Exodus 20:12 "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee."Many of you will tune me out right now because your father doesn't deserve being honored. However,, you are the very one who needs to read on!
For some this command is very very hard to do! For me it's so easy. Is there a loophole for bad fathers? I don't find one.
Well, you say "That's Old Testament" stuff. We no longer have to do those things! Well, Paul, who Jesus personally inspired repeated this:
Ephesians 6:2 "Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth."First off, Jesus did not come to replace the commandments as some think:
Matthew 5:17 "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil."There is not one of God's Laws which are null and void. (Not the same as Mosaic Law and the Talmud). God's Laws are written on stone and shall endure forever.
For those of you with evil parents, your inclination is to ignore or even deny the validity of this commandment. However, there are no loopholes for this commandment as those who have trouble obeying always seek out!
My oldest brother has memories of my Dad before he lived the way a Christian should. I never had those memories. God blots out previous sins after the old person becomes new (Isaiah 43:25). This is still true! I don't remember "the Old Elston". My brother does. I remember well "the new Elston". My brother failed to meet him until later in life because Satan kept showing him the old person! God blotted out Dad's past sins, but my brother didn't!
It has been easy for me to honor my father. Dad was congenial, charitable to the extent of poverty and a hard worker. Dad avoided sin by not getting near temptation. His manner of discipline was usually "Larry, I'm so disappointed in you," to which I succumbed to guilt! Those are apt words for my Dad. "Loving" is another. However, those words do not apply to all fathers! I have been blessed and "honoring Dad" has been made easy for me. I have had a long life as God promised me!
First off, here is a list of things not said in "________ thy father and thy mother":
- Agree with
- Have good memories of
- Think highly of them
- Accept them as good parents
Those who ignore this command, add to what it says!
What does "honor" mean? In Hebrew kabad is the word. It means in this context "to have a burden" for your parents. It's the integrity of fulfilling and obligation. With that said,, even killer fathers, molester fathers, provoking fathers and fathers who abandon and hurt their children are to be honored. Although we're to "love our enemies" this particular command implies neighborly love. Your evil father deserves hell and isolation, but so do the rest of us! We all have sinned and missed the mark. A sinful father will have the same punishment as the gossiper, prideful, and gluttonous unless those sinners accept the intervention of Jesus Christ.
For those with father's who missed the mark, it is your OBLIGATION to HAVE A BURDEN for your lost father. You should pray for him, desire that he become a new person, and fret for his lost soul. By doing so, you are demonstrating to God that you are obeying him and God will reward you with a long life! Why? Because God knows how bad you hurt inside and how difficult it is for you to obey this command!
Why is "honoring your father" so important? Because you are his seed. He is your creator just as God is the Creator of us all. It's not only symbolic, but it's showing our sinful father the same love which God shows sinful Larry or (your name here)! If we judge harshly, so shall we be judged. God uses the same scale for you and your decadent father, if that describes your parent.
"That's not fair!" you say. "My sins are not as great as my father's." We are to let God judge that. We cannot judge ourselves without bias! Honoring your father is not wanting your sinful father to go to hell (for eternity). It's not that you want an evil person to escape hell, but that you desire for that evil person to be recreated without the sin.
Maybe it's time on this Father's Day to reconcile with your father. You will be rewarded with a long life for merely obeying God, even though that's the most difficult thing you may ever do! I look forward to knowing your for many many years!