Honor Your Father and Mother
Title: Honor Your Father and Mother
Reading for January 24: Exodus 19-21
Honor your father and your mother...
Have you ever noticed the placement of this command among the Ten Commandments?
The first half of the Ten Commandments relate to our relationship with God (no other gods before me, no graven images, don't blaspheme God's name, keep the Sabbath holy), and the second half focus on our fellow man (don't murder, steal, commit adultery, bear false witness, or covet what belongs to your neighbor).
The command to honor father and mother stands between these two parts. Why is it here? With which group does it belong? Or does it belong in a category by itself?
It seems that it does not belong to either of these categories, but instead relates to both groups equally. It relates to the vertical commands because we learn to respect God by respecting our parents. In the same way, we learn to honor others when we learn to honor our mother and father.
If we do not learn to submit to our parents, we're not going to submit ourselves to anything. A child-centered home (where every whim of the child is catered to, where temper tantrums are rewarded, where children must be bribed into obedience) only produces selfish, self-centered adults.
Parents, we need to take our jobs seriously (and especially fathers-see Eph 6:1-4). We're fighting for the hearts of our kids! We must win the battles early and often. We cannot give in or compromise. The cost of failure is too great for us to take this lightly.
Father, thank you for these precious gifts you've put into our care. Help us to give them a strong sense of authority in the home that they might learn to honor and respect you.