Honor Thy Father

"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).

The secularists in our society, whose influence is growing and will prove deadly if it continues to grow, have been trying to get God's Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17) purged from public life and recognition, although all sound historians and jurists know that they are the very foundation of our American legal system.

The two "tables" of the Law deal first with our responsibilities under God (the first four commandments) and then to our fellow man (the other six). Of the latter, the first stresses the vital importance of parents in the life of each generation of young people. Not only was this commandment placed ahead of those against murder, adultery, and robbery, but it was the only one specifically promising blessing for obedience, "that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee" (Exodus 20:12).

Today there often seems to be a serious "generation gap" between the interests and standards of parents and their children, even among Christian families, and this is a tragedy. "Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord" (Colossians 3:20). The Greek word here for "children" can and does apply to children of any age.

Fathers also have a great responsibility. They are commanded to see that their instructions are soundly Biblical and spiritually motivated. "Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged" (Colossians 3:21). ". . . bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). Then it can indeed come to pass that "the glory of children are their fathers" (Proverbs 17:6). HMM

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