partially or only sometimes? Paul answers that question in Colossians 3:20, "Children, BE OBEDIENT to your parents IN ALL THINGS, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord."
Yes, we must obey everything our parents tell us to do and not to do - even if it seems dumb, unfair, or unpleasant. (Of course, Paul is assuming that your parents would not ask you to do something that is contrary to God’s Will, nor stop you from performing your spiritual responsibilities to God.)
Paul further states that there is a beneficial reason why we should obey our Dads and Moms - 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), SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH."
Many young people find themselves in trouble because they were disobedient and rebellious towards their parents’ counsel and guidance. There are many adults who are facing terrible problems in life ... carrying much guilt, pain, and sorrow because they didn’t take heed to their parents’ instruction and discipline while they were young.
Proverbs 19:20, "Listen to counsel and accept discipline, that you may be wise the rest of your days." What is the value of being wise? Proverbs 15:24, "The path of life leads upward for the wise, that they may keep away from Sheol below."
2. RESPECTING OUR PARENTS.
Adults and parents are oddities to you young folk aren’t they ?! They seem to live in a different world. They seem to think strangely or, at least, differently. They often say peculiar things that sound dumb. They live weird lifestyles and like odd things. And, boy, they can get themselves in the most strange situations, sometimes!
You don’t fully understand them and you think that sometimes they surely don’t understand you.
But, you know, as you put on years and reach adulthood, you’ll find that you begin to understand where your parents were coming from. Until that comes about, however, we need to respect our parents - respect their ideas, their manner of life, their likes and dislikes, and their authority!