July 22, 2014
READ: Ephesians 6:1-4
Honour your father and mother (Exodus 20:12).
I accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour when I was 15 years old. When my dad found out, he was heartbroken because of his differing religious beliefs. He couldn’t sleep well for the next several nights. He felt that he had failed as a father because he couldn’t keep his family together. His daughter had deserted the family tradition and chose to follow a “Western god”.
I love my dad, but on this matter I knew I couldn’t follow him. Instead, I became the first Christian in my family.
So what does it mean to obey God’s commandment in honouring our father and mother? (Exodus 20:12). Honour is a heavy word—literally. The Hebrew word is kaved, meaning “heavy” or “weighty”. So to honour one’s parents is to give due (weighty) respect for their position. It includes speaking respectfully to them, and speaking kindly about them. This is the fifth commandment God gave His people in Exodus 20, following four commandments that dealt with loving Him. By inference, love for God must come first.
Paul puts it this way: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord” (Ephesians 6:1 NIV).
When Francis Schaeffer followed what he believed was God’s will by going to Bible college, he said to his disappointed parents: “I love you, and I’m sorry to make you unhappy, but I am convinced that this is what God wants me to do, and I am going to do it.” His obedience to God was, in the end, the means of bringing first his father and later his mother to faith in Jesus Christ. Even in going against his parents’ wishes, Schaeffer showed them respect and kindness.
As you consider the fifth commandment (Exodus 20:12), remember that it’s weighty—but also that God is to be loved first and foremost. —Poh Fang Chia
365-day plan› Mark 8:22-9:1
Read the story of Saul and Jonathan in 1 Samuel 20:30-42, 31:1-6. Note how Jonathan tried to honour both God’s will and that of His father.
How can you honour God by honouring your parents? How can our love for God help us love our parents in an honouring way?