© Copyright 2018 John Foll
"Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.” Exodus 20:12 NASB.
This is the first article in our new series on the 10 Commandments. We are presenting this series because the Holy Spirit is given to those who obey God, Acts 5:32, and we want to help as many people as possible to learn to love and obey Him. We want as many people as possible to know the joy of their salvation. There is no reason for anyone to barely eke out a spiritual existence or be dying spiritually. You can have wonderful peace, and have the richest blessings of your life, when you learn to fall in love with God! There is no reason for you to starve, when you can have the bread of life and the water of life that God is offering to you freely! Those who have not given themselves completely to God yet are missing out on the very best things in life: wonderful peace, love, joy, faith and hope; they are missing out on the joys of knowing and loving God, which can only be had when they give into Him all the way, and are flooded with His love!
Those who do not think that they need to keep God’s commandments, which is to love Him all the way, and love their neighbor as themselves have not discovered the fountain of love and joy yet. They are unable to know real love, until they have truly gotten to know God, who is the source of love. 1 John 4:8. Until they have gotten to know Him, and learned to obey Him, they cannot have received the Holy Spirit in full, because the Holy Spirit is only given to those who obey Him. Acts 5:32. Therefore it is imperative that we present articles on each of the 10 Commandments, God’s Law of Love, so that you know what He expects from you, so that you can receive the Holy Spirit for yourself. When you study the true meaning of the 10 Commandments and how to keep them, you are really learning what it means to love!
Do you love Jesus and His Father more than anyone and anything else? Then obey Them! Pray that you will have the continued desire and the power to obey Them; you will never regret it, we promise you! This is the key to eternal peace, eternal joy, eternal love, and eternal life! This is the key to everything good in this life and the life to come! We long for all who read this article and all of our other articles to know this sweetest peace, love and joy of receiving the full power of the Holy Spirit in their lives! Dear Reader, you can have and know this sweetest joy! We want you to know that if you love God, and want to obey Him, that He will give you this greatest blessing! So we will continue to write on this subject, and other like subjects of ‘How to Please God’ for as long as we are able to and draw breath, by God’s wonderful grace, so that all may have a closer walk with Him and gain this everlasting joy for themselves, to know God and be filled with the Holy Spirit! Amen. Pay close attention to God’s messages to you here.
Love Your Father and Your Mother, and God’s Law of Love:
The Bible says in 1 John 4:8 that ‘God is love’. We cannot comprehend His love, it is beyond our ability to take it all in. But God has given us rules to live by that will help us to know love; they will help us to know how we should behave towards Him and others. These are all based on love. The Fifth Commandment: Honor your father and your mother is no exception. Since God is love, it is without question that He is pleased when you love your father and your mother and seek to honor them. Those who wish to receive the Holy Spirit in full, will honor their father and their mother, by God’s grace, and they will love and cherish them. It is not possible to get to know God and not love your parents. If you love them, you will not ignore their wishes for you, but will honor them and give heed to their wise counsel; you will listen to what they say.
David and Solomon’s Counsel to their Sons:
In Proverbs King Solomon gives the story of his father, King David, instructing him to obey him and seek after wisdom:
“Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father, and give attention that you may gain understanding, for I give you sound teaching; do not abandon my instruction. When I was a son to my father, tender and the only son in the sight of my mother, then he taught me and said to me, ‘Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments and live; acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding! Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will guard you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom; and with all your acquiring, get understanding. Prize her, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. She will place on your head a garland of grace; she will present you with a crown of beauty.’ Hear, my son, and accept my sayings and the years of your life will be many. I have directed you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in upright paths. When you walk, your steps will not be impeded; and if you run, you will not stumble. Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life.” Proverbs 4:1-13 NASB.
