Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. (Exodus 20:8-12)
Our parents were the first ones to love us, the first ones to teach us about Jesus, and the first ones to teach us about what it means to worship God. They kept the Ten Commandments while we were watching them with a child’s eyes.
Yet before our parents loved us, God loved us. The fourth commandment reminds us of this, and also that we must love our parents and obey our parents as we love and obey God. We can understand all notions of fatherhood and parenthood from what God tells us about his Father in heaven.
It is important to see the relationship between the commandment to obey the Sabbath and the commandment to honor our father and mother. “Even as the third commandment tells us that we must live in time as a gift, rather than as an arena of our achievements and assertions, so the fourth commandment commands us to live as those who know their very being is a gift. Our lives are not self-derived. The self-made man or woman is a lie.” (Hauerwas & Willimon, page 69)
Here are thoughts from the women of Grace Chapel on what it means to honor our parents: show them respect, be dutiful in taking care of them, respect them and love them even if you don’t agree with them, obey them always as long as it doesn’t go against the word of God, submit to them as an act of humility, pray for the will of God to be active in their lives, remember their authority over you, love them because they are the parents God gave you.
For Week 6, please read Chapter 5 on the Fifth Commandment. Following are discussion questions to prepare you for our next meeting:
- Why did God give us this commandment?
- How does anger fit into this commandment?
- Is this a simple commandment? Why or why not?
- How can you be guilty of breaking this commandment without killing a person?
- What is the key to keeping this commandment?
- Does this commandment relate to suicide? War?