Honor Your Father And Your Mother

The Bible’s Fifth Commandment

The Bible’s Fifth Commandment states: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which Yahweh your Elohim is giving you” (Exodus 20:12, Deuteronomy 5:16). Sadly, not all parents are honorable people. Still, we must honor our parents. Why do we have to honor our parents even as adults? How can we honor parents whose behavior is unworthy of admiration? How can we apply this commandment to them? Why do we also need to honor our grandparents? What is the primary focus of the Fifth Commandment? Today, we’re going to share with you the proper way we should conduct our lives as sons or daughters in order to honor our parents and grandparents. We will also share with you the role of parents and grandparents according to Bible. As always, we ask for the help and guidance of Yahweh’s Holy Spirit to discuss this important matter to all who are reading this. May you have eyes to see and ears to hear for this true and faithful heavenly message.

The Fifth Commandment of the Bible calls for children and also adults to honor their parents. Honoring one’s parents means more than obeying and respecting them during one’s youth. It also means expressing love for them in their latter years, whether through financial or other forms of help or simply being there for them and taking time out to show appreciation for them. The apostle Paul urged the youth of the church in Ephesus to obey the Fifth Commandment when he said “Children, obey your parents in the Master, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” (Ephesians 6:1-3). The importance of this commandment is seen in the penalty for striking or cursing one’s parents. “Anyone who strikes or curses his father or his mother shall be put to death” (Exodus 21:15,17). Again, this warning is reinforced in Deuteronomy 21:18-21 for people to take notice. Honoring parents does not mean following their unholy ways. It means rather respecting them as parents and recognizing the legitimacy of their parental authority. In fact, a person may honor his parents through refusing to follow them in unholy behavior. In so doing, he or she is honoring his spiritual Father (Yahweh) and setting a proper example for his or her parents. Learning to obey this commandment helps children establish a lifetime pattern of respecting proper rules, principles and laws. Honoring parents and grandparents should be a normal, natural habit learned during youth.

The Fifth Commandment also calls on parents to conduct themselves honorably. Respectable, law-abiding parents are more likely to produce law-abiding children, and parents who live lawlessly are more likely to produce lawless children. Righteousness begets righteousness. Iniquity begets iniquity. Yahweh expected parents to teach His commandments to their children (Deuteronomy 6:7; 11:19; 32:46) and tell them of the wonderful works He did for the people of Israel when He delivered them from Egypt (Exodus 12:26-27; 13:8, 14-15; Deuteronomy 4:9-10). Such teaching is reinforced in an environment of love and respect, where disciplinary measures are guided by love, not anger. Yahweh’s instructions to parents states “You shall love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:5-7). “Fathers , do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up to the discipline and instruction of Yahweh” (Ephesians 6:1-4). Parents have no legitimate authority to teach their children to disobey Yahweh. Parents should help their children resolve problems using biblical principles and do them as thoroughly and accurately as possible (Deuteronomy 6:20-21). Parents need to teach their children to rely on Yahweh’s judgment instead of trusting their own emotions, whims and desires. Parents need to carefully combine a firm insistence that their children obey the full rules of courtesy and respect with an abundance of patience and gentleness. This loving combination is the missing link in child rearing. Blessings to parents and children who honor and obey Yahweh!

The Bible’s book of Proverbs is filled with helpful advice for parents and children. A father who loves his son “is diligent to discipline him” (Proverbs 13:24). “A wise son makes a glad father” and “hears his father’s instruction” (Proverbs 10:1; 13:1). The “father’s instruction” and “mother’s teaching” are a “graceful garland” for a son’s head and “pendants” for his neck (Proverbs 1:8-9), strengthening him against the enticements of the wicked. The path of wisdom is the path established by Yahweh’s holy law. The best time to begin the journey along that path is in childhood, with the help of loving, Yahweh-fearing parents. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Our world would be vastly different if every child learned to honor his or her parents and if every parent sought to instill holy principles in his or her children. Respect for legitimate authority and the rule of law would go up, and the soaring crime rate that plagues our cities and the nation would dramatically drop. Children who are taught to esteem their parents are better equipped to learn to love and honor the Almighty Father (Yahweh) of humankind and develop wholesome relationships with other human beings. They learn a proper respect for human life, for the property, privileges, and the rights of others.