What wonderful instruction King David gave to his young son Solomon of the path of life! What wonderful instruction this is for us too! He was instructing Solomon to listen to all of his words, and gain wisdom and instruction. David said that if his son would seek out wisdom and understanding, and would prize it, that it would be a garland of grace on his head, and would give him a crown of beauty. Is that what you want dear reader? A garland of grace, and a crown of beauty? Then prize your parent’s instruction and teachings, and seek after it, in as far as it follows the Bible. Seek to bring honor to your parents, or to their memory if they have passed, not shame. It is the way God wants you to treat them. If you have God’s love in your heart this is the way you will be.
In like manner as David instructed his son Solomon in Proverbs, Solomon also instructed his son too: “Hear, my son, your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching; indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head and ornaments about your neck. My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.” Proverbs 1:8-10 NASB. Isn’t this what every good parent should tell their son or daughter? ‘My son or daughter, if sinners entice you, do not consent!’ This is wonderful counsel!
“My son, keep my words and treasure my commandments within you. Keep my commandments and live, and my teaching as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, "You are my sister," And call understanding your intimate friend; that they may keep you from an adulteress, from the foreigner who flatters with her words.” Proverbs 7:1-5 NASB. Solomon also writes that “A wise son accepts his father's discipline, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.” Proverbs 13:1 NASB. So there you have it: the wise person accepts their father’s discipline, but the scoffer does not listen to rebuke. The scoffer doesn’t believe in God either and does not believe in His word – the Bible, and does their own thing. Where or when do they learn to scoff at God? It most likely starts with them not listening to their father or mother, or when they will not accept their discipline.
Listen to David’s counsel to Solomon when he was turning over his kingdom to him:
“Now, my son, the LORD be with you that you may be successful, and build the house of the LORD your God just as He has spoken concerning you. Only the LORD give you discretion and understanding, and give you charge over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the LORD your God. Then you will prosper, if you are careful to observe the statutes and the ordinances which the LORD commanded Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and courageous, do not fear nor be dismayed.” 1 Chronicles 22:11-13 NASB.
David was speaking to Solomon his son regarding the temple of God that his son was to build. David’s counsel to Solomon describes Solomon’s course in his early rein, but unfortunately Solomon stopped following his father’s advice, and his offspring and the children of Israel paid for it dearly! After Solomon’s death the children of Israel were split up into two different nations, never to totally reunite again! And the idolatry that Solomon brought in, or that his foreign wives brought in caused Israel to sin greatly against God. Oh that Solomon had listened to his father’s advice, and to the advice that he gave to his own son! (Most likely Rehoboam.) Read the books of Kings and Chronicles for this sad account, of the mess started by King Solomon after he departed from the charge his father gave him, that God had given through Moses. Solomon repented from this, but it was too late to stop all the damage and lost souls that accrued because of it. There is a very heavy price to pay for disobeying your parents and God. No happiness ever comes from it, only misery and destruction. So we see here that following your parents’ counsel is important! Look at what happened to Solomon’s offspring and the children of Israel because he didn’t keep following his father’s counsel!
Jesus and Honoring Your Father and Your Mother:
What does Jesus have to say regarding honoring your father and your mother? “And He said to them, "Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. 'BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.' "Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men." He was also saying to them, "You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition. For Moses said, 'HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER'; and, 'HE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER, IS TO BE PUT TO DEATH'; but you say, 'If a man says to his father or his mother, whatever I have that would help you is Corban (that is to say, given to God),' you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother; thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that."” Mark 7:6-13 NASB. Where have we seen this before? People try to say that we don’t have to keep God’s Law anymore, because we are under grace. Yes, even in our day there are “scribes and Pharisees” who are expert at setting aside the Law of God. But they have no authority from Him to do this!
Many people today are ‘expert’ at setting aside the Law of God, just like some of the Scribes and Pharisees were in Jesus’ day in their hypocrisy. It is not a good thing to set aside the commandment of God for tradition or for any other reason! The modern world tries to teach us that we can do as we please, if it feels good do it, and that we don’t need to obey our parents. But this is not a good thing! Could it be that those who are teaching rebellion against God, rebelled against their own parents too? Or maybe there has been a rebellion going on for many generations, of children against their parents, and parent’s against their parents? Could this be one of the major problems or sins in our society? Disobeying parents? We think it is.
