5th Commandment: Honor Your Father and Mother 1920x1080 Article Image

5th Commandment: Honor Your Father and Mother

This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, Has the Nuclear Family Bombed?.

Exodus 20:12

This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, Has the Nuclear Family Bombed?.

People say, “These Christians try to cram their values down other peoples’ throats.” But who is it that has tried to redefine when life begins? Who is it that is deciding who lives, and who dies; when you can pray, and when you can’t?

The culture is trying to remake society in its own image, and it is time God’s people said, “Enough.” God gave us families for a reason.

What Is the Fifth Commandment?

Exodus 20:12
Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.

Help Your Children Obey the Command to “Honor Your Parents”

We’re going to focus here on being the kind of fathers and mothers that children can honor. All children ought to honor their parents, but how much better it is when we live honorable lives before them!

Now—you are not perfect, and your children are not perfect. Also, you cannot guarantee the way your children will turn out. Proverbs 22:6 is a proverb, not a promise. A proverb is a general principle which, generally applied, brings a general result. God gave your children each a will. You can’t control their wills, but you can control you, by God’s grace.

Your children don’t want to know that you are perfect; they want to know that you are genuine. By watching you handle your failures and problems, they will learn far more than they would learn from phony perfectionism.

The Bible says to each of us, “Honor your father and mother.” How do we live in such a way that our children can give us honor?

Encourage the 5th Commandment: Love Your Children

Love is not giving your children what they want, but what they need. What does a child need?

Hug Your Children

Even your grown children. When the prodigal son came home—a grown man who had been away in riotous living—“when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him” (Luke 15:20b). Jesus said this with approval. That is what fathers are supposed to do.

How do you keep your children from growing up to be sexually impure? Hug them often. Hollywood has given the idea that the only way to get hugs is through sexual intimacy. Parents, you hug them often, affectionately, and playfully—even when that teenage boy acts like he doesn’t want you to (he does). And let them see their parents hugging one another, too.

Bless Your Children

The Bible teaches that we have an awesome weapon called blessing. Few things in life give your children more peace and confidence. Imagine what it does to a child, when a dad just picks a son or daughter up in his arms, and says, “In the name of Jesus, my child, I bless you.” (Read Numbers 6:23-26.) They will never forget it.

Comfort Your Children

Little children hurt. Don’t ever laugh at their pain—when the doll is broken, or the lizard dies. Their pain in their world is just as real as yours. Give comfort, pick them up, and say, “I understand, and I hope it will feel better later.” Kiss away their tears—even with your grown children.

Listen to Your Children

We think we listen. But how many times do we let them get a full sentence out before we begin to tell them, “Here’s what you need to do…” One of the finest forms of communication is saying nothing.

If you have teenagers, wait until the right time. When they start talking, let ‘em talk, especially if they have a problem.

They need to know that Mom and Dad love them, regardless. Give your kids time to go through all these different stages.

Pray for Your Children

Pray for them, and pray for them some more. Get on your knees, and pray for every one of your children and grandchildren by name. The most loving thing you can do is to call your children before the throne of grace in prayers.

Encourage the 5th Commandment: Lift Up Your Children

Colossians 3:20-21
Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

Wise encouragement is better than lavish praise. Catch them doing something right! Let them know through your encouragement that you believe in them. There is a vast difference between encouragement and praise, and children need encouragement.

Praise says, “You are great because you did something.”

“Straight A’s—that’s wonderful! You’re brilliant, and a hard worker.”

“I’m so proud of you—look how clean your room is!”

There is nothing wrong with this, but it says to the child, “I get approval when I do good. But when my performance is bad, my acceptance goes down, and my self-image goes down with it.”

But encouragement is twice as strong. Encouragement values a child not primarily for what the child achieved, but for who the child is. Encouragement is saying, “You can do it. I’m so grateful for you.”

Encourage the 5th Commandment: Limit Your Children

It takes firm restrictions to set children free. When God put Adam and Eve in Eden, He gave them all that they needed, but He also gave them limits.

God said about Eli the priest, “I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them” (1 Samuel 3:13).

The limits and restrictions that you give your children will be tested over and over again. A child will push against them, and if they move, that child will have no security. To the child, no limitations implies rejection. If you don’t conquer your child’s will, somebody else will.

“Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?” (Proverbs 6:27) You need firm, reasonable limits in your home. “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3) That is why we have the Ten Commandments of God.

Encourage the 5th Commandment: Lead Your Children

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Parents, to teach without training is to fail.

What do you want your children to be? Today, the emphasis is on sports, grades, physical health, and popularity, but not on character.

How about these words? Contentment, courage, courtesy, discernment, fairness, friendliness, generosity, gentleness, helpfulness, honesty, humility, kindness, obedience, orderliness, patience, persistence, self-control, tactfulness, thankfulness, thriftiness, wisdom.

Mom and Dad, it needs to be you who is teaching these things. Learn to compliment character more than talent.

Encourage the 5th Commandment: Laugh With Your Children

Let your home be filled with joy. Lighten up. The Bible has so many wonderful things to say about a merry heart.

Did you know that humans are the only creatures of God who can laugh, and weep, and blush? God made us in His image, and God has given us the gift of laughter.

“Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh” (Luke 6:21b). Jesus is saying here that laughter is a blessing.

Let your children see you laugh—at yourself, and at your mistakes. Here’s the principle: serious situations call for laughter. Let your kids see you laugh in time of trouble, because it means that God is over it all.

List of Scriptures Referenced in this Article

Exodus 20:12; Proverbs 6:27, 22:6; Luke 6:21, 15:20; Numbers 6:23-26; Colossians 3:20-21; 1 Samuel 3:13; Psalm 11:3

More Bible Verses About the Fifth Commandment

Deuteronomy 5:16
Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
Romans 13:7
Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.
Ephesians 6:1-3
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
Proverbs 30:17
The eye that mocks his father, and scorns obedience to his mother, the ravens of the valley will pick it out, and the young eagles will eat it.
Mark 7:9-13
[Jesus] said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban”—’ (that is, a gift to God), then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.” (Word in brackets added.)