Exodus 20:12: ‘Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.’
Ephesians 6:1-3: ‘Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honour your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
At church this morning, the pastor spoke about the importance of honouring one’s father and mother. He spoke both to parents and to children about the importance of maintaining discipline and respect within the home, and how the consequences of shortcomings in this area may predispose to the breaking of subsequent commandments. All of us have seen this in our children, how one of the first areas where sin becomes apparent is the dishonouring and disobedience of parents. And most of us work hard to correct this, seeking to ‘Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.’ (Proverbs 22:6)
However, during the night I came across an article on the BBC website, which I heard discussed on Radio 4 this morning: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18367053. This 'amusing' article discusses the reasons why all parents become 'annoying, embarassing and/ or ridiculous' as a child enters their teenage years. In our culture, it is not expected that children should respect their parents. If these are the type of views which are widely held regarding the relationship of children to their parents, then is it surprising that such children go on to disobey, disrespect and dishonour? Is it surprising that parents view respect and obedience as ideals from a former generation, not to be realistically attained today?
As Christian parents, we must pray that we can stand firm against the tide of contemporary culture. We should raise our children to respect and honour us, whilst seeking ourselves not to do anything to cause them to stumble on that point. We also have the responsibility: Ephesians 6:4: ‘And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.’