Honoring our parents doesn’t cease when we become adults. It is a lifetime commitment. We should still respect their wisdom, consult with them and welcome their continued involvement in our lives—spending time with them and doing our best to keep in touch with them. As they get older, our honoring of them may include physically caring for them and, as necessary, helping to financially support them. Also, we and our children should be sure we do not neglect honoring our grandparents. They have contributed significantly to our lives, and most grandparents cherish their grandchildren. We should find opportunities to spend time listening to and asking questions of our grandparents. Conversations with them are like treasures because they help us better understand and appreciate our origins. Most grandparents love their grandchildren and want them to show an interest in them. Kids who honor and love their grandparents broaden their understanding of people and life.

Furthermore, how do we treat our parents or grandparents who are difficult to honor? We have to continue to respect our parents or grandparents who have mistreated us or whose example we cannot respect. We should harbor no hate or malice toward them. We may strongly disapprove of their way of life. We may disdain their sinful behavior. But we must not despise them as persons. That is where Yahweh has drawn the line for us, and we are blessed when we stay on the right side of the line. We should refrain from derogatory remarks and treat them with courtesy and respect. We should pray that Yahweh will help them understand the error of their ways so they can be reconciled to Him and through Him eventually with us. We should conduct our lives in a way that honors them through the example we set as their sons and daughters. Our own proper behavior can bring them honor they have never personally earned. And yes, we all have to learn to respect others while we’re still children, and that is the primary focus of the Fifth Commandment. This commandment is also the first commandment of our Father in heaven Yahweh with a promise of a well and long life to those people who obey it (Ephesians 6:2-3).

Yahshua the Messiah clearly upheld the Fifth Commandment as a “Commandment of Yahweh” and part of the “Word of Elohim.” His strong condemnation of rejecting this commandment in favor of a man- made tradition connotes the timeless nature of the commandments of the Decalogue. Just as it was a sin to dishonor one’s parents in the time of Yahshua, it’s a sin to dishonor one’s parents today. Yahshua criticized those in His day who neglected making appropriate provisions for the care of their elderly parents. He said, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of Yahweh in order to observe your own traditions! For Moses said, “Honor your father and your mother, and, Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.” But you say that if a man says to his father or mother: “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban (that is, given to Yahweh)—then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of Yahweh by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do” (Mark 7:9-13). This Commandment from Bible is essential to family stability. Click here to read more biblical precepts related to children and parents.

In closing, the Bible’s Fifth Commandment serve as the standard of conduct in areas of human behavior that generate the most far reaching consequences on individuals, families, groups and society. This commandment sets the tone for the last six of the Ten Commandments. It addresses the importance of our learning to treat each other with respect and honor. Notice how the Father in heaven Yahweh challenged the spiritual leaders of ancient Israel: “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am the Father, where is My honor? And if I am a Master, where is My reverence?” (Malachi 1:6). Yahweh places the primary responsibility for teaching children the basic principles of life directly on the shoulders of parents. The ability of fathers and mothers to succeed in this responsibility depends significantly on how much they, in turn, submit to Almighty Yahweh’s instruction and teaching and show love and respect for Him. After all, Creator Yahweh is our ultimate Parent and the Father of us all. The universal application of this important biblical truth is plain and simple. We read: “Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear Yahweh. Honor the King” (1 Peter 2:17). And it all begins with the respect and honor we show our parents! May Yahweh bless the hearers, especially the doers of His Word. We humbly pray this to Almighty Yahweh in the name of Savior Yahshua our Master and King, Amen. Halleluyah and Shalom!


16 thoughts on “The Bible’s Fifth Commandment

  1. I never reflected on the fifth commandment tbh, i mean i’ve always respected my parents but not for religious reasons. Thanks a lot for sharing, love the perspective.

  2. The Bible always emphasizes the need to honour or respect our parents, obey rulers, authority, keep laws and regulations. Because if we can’t do this much for the parents we can see, the people we can see, how do we respect our Father in heaven who we can’t see?

  3. It is nice to be reminded of the commandments. I always try to remember the fruits of the spirit but I need to take mental note of these as well and refresh myself.

  4. This fifth commandment is a huge bone of contention for me because it is not often followed. I see so many people who have no regard for their parents, much less honoring them. They speak about them negatively and see them as burdens. As someone who lives in another country than the one my parents do, I wish I could see and be with them much now that they are aging. Thank you as always for helping to guide up to live as He intends.

  5. I”m not super knowledgeable about the Bible so I really appreciate your down to earth interpretations and explanations about pieces of it, in this case a commandment. Thank you for sharing!

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