The Family Command: Parents

William C. Brownson

READ : Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Honor your father and your mother . . . (Ex. 20:12)

We don’t usually think of this commandment to honor father and mother as a charge to parents, but it surely is. Those who received the Ten Commandments at Sinai were principally the adults of the Israelite community. They knew from experience how important it was, for the good of children, that the parents be truly honorable, and therefore worthy of honor.

Listen to the calling God gives to parents, as outlined in Deuteronomy 6. They are to internalize God’s Word, and respond to it in love and obedience. They are to teach their children God’s works and ways, through object lessons, by word, and by example. They are to embody before their children God’s fatherly rule and love.

Parents in New Testament times are also urged to be filled with the Holy Spirit, not to provoke their children to anger (by unreasonable demands or harsh punishments), but to bring them up “in the Lord,” by his training and instruction.

The role of parents is so to express God’s gracious authority in their lives at home that children will come to trust and love their heavenly Father. In so doing, with constant prayer for God’s blessing, parents will provide an environment in which their children will learn also to honor Mom and Dad.


Lord, help us as parents so to honor you that we will be honorable!