179. Honor Due to Parents

1. BY what is every child known?
“Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” Prov. 20:11.

2. What is the duty of every child?
“My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.” Prov. 1:8.

3. What does the fifth commandment require of children?
“Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” Ex. 20:12.

NOTE.-While this precept refers directly to our earthly parents, it also includes God, our Father in heaven; for in honoring them we honor Him. To the child too young to know God, the earthly parent takes the place of God. Learning to honor, respect, and obey his earthly parents is the child’s first and most important lesson in learning to honor, respect, and obey God, his Heavenly Parent. Benjamin Franklin well said: “Let a child’s first lesson be obedience, and the second may be what thou wilt.”

4. For how long a time should one honor his parents?
“Harken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.” Prov. 23:22.

NOTE.-As long as parents live, they should be honored and respected by their children. The duty enjoined in the fifth commandment does not cease at maturity, nor when the child leaves the parental roof.

5. What is the character of a child who will not listen to his father’s instruction?
A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.” Prov. 15:5.

6. What course on the part of children is well-pleasing to the Lord?
“Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well-pleasing unto the Lord.” Col. 3:20.

7. In what spirit should children obey their parents?
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.” Eph. 6:1.

8. What is one way in which a child may dishonor his parents?
“He that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father.” Prov. 28:7.

9. What is said of one who robs his father or his mother?
“Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, It is no transgression; the same is the companion of a destroyer.” Verse 24.

10. How did Jesus honor His parents?
“He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them.” Luke 2:51.

11. How did the Jewish leaders in the days of Christ, for the sake of gain, make void the fifth commandment?
“But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; and honor not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.” Matt. 15:5,6.

NOTE.-The word translated gift in this text means a thing dedicated to God, and therefore not to be used for any other purpose. In this way the Jewish teachers, by their traditional law, taught children that by saying that their property was thus dedicated to the temple or to religious purposes, they were free from the obligation to honor and support their parents, thus making void one of the commandments of God. This Christ condemned.

12. In what other way do some dishonor their father and mother?
“There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.” Prov. 30:11.

13. What will be the fate of the one who curseth his father or his mother?
“Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.” “The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.” Prov. 20:20; 30:17.

14. What will be the reward of those who honor their parents?
“Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” Ex. 20:12.

NOTE.-The fullness of this promise will be realized in the life to come when the earth, restored to its Edenic beauty, will become the eternal home of all those who have truly honored their parents and kept all God’s commandments.

15. What comment has the apostle Paul made upon this commandment?
“Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” Eph. 6:2,3.

16. In what age of the world is disobedience to parents to be especially manifest?
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.” 2 Tim. 3:1,2.

NOTE.-Disobedience to parents is a marked characteristic of the present generation. Never before was it so common or so wide-spread. The root of the evil, however, lies not so much in the children as in the parents. Many of the latter are disobedient to God, their Father in heaven, and so have failed to bring up their children in the fear of God and in the ways of righteousness. Bible instruction, lessons of faith, and prayer must not be neglected in the home if we would see obedient, God-fearing children growing up in the world.

BE KIND to thy father, for when thou wert young,
Who loved thee so fondly as he?
He caught the first accents that fell from thy tongue,
And joined in thy innocent glee.

Be kind to thy mother, for lo! on her brow
May traces of sorrow be seen;
O well may’st thou cherish and comfort her now,
For loving and kind hath she been.