Sam  Green

Sam Green

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Honor Your Mother and Your Father


Does it make sense… I ask again, does it make sense to have to be told to honour our mothers and our fathers?

They gave me life. They protect me. They feed me. They tend to me. They care about me. They try to teach me. They have changed their lives for me. They have set aside years just for my sake; given up a big portion of their lives for me.

They have put up with hardships for me… like work they’ve had to do which they didn’t want to do… like set aside their pride and been humbled for my sake or on behalf of my stupidities or mistakes… like financial commitments or hardships for my sake… like staying together in many cases for my sake when they should have split up… like painful health issues as a result of me or for me… like sacrificing their lives for me…

I could go on, but the real issue isn’t that they have made a commitment to me for life and I have made no commitment to them. I will eventually leave and start my own family and have my own life, but they will always be there for me.

IS the real issue \ that the Bible says that I should honour my mother and my father?

The real issue is… why should God have to tell us to do this? Shouldn’t it be obvious that we should have enough respect or consideration or at the very least a sense of indebtedness to our parents to treat them with consideration and respect?

And the Bible doesn’t even say to have consideration. It doesn’t use the word “respect”. It says “honour”.

“Honour” to me means more than a few words. It means more than just respect or consideration or thoughtfulness or what we might all-encompassingly call “Love”.

I leave it you to determine what “Honour” means to you.

To me it starts and ends with, “Don’t disrespect them.” Whatever else you may have or not have for your parents, respecting them is paramount. They deserve the respect for the sacrifices they have made.

The Ten Commandments given to Moses by God basically say this:

  1. God is the only god.
  2. Don't make idols.
  3. Don't swear falsely in God's name.
  4. Keep the Sabbath.
  5. Honor one's parents.
  6. Don't murder.
  7. Don't commit adultery.
  8. Don't steal.
  9. Don't bear false witness.
  10. Don't covet what others have.

First let’s look at them as five and five.

The first five are all about our relationship with God and the Religious nature attached to Godliness. The last five are about our relationship with each other… people to people.

If we believe this, then the fifth commandment which is also about Godliness and honouring is the one about our parents.

Now, I understand why God had to tell us about what he wanted in terms of a relationship with mankind. But why did he have to tell us what he expects in our relationship with our parents. After all, that should be patently obvious.

The other nine commandments might have to be placed before us because they represent the laws of God and man that raises us above the level of the animals. They are all about theft. Each and every one is about stealing something that doesn’t belong to us.

But, this blog is not about me feeling like I have to expound the merits of parenthood and defining what the Bible means by its words. The purpose of this blog is to share with you why I think the Bible had to add this commandment to the other nine commandments, and why it’s in the same breath (as it were) as the commandments about our relationship with God.

It’s because we are typically self-centred. We think first and foremost about ourselves. We forget that we have parents (and God is one of them) who have given up so much for us. That we owe them a debt we can never repay; a debt they don’t ask us to repay. That they have given us and continue even in death to give us something no one else and nothing else could ever give or replace.

It’s because we often don’t think about how they feel when they are disrespected and how we will feel when they are gone and we can’t make amends. There is a lingering pain attached to all this. There are unresolvable regrets we will have to bear.

And God has to tell the people who can’t figure it out for themselves until perhaps it’s too late.

So, for all of you out there who were not aware of the fact that honouring your parents is right up there with respecting God, now’s a good time to put it into your Blackberry or your I-phone. Now’s a good time to make a note to yourself that you either are, was or will be a damn arrogant fool if you don’t figure it out real soon, before it’s too late.

Now is the time to do something more than a card to her on Mother’s Day coming soon. Now is a good time to do more than a card to him on Father’s Day coming soon.

Now is a good time, NO, it’s a GREAT TIME, to do more than wait for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day to “Honour” our parents.

Sam Green

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