Obey Your Parents:
The apostle Paul writes, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise), SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH.” Ephesians 6:1-3 NASB. Paul says that this is the first commandment with a promise. What promise? Long life, i.e. eternal life. What does honoring your father and mother have to do with eternal life? It has everything to do with it! If you wish to live forever, honor your father and mother, treat them with kindness and respect, and ask God to forgive you when you’ve missed the mark. Why is this? Because your parents are there to teach you about God and how to live. They act as your guardians until you get older. People who are disrespectful to their parents are usually disrespectful to God. Those who disobey their parents usually disobey God as well. Good parents want what’s best for their children and seek for their good, though they may have trouble showing it sometimes, and they may lose their temper with their children, or not do everything the right way from time-to-time. You are only to obey your father and mother ‘in the Lord,’ in as much as they instruct you according to the Bible, as Paul says above. If they tell you something contrary to God’s word in the Bible, you are not to do it, but you are to still love and respect them.
Where would we be without our parents? We would not exist. We exist because God created our first parents Adam and Eve, and commanded them to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. Genesis 1:27-28. And so it happens generation after generation, father and mother to son and daughter – they bequeath life to their children, giving them a chance to get to know God, have love, peace, joy and happiness, and a chance to have eternal life. So not only should we be grateful to God for our life and happiness, love, joy and peace, but to our earthly parents for bringing us into this world, and giving us this chance too! Parents take part in God’s creation when they have children. This is God’s plan. He created man and woman to be companions of each other, to share their love with each other and with the children He gave them. And the children in turn to their children and so on. This tells us a lot about our Heavenly Father doesn’t it? He is very kind, loving, and giving! He allows us to take part in His creation, to train up our children if we are parents, to teach them about Him and the way to eternal life. He knows just what we need, and has provided for all of our needs. Oh, why don’t we thank Him more for His great kindness to us? Why don’t we love and trust Him all the way? Hasn’t He abundantly supplied all of our needs?
When you leave home and strike out on your own, should you still follow your parents’ council? When your parent’s get old should you still listen to them? Yes. “Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.” Proverbs 23:22 NIV. Do not shame your parents. Think about their needs and be helpful to them, and try not to bring reproach or shame upon them. There will come a day when you will need to take care of your parents, when they get older. When you were young they took care of you. When they are older take care of them too, when they need your help, even if it is inconvenient to do so. If you love them this will not be a problem. “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” 1 John 4:8 NASB. If you know God you will love your parents, for the one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. Even if you feel your parents have greatly wronged you, no matter what they have done to you, you still need to love them. What? Remember what Jesus said, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:44-45 KJV.
Even if your parents have greatly wronged you, Jesus wants you to forgive and love them! If you are a Christian and follow what Jesus said, you will love everyone: family, friends and enemies (i.e. those who have made your life miserable and hurt you, etc.) It is clear based on what Jesus said in Matthew 5:44, that a true Christian should love everyone, enemy or not. Therefore you should also love your parents, regardless of what they have done to you. You need divine help to love your enemies, but God will help you if this is your desire. God does not want you to hate anyone. No one will be given a pass from loving their enemies or an excuse to hate them! Jesus said that forgiving those who have wronged you is a requirement for eternal life. See Matthew 6:12. This includes your parents and other family members! So you must forgive and love your parents too, even if you feel they don’t deserve it, if you want eternal life.
Those who honor their parents while they live, will press on and continue to try to please them after their death, as if they were still alive. This is what creates the fabric of a good society. If this were happening more often than it does, this world would be more like heaven on earth! See how important it is to honor your father and mother? It is important that parents teach their children to love and obey them! This is their duty. This is very important! It teaches them to love and obey God and keep His Law of love too! “He who keeps the law is a wise son, but a companion of gluttons shames his father.” Proverbs 28:7 RSV. The King James has this last part as ‘a companion of riotous men shameth his father.’ Those who disobey their parents may eventually turn to riotous living: living without restraint, living in sin.
