The words of the fifth commandment of God’s Law is familiar to many: “Honour thy father and thy mother”. This commandment occupies a special position in Law.
The preceding four commandments speak of the relationship with God, and beginning with the fifth commandment, God’s Law refers to the theme of relations between people.
Establishing by Law the principles of right relationship to His people, the Lord begins not with the question of how government should guide citizens on how employers should treat their workers or how a businessman should do business with others. God begins right from the core of human society – home, because human life begins in the family, and it is here that lays the basis of all social relations.
Responsibility to the parents is the most important duty of man. From how he treats her depends on how it will build its relations in other spheres of its activities. If the child obeys the parents, he will respect you and your boss, if he’s honest with his father and mother, he will be in a business relationship.
Why God attached such importance to the relations of children to parents? Very interesting is the explanation that is given in the second part of the commandment: “that thy days in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” God promises longevity, and He gives life the earth and all the blessings to those who honor their parents. The good God gives, and we need to honor parents. It is the will of God.
Through respect to our parents we learn to honor God Himself. In the earliest years of life, before we become independent and begin to understand this world, our parents play for us the role of God. They give life, care, provide what we need. Our first steps to obedience to God was made, when we learn to love and obey our father and mother. Thus, to revere the Heavenly Father, we must learn to honor our earthly father and mother.
People with a good heart and conscience to respect their parents, not even knowing about the existence of God’s Law. However, the measure of respect among everyone. Therefore, the measure should be the commandment of the Lord. The verb “to read” implies not blind obedience not forced obedience, but respect and love. In the original the word has a connotation that implies caring. And notice, God does not make reservations when the commandment is valid and when not. Respect for parents doesn’t depend on circumstances.
Someone can say that in our time this commandment is not relevant. It’s early addiction of children from parents was very strong. Parents chose a wife for his son, children will inherit the faith of their fathers, they are also the children were transferred and skills were passed on land and property. Further, the children had to take care of their elderly parents. This mutual dependence involves the responsibility of the stronger over the weaker – first, parents for children and children for parents.
In modern conditions care of old age often takes on society. The usual steel companies, which in biblical times did not exist, – pension funds, medical institutions, nursing homes. Thus, the commandment of honoring that parents today are rethinking. But no concern of the state is no substitute for parents loving heart of a son or daughter and does not negate the duties assigned to children.
The humane society estimated the ratio to the sick and elderly. Our society is becoming inhuman, rejecting the provisions of God and preferring a strong, healthy and young. In such a society, as people age, they become unnecessary. So we have another meaning of the commandment – God acts as the protector of the weak.
In front of the children, acquired faith, life often raises questions: how to fulfill the commandment of honoring, if parents are drunkards, drug addicts, if they are degraded morally and physically? What behavior is correct in this situation?
Children from disadvantaged families have reason to despise their parents, but they, like believers much more reason to love them! In this case we should remember the attitude of God to us. “For Christ, when we were yet without strength, in due time died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man, though for a benefactor, maybe someone would even dare to die. But God, in His love for us sinners that Christ died for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:6-8). Showing such love for us, God tells us: “Love your enemies”, and especially the parents who gave us life. After receiving a life, we had the opportunity to know the love of God: “Forget the woman sucking child that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? But if she forget, I will not forget thee” (Isaiah 49:15).