“Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.” Colossians 3:20 ESV

The first four commandments direct us to trust God alone, not to substitute any false gods in His place, to respect His name, and to follow His pattern of keeping a holy day of rest in Him. Another way of reviewing the significance of the order of the first four commandments is to focus on the makeup of the cross. The formation of the vertical beam (which consists of the first four commandments) represents our upward connection with our heavenly Father. The horizontal beam (which consists of the last six commandments) connects us personally one to another.

Having previously examined the details of the four vertical members of the cross, let’s take this opportunity to transition to the horizontal. God’s initial instruction for us to respect our earthly parents–His primary partners and our earliest-stage “commanders”–signifies His loving genius: “Honor your Father and Mother that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” Isn’t it beautiful how the promise of long life in honoring our earthly parents parallels the promise of everlasting life with Him as our eternal parent?

As the ultimate balanced authority, God wants all people to respect and honor those He has placed in positions of authority. For a period of time, parents essentially stand in the place of God to their children; therefore, rebellion against their lawful commands has been considered as rebellion against God. Let’s be honest. All of us who have life must have had an earthly father and mother. None of us pick our parents or experience those who are perfect. As a matter of fact, in many instances, fathers and mothers have acted dishonorably and have caused great pain and suffering. Even in situations such as these, God expects us to honor them for His sake. “Honor thy father and thy mother” ideally valuing them by our conduct, obeying their lawful commands, responding when they call us, going where they send us, doing and not doing what they tell us, and cheerfully and lovingly caring for them in their elder years.

If we really get to know The Lord, then no matter how twisted our relationship with our parents may have become, we can rise up in the power of His graceful, forgiving and cleansing might.  Our God has always been with us, even during our history of dismay.  Knowing God’s motive and following Him in His parental decree allows us to Spiritually return in faith to whenever and whatever fell off track to be hopefully restored the only way that matters―God’s or the Commander’s way.

Solomon, regarded as the wisest man that ever lived, concluded, “When it’s all said and done, fear God (respect and worship Him) and keep His commandments. It is upon this, God will judge us” (Ecc 12:13-14).

Dear family and friends, let’s heed God’s supreme insight…one commandment at a time, with greater light shining on the 5th — Honor your Father and Mother that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. 

Ex 20:12