Rebellion, Mocking and Crime can Develop out of Disobedience to Parents:
“And Samuel said [to King Saul], Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” 1 Samuel 15:22-23 KJV. The Bible compares those who rebel against God with the sin of witchcraft. Rebellion and stubbornness can lead to being lost.
“There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.
There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.
There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.
There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.” Proverbs 30:11-14 KJV.
People don’t start out in rebellion against God. It probably starts with them dishonoring their parents, disobeying them, and doing their own thing. Then when they are reproved or rebuked by others, they get stubborn and refuse to listen, and become rebellious.
Not only can rebellion develop out of disobedience to parents, but so can despising and mocking them too. The Bible warns against this: “The eye that mocks a father and scorns a mother, the ravens of the valley will pick it out, and the young eagles will eat it.” Proverbs 30:17 NASB. This indicates that those who don’t listen to their father or mother, who mock and despise them what their end could be… They could end up hanging around with violent people or getting into crime, and getting killed in the end. Their body may end up lying in some field where the birds would pick their eyes out. Those who listen to their parents will be shielded from a lot of problems! Disobedience to parents or dishonoring them can also lead to crimes against them. The Bible warns against this: “He who robs his father or his mother and says, "It is not a transgression," Is the companion of a man who destroys.” Proverbs 28:24 NASB. Does it need to be mentioned that no one should steal from their parents? The Bible brings it up; it is part of honoring your father and mother. There are many problems today in our society caused by rebelliousness and disobedience to parents.
Children and even young adults are often disobedient to parents. The entertainment media, including music, Hollywood movies, TV shows, and violent or sinful computer games, etc. are doing everything they can it seems to try to get children or youth to rebel against parents, authority, and God. There is great peer pressure among the teens to rebel! It is not an easy thing to grow up in this day and age and honor your father and mother, much less God!
Paul warns of the perils and the problems of the last days including disobedience to parents:
“But realize this, that in the last days difficult [or perilous] times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as these.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5 NASB. The King James renders this as ‘in the last days perilous times shall come.’ We believe this to be clearer for this last part than the NASB. In the last days, perilous times will come. We believe this is describing the days we are living in now!
Make no mistake, we are living in the Last Days now. What Paul has been describing here has been going on for years and years now! It is not for some day in the future! It’s here now! Our salvation is now closer than when we first believed, it is high time to wake out of sleep! “Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” Romans 13:11-14 NASB. Put on the armor of light, give yourself to God all the way, and put on the Lord Jesus Christ. If you are a parent, this will also help you to train your children.
God is more than able to help all who learn to love and trust Him to overcome, if they are willing to forsake the world and sin and get to know Him. “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2:15-17 NASB.
You learned that God is love and that all of His commandments are love, and that the Fifth Commandment to ‘honor your father and your mother’ is also love; it is the right thing to do. And that if you want to have the Holy Spirit in full, that you must obey or want to obey God; this is the key to everything good in this life and the life to come. You learned that children should listen to the counsel of their parents, and prize getting it and wisdom, that they may be exalted and not have to live in shame, with the results of making bad choices, and to have a long life with happiness. You also learned that if you want to have eternal life, you need to listen to your parents and heed their wise counsel in the Lord, which is to do what they say, if it follows the Bible and doesn’t go against it. You learned that there is a heavy price to pay for not listening to or not following your parent’s wise counsel, like what happened to Solomon’s offspring or the children of Israel, because he stopped following his father’s counsel. Even though Solomon repented from what he had done, it was too late to stop the evil which resulted from his sins, which were are result of not continuing to listen to his father’s counsel.
