Welcome to this week’s blog. Today I am writing about God’s 5th Commandment. But of course, God wrote all 10 Commandments, but the 5th specifically for children, and mothers and fathers alike.
In the beginning of time, God ordained His commandments as a means for us to attain an everlasting happiness, in order to encourage, and withstand our well-being here on earth. When we live through His Holiness, we have the promise of a brief life here on earth, as well as His promise of an everlasting life, when we return home. When we live our lives according to all of God’s Commandments, through Him, we learn to obtain internal peace, joy and contentment in our lives. We gain wisdom, well-being, integrity, treasures, and advance into a more intimate relationship with God.
The 5th Commandment
Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. – Exodus 20:12 (NIV).
First, I want to say, God takes His Commandments, written for us, very, very seriously. God proclaims throughout His Word, for those of you who hear God’s Commandments, but choose to defy or transgress God’s Commandments, you will have many troubles here on earth, and then you will face eternal consequences after your death. The earthly consequences of this sin, and disobedience to God’s Commandments are unhappiness, illness, the loss of integrity or possessions, deprivation, famine, and other worldly despairs. Therefore, for those of you who refuse to keep God’s Commandments, will have no aid from God in your time of affliction. Christ Jesus reminds us in His teachings that if we refuse to obey His Commandments, all ten of them in their entirety, our house is therefore built on sand, and if so, it will be destroyed - Matthew 7:24-29 (NIV).
Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash. When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. – Matthew 7:24-29 (NIV).
God reminds us over, and over again throughout scripture, for those of us who do keep all of His commandments, we will not only receive a great reward from God while here on earth, but more importantly when we pass away, and leave this world. We will gain so much more in Heaven, and have so much more to look forward to...an eternal joy in Heaven according to His promise.
So how many of us struggle in our life to keep the 5th commandment? How many children, and adults for many generations have struggled with unspeakable words, and actions against each other? How many of us have admittedly brought complete pain, abandonment, judgement, condemnation, persecution, mockery, rejection, abuse and suffering into our existing generation? And with this torment, and the disobedience of the 5th Commandment, how many of us have carried the same unspeakable sin over to the next generation, in our children, and our grandchildren’s lives?
If we were to be totally honest with ourselves, we’ve all struggled to keep this commandment? And some may still be struggling to obey this commandment today. I believe at one time or another in our childhood, adolescent or our adult years, we’ve all struggled with understanding what God meant when He wrote this commandment - honor your mother and your father.
I believe a parent’s teachings, guidance, discipline, and family morals is the most impactful experience in a child’s life, especially when they are asked to respect, and honor of their parents above all else. Even as a toddler, our first impressions, actions, and behaviors are being developed, with a heavily reliant on the observations of our parent’s behaviors and actions. From very early on in life, we learn very quickly how to love or not to love ourselves. We are also taught by the example of our parents how to treat others, just by observing, and watching our parents. Our parents are initially defined as our life coaches, teachers, and counselors. As children, we quickly learn to copycat or mimic our parents. We are their “mini-me.” We can, and do impersonate our parent’s behaviors, and their actions with very little effort. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the household environment in which we’re living.
If a child observes their father verbally abusing, degrading and belittling their mother, the child’s observations is quite impressionable, with lasting, and detrimental effects going into adulthood. What if a child observes a mother who is constantly complaining, yelling, screaming with an unrestrained angered temper? What happens to a child who observes their mother’s lack of self-discipline, and through her daily compulsions, now the entire household has been compromised? In these scenarios, there is little chance the children in this home will grow up in a peaceful, loving atmosphere or environment.
What child then can honor their parents when they hear them openly abusing, and deceiving each other? How many parental incidences have made the 5th Commandment pure anguish for a child, making it almost impossible for the child to want obey this commandment? On what then is a child to base their intended respect, and admiration for their parents? What then lies in the meaning of “Honor your Mother and Father?”
But also, what does this commandment require from the child as they transition into adulthood to then start their own families?
What then is crucial to a child? What then will accompany them as a shield as they grow up, leave home, and independently start their own life? What will guard a young adult against worldly sin, and temptations, and self-seclusion whenever doubts in life take them hostage? What treasure of the soul was stripped away from a child because they were never taught to honor their father or their mother with their entire soul? The secure shield, the guard, the treasure is the Bible, God’s Word. Children, transitioning into young adults must trust in the Lord with all of their heart and soul, and He will set their path straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) tells us this, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Therefore, remember if we keep God’s Commandments, we will triumph over suffering and persecutions. Recall from earlier scripture, God’s house is built upon a rock; therefore, the force of the elements is powerless, and cannot overthrow it. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. – Matthew 7:25 (NIV).
In a perfect and ideal world, the word “father” or “mother” should always bring forth a warm, loving and caring perception for God’s children. But the reality of this just doesn’t exist for many children in the world. There is no parental respect, or loving and caring sensations the child can embrace, and express to their parents. Yet again, I ask the question, when this treasure of the soul is non-existent, and a child’s soul is in distress, where do they turn? Turn to God! God is our Heavenly Father. A child or young adult can always turn to our Heavenly Father, our Savior.
I also want to encourage all of us to reexamine the 5th Commandment, as I believe it has a deeper meaning. At one point in time, man interpreted this commandment as a one-sided commandment, explicit to children only. I remember in my own childhood always being told, “Thou shalt honor thy father and thy mother.” As a child, I was taught to believe this was a one-sided command from God, and it only applied to children. But fast forward my life 59 years, I believe this commandment has a two-fold meaning. Keep in mind, God is not a one-sided God; therefore, He would never command only children to obey this commandment. I believe this commandment was intentional, and purposeful to also remind parents of their high-honored role God preordained for them – “motherhood and fatherhood.” For example, God assigned me the role of “motherhood.” By observing this commandment, I now believe this commandment is a reminder of my duty, a high task, and my role – “motherhood.”
This commandment also prompts me to honor, and respect the role of “motherhood” in nature, towards others as well. Motherhood or fatherhood is not “personal” to any one individual, but it is a “personality” or behavior, a performance by which we are to fulfill, and live by. I believe God’s meaning, and intention for this commandment was two-sided, for children to honor their parents, and for parents to honor, and esteem to their roles as “motherhood and fatherhood” through their personalities and character.
When we honor our “mother and father” we are implying to honor a specific person in our life. This makes it “personal.” Whereas, if we honor “motherhood and fatherhood,” this removes the personal aspect, as God is not referring specifically to one or another person or individual, but it’s more about the role or high task of “motherhood or fatherhood” we should be honoring. When we honor “motherhood and fatherhood,” we are also redirecting our honor to God for assigning and trusting us to fulfill this role, as opposed to honoring man. God demands we honor Him first, and foremost above anyone else.
“Thou shalt honor father and mother!” Yes, this is a sacred commandment for all of us. Therefore, we should lift up “fatherhood and motherhood” with honor and dignity. And yes, we should go forth, and be mindful of all of God’s Commandments.
Let our obedience equate to our actions! Soon our actions will become routine, a sheer joy to achieve, and a daily necessity!
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates. - Deuteronomy 6:5-9 (NIV).
Do so with earnest, and passion more now than ever before in your lives! This means, recognize the Will of God, so you can observe, study, memorize, rehearse, and then put into practice God’s 10 Commandments, as He so desires of His children!
Blessings until next week, Debra Pauli Unstoppable Believer
Scripture Quotes: Holy Bible: New International Version (NIV) / New King James (NKJ), and English Standard Version (ESV)
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