Momentary Obedience, Forever Honor

Tim Challies | 12/9/2016 | Staff
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We have looked at the sweet blessings God promises to those who heed the fifth commandment and we have looked at the terrible judgments he promises to those who do not. We have seen that children have a lifelong duty of honor toward their parents. But while we have learned why we ought to honor our parents, we have not yet considered how. Our question for today is this: How do we show honor to our parents, especially when we are adults? Today we will arrive at an early answer sufficient to begin to direct us. In a future article we will look for help from others to find specific, concrete ways we can extend honor.

In both descriptions of the Ten Commandments—those found in Exodus and Deuteronomy—, God commands children to “honor your father and your mother.” There is not a word about obedience. Yet when we read the applications of the commandment scattered throughout the Bible, we see obedience as a key component of the honor children owe their parents. This raises a question: Is obedience to parents permanent or is it temporary? Does honor always require obedience? If I want to honor my parents do I need to continue obeying them throughout my life? To answer these questions we need to examine honor and obedience, looking for what makes them similar and what distinguishes them.

Commandment - Commandment - Obey - Father - Mother

What the fifth commandment does not require is as important as what it does require. The fifth commandment is not “Obey your father and your mother.” Rather, it is “Honor your father and your mother.” Still, it is clear the Bible places a great deal of emphasis on children obeying parents. We encounter the language of obedience in many of the interpretations and applications of the fifth commandment. Yet as we dig deeper, we...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Tim Challies
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