You learned from Jesus that some scribes and Pharisees taught that it was ok for someone to not do their duty to ‘love and honor their parents’, if they devoted their wealth to God after their death. But Jesus told them that they were hypocrites (because they claimed to follow and obey God), but were setting aside some of God’s laws, when it suited their own purposes. In fact, they were expert at it! His message to them was a harsh rebuke. It was not a good thing what they were doing! You also learned that there are those in our day who are expert at setting aside the law of God too, and that rebellion against God may have been caused by parents rebelling against their parents, and so on, for many generations. Disobeying or rebelling against parents is also disobeying or rebelling against God. This is probably one of the major problems or sins in our society today. The sin of disobeying parents is not to be taken lightly! The ones doing it usually have problems obeying other laws and authority as well.
You also learned that Paul said that you need to honor your father and mother, that you may live long on the earth, which also has to do with your eternal life as well. Those who want to live forever need to honor their parents. You also learned that God gave to mankind this blessing of having a family to share your love with, and that this is passed on from parent to child, which is part of God’s plan, and that you take part in God’s creation when you are a parent. You also learned that God is kind and provides for all of your needs, and that you should thank Him for it. You should still follow your parents’ council when you and they get older, and after they die. If you know God (and love God), you will love your parents too, no matter what they have done to you; you have an obligation to do this. If you have hate towards anyone, including your parents, you are guilty to some degree as if you were a murderer, and are guilty before the court of Heaven, if you haven’t confessed this to God. If you wish to live forever, you must forgive everyone, including your parents.
You also learned that rebellion can develop out of disobedience to parents. You learned that we are living in the last days, and that one of the predominate signs of this age is children who are disobedient to parents, along with all of the other great and excessive corruptions, wickedness and rebellion that seems to be taking over everywhere – these are all signs of the times. Evidently in the Last Days there will be great wickedness that will be very widespread throughout the earth; it will eventually be a rare thing to find people who aren’t totally wicked; they will be the exception. It will not be long before this world’s history concludes, and the Second Coming of Jesus takes place. It is time for you to wake up out of your sleep, if you are not aware of all of this yet, or if your life is not right with God. Or if you haven’t received the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit yet, to help you stop hurting God, yourself, and others. One of the big reasons why this world is getting wicked so fast, is because there is much wickedness in the entertainment media, that people are consuming a lot of, including music, TV, movies, bad internet sites, and many computer games, etc. Do not love the world or the things in this world. Those that love the world, or the things in it, do not know God or love Him. The world is passing away, and those who love the things of this world will pass away too. Those who want a better life, who want to live forever, will allow God to help them not to love this world, and to help them not indulge in the unlawful lusts of the flesh, or be full of pride. Those who want to live forever will want to do God’s will, and will not love the things of the world.
Dear reader, if you still have guilt from your past, unfulfilled duties, or for not giving yourself totally to God, you can still ask Him to forgive you for this and receive mercy. If you have ever failed to treat your parents with the utmost kindness, honor and respect, or failed to heed all of their wise advice to you, or have been disobedient or rebellious against them, or God, you can beg for God’s mercy and receive it, if you would humble your heart before Him now, confess, and you will receive it. And then ask Him to help you make amends, to repent and change your ways. God loves you, and longs for you to be in harmony with Him, and that you would love Him, your parents, and your neighbor as yourself, and be filled with His wonderful peace! He longs to give you His precious Holy Spirit to help you to love and obey Him, and to love others. What a wonderful God we have, who is so kind, loving and merciful! No one deserves His love or mercy, but it is still there for all who want it. But do not wait, He is calling you now – do you hear His voice? Do not wait, when you can have this wonderful peace and His sweet Spirit now. Why wait, when you can have peace now? Don’t put it off, because tomorrow may never come. Listen to His sweet voice, while you can still hear Him pleading with you.
If you already have God’s wonderful peace, and are filled with His Holy Spirit, we are happy for you, and hope you have learned more about God’s Law of love, in the Fifth Commandment Part 1.
May the grace of God be with you. May you honor your father and mother, that your life may be long on the land which God gives you, and enter into the gates of Heaven. Amen.
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