2015-02-15 - The Fifth Commandment
The Meaning of Honoring Parents
What does Honor really mean? Does honoring one's parents mean having them move in as it did with my grandfather? Or, is God talking about something else? Well first, we need to look at the context to understand what is expected.
This commandment is found on the Second Table of the Law, in that its primary focus is man-directed. We must be clear that though the balance of the Ten Commandments are man- focused, disobedience to them is first God-directed. We must absolutely understand all sin, no matter how “small,” is first against God - and only secondly, against men. We must recognize this, if we are to have a proper understanding of Sin. If we want to live a holy life, separated to God's standards and away from the world's, we must admit the seriousness of all sin.
This commandment is given not as a negative, that is: “You shall not dishonor your father and your mother.” Some act as if this is what is said, figuring that, “If I don't give my parents a bad time, then I'm okay.”
Instead, the command is given as a positive, “Honor your father and your mother …” We are commanded to honor our parents, again, not because they deserve it - but because they are our parents and God commands it. We obey in response to God, not the worthiness or our parents. I know, I keep coming back to this point, and most of us have good parents, so this isn't a problem - but, it is vital we understand all we do is to be God-motivated. We keep the commandments by loving God and others, not out of some kind of misplaced legalism.
This also means we can never be dependent on circumstances to help our obedience. We are to live in spite of conditions, not because of them. This is only possible by depending on the Holy Spirit - and the realization that our focus must only be on God.
To be continued.
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