“Honor your Father and your Mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12 ESV
Why and How to Honor Father and Mother
God has commanded that we are to honor our parents with no exception clause.
Exodus 20:12 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Ten Commandments
…12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”
Honoring our Fathers and Mothers means more than just being obedient and respectful. It also means loving them freely. We need to remember that, like us, they are not perfect. While we are learning to be good children, they are learning to be good Fathers and Mothers.
Culture of Rebellion
When we idolize something, we’ll demonize it eventually. And what we have done is idolized youth and we’ve demonized old age. We have idolized rebellion, and as a result, we demonize honor, and that’s the culture in which we live.”
According to the Bible, this is the essence of all our trouble. “We separate ourselves from our earthly Father and Mother… to our own destruction and demise because when we choose to sin, we choose to suffer.”
Honor who? “Well, the Father’s listed first. The Father is the head of the household… The father bears particular responsibility in the sight of God. And Mother. Mother is alongside of Father, working with him. Like a right hand, and a left hand, mom and dad are to be working together to love and lead the family.”
To Honor means to Respect, to defer, to submit. “It means to have Love, Appreciation, Affection towards them. Honor is something that begins internally, and then it manifests itself externally. As you have Honor in your Heart, it comes out in your words.”
As a noun, honor in the Bible means “esteem, value, or great respect.” To honor someone is to value him highly or bestow value upon him. The Bible exhorts us to express honor and esteem toward certain people: our parents, the aged, and those in authority (Ephesians 6:2; Leviticus 19:32; Romans 13:1).
Ephesians 6:2 English Standard Version (ESV)
2”Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise),
Leviticus 19:32 English Standard Version (ESV)
32 “You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.
Romans 13:1 English Standard Version (ESV)
Submission to the Authorities
13 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
Respect and Honor their spouse in front of the children. “This doesn’t mean that moms and dads can’t have conflict and disagreement. It means that when they have conflict, they either deal with it privately, and sometimes, when they deal with it in front of the children, they deal with it Honorably, Respectfully and Responsibly.”
Matthew 6:12-15 English Standard Version (ESV)
…12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Psalm 130:4 New International Version (NIV)
4 But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
Exodus 34:6-7 English Standard Version (ESV)
6…“The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”
Deuteronomy 5:8-10 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Ten Commandments
8’’’You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 9 You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
1. The sins of the fathers are punished in the children through becoming the sins of the children.
I the Lord…visit the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” (Exodus 20:5; cf. Numbers 14:18)
The generations to come who experience the penalty of the fathers’ sins are those who hate God. We are not told how the fathers’ sins become the children’s sins. But what we are told is that when the father’s sins are visited on the children it is because the children are really sinful. That is the form in which the fathers’ sins are visited. Therefore, all judgment is really deserved by the person who is punished.
2. Because of God’s grace, which is finally secured by Christ, the children can confess their own sins and the sins of their fathers and be forgiven and accepted by God.
But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers…if then their uncircumcised heart is humbled and they make amends for their iniquity, then I will remember my covenant with Jacob” (Leviticus 26:40-42).
The precious words of Exodus 34:6-7 are not nullified by the generational migration of sin.
The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin. John Piper (@JohnPiper)
1 John 4:7-8 English Standard Version (ESV)
Love Is From God
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.