Sunday, February 4, 2024

Parental Honor: Comply

By Clifton Angel

    God created the family unit. As the Creator, He knows what is best for every family. Every family would do well to heed God’s direction for family life. One such direction is: “Honor thy father and thy mother.”
    This charge was first recorded in the decalogue of Moses. “Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee” (Exodus 20:12). After forty years of wilderness wanderings, Moses rehearsed God’s law to the second generation of redeemed Israelites. “Honor thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee” (Deuteronomy 5:16).
    Despite the hesitancy many have in the religious world, Christians are not bound by the law of Moses, including “The Ten Commandments.” Jesus fulfilled (cf. Matthew 5:17), abolished (cf. Ephesians 2:15), and crucified (cf. Colossians 2:14) the law of Moses. Does this relieve Christians from the charge of parental honor? God forbid. Many principles and commands found in the law of Moses can also be found in the law of Christ. In fact, the apostle Paul, in a series of directed commands, wrote to the church at Ephesus, “Honor thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth” (Ephesians 6:2–3). Therefore, Christians also are bound with the charge of parental honor like the Israelites. What is included in keeping the Christian command, “Honor thy father and mother”? We will summarize parental honor with four thoughts: Comply, Credit, Commend, and Care.
    Comply. When Paul penned to the Ephesian church, “Honor thy father and mother,” he preceded the command with these words: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1). Honoring parents begins in childhood. It begins with submitting to them, listening to them, and learning from them. Inseparable from the charge for children to be obedient to their parents is the charge for parents to rear their children in the Lord: “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Such rearing requires training, teaching, presence, support, and discipline, all in the Lord. Honoring parents begins in childhood, and all children would do well to learn to obey their parents, in the Lord. The Proverbs writer vividly reveals the gravity of children being disobedient to parents: “The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it” (Proverbs 30:17; cf. “disobedient to parents,” Romans 1:18–32).

- Clifton Angel preaches for the Coldwater Church of Christ in Coldwater, MS. He may be contacted through that congregation's website:

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