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Honor Your Father and Mother

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5th Commandment

The first 4 commandments speak to our relationship with God, while the last 5 speak to our relationship to others.
This 5th commandment is a bridge from our vertical relationship with God to our horizontal relationships with others.
There is a link between the 3rd and the 5th commandments. The honor I show God will reflect in the honor I show my parents.
There is a direct correlation.

Reveals God to us:

Asking the question: who would write something like this?

1) God cares deeply about FAMILY.

Someone who treasures the institution of the family.
Family is the foundation societies are built on.
Authoritarian regimes have historically attacked the family unit.
Devaluing the role and responsibilities of the parents.
God created the family and has been passionate about the family from day one.
Genesis 1:28 ESV
28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
gen 2
Genesis 2:24 ESV
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
gen 2
Marriage and family were God’s crowning creation and the mechanism He designed to fill and rule the earth.
Psalm 127:3–5 ESV
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. 5 Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
Psalm 128:3 ESV
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
ps 128
Proverbs 12:4 ESV
4 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.
Paul speaks about family order both in and in .
One of the most popular analogies for the Church in the NT is the “Family of God”
We relate within the context of the church as family members.
The institution of the family speaks the the very nature of God as Father and Son.
The 5th commandment shows us how deeply God cares about the family.

2) God is the perfect PARENT.

The 5th commandment speaks to the parenthood of God.
The 5th Commandment is an application of the first 4 commandments.
Providing, protecting, caring for, disciplining, teaching...
But also the “mothering” characteristics of God.
Don’t worship any other God before me, worship me for who I am, speak my name with honor, rest in who I am.
Nurturing, caring, teaching, training, correcting...
And show the same kind of honor to the most influential 2 people in your life on earth.
The 5th Commandment has deep lengths to the 3rd commandment, which is all about honor and respect of the Name of God.
Parents are the representations of God to their children (flawed as they are).
Parents point their children to God.
Our discipline, our providing, our nurturing, our caring, our cleaning up, our playing, our teaching, and our coaching are all meant to direct our children to their true Father, God.
We screw this up royally, but, in an odd way, that just makes Him look that much better.
Because God is the perfect parent.
He is patient and kind
He is faithful and steady
He is gracious, yet stern.
He is loving, but does not coddle.
He is comforting and protective.
He is a loving shepherd and a mighty fortress.
When we honor our parents, we are honoring the position God has given them to reveal Himself to us.

3) God values AUTHORITY.

The 5th commandment isn’t just concerned about your relationship with your parents, it is concerned about your posture toward others in authority over you.
This is reflected not only in the commandment, but in God Himself.
God exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—Three-in-one
A mystery for us to understand fully.
But what has been revealed is 3 persons of the Godhead, existing in unity and equality, but with differing functions (or work).
And within this “work” there exists a submissiveness between the persons.
John 8:28 ESV
28 So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me.
John 16:13 ESV
13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
John 14:26 ESV
26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
Jesus was submissive to the Father while He was on earth.
John 14:26–27 ESV
26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
The HS was submissive to Jesus as the Helper for Christians.
The 5th Commandment reveals that God values our submissiveness to authority.
Something that we by nature struggle with.

Confronts our sinfulness:

1) Confronts our devaluing of the FAMILY.

The prevalence of Divorce, cohabitation, premarital-sex, adultery, non-monogamy, pornography, acceptance of same-genderism.
I do not mention these things to heap shame on those who have been divorced, those that have or are cohabitating, or whatever.
Your history doesn’t have to define your future.
God can redeem your family, and has in many of the families here.
But the perversion of marriage and family erodes the foundation of society and destroys the witness of God’s church.
The 5th commandment is demanding that we take family seriously
We embrace our roles as husbands and fathers MEN.
You embrace your roles as wives and mothers WOMEN.
We fight for our marriage.
We resist the ways our culture redefines or simply devalues the purpose and power of marriage.
We pray for our children, train them to know, love, and follow the Lord, and discipline them with truth and grace.
THIS IS NOT A POLITICAL AGENDA OR TALKING POINT. It is an embracing of the 5th commandment as it was intended.

2) Confronts our REBELLIOUSNESS toward AUTHORITY.

We have a natural bent to resist authority.
Hebrews 3:7–8 ESV
7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness,
We don’t like people telling us what to do.
Probably refers to the spies who went into the promise land, came back, and refused to go into the land because of fear of the ones they would need to overtake.
God had told them to go in, to trust Him, and to obey Him, then they would be blessed.
But they didn’t, they chose their OWN PATH and were punished because of it.
We live in a culture of independent individuality, where our purpose is defined by what we decide, not what is decided for us.
You see it early on as mom drags their screaming kids out of the McDonald’s play area.
But it translated into adulthood as we disrespect our bosses, disregard laws and expectations, and as we dishonor authorities over us.
I do not love the politicians in office over our country, but says I must “be subject” to them because “those that exist have been instituted by God.”
It isn’t agreement, it is submission from a posture of respect.
I see the bigger issue with our rebellion toward authority is in our propensity toward selfishness.
Selfishness with our money, with our time, with our attention.
“Who are you to tell me how to spend my weekend…how much I should give…how I should use my house…how I should live my life...”
The 5th commandment is as much concerned with your selfishly rebellious heart as it is with the way you treat your parents.

Instructs our following:

1) Instructs our ROLES as PARENTS.

Parents are representative of God for their children.
Don’t get this wrong!
Your job is not to protect your children from everything that could harm them.
Your job is not to mode your kids into obedient
Your job is not to provide your children with a “comfortable life”.
Your job is not to raise your children to be successful in the way the world would define it.
We try to BE GOD to our children, rather than lead them to the TRUE God.
Deuteronomy 5:5–9 ESV
5 while I stood between the Lord and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the Lord. For you were afraid because of the fire, and you did not go up into the mountain. He said: 6 “ ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 7 “ ‘You shall have no other gods before me. 8 “ ‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 9 You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,
deu 5 5-
Proverbs 22:6 ESV
6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
And when we do we lead them further away from the source of light and life rather than to the well that never leaves them thirsty.
Our job is to guide our kids to the Lord...
Every hug and kiss,
Every word of correction or redirection,
Every story read and annoying cartoon watched,
Every bandage applied to a mythological boo boo, or bed sheet changed in the middle of the night.
Every swat, pop, or spank, and every minute of grounding,
Every dollar spent and memory made,
Every broken heart comforted and disappointment weathered,
Every bandage applied to a mythological boo boo, or bed sheet changed in the middle of the night.
Every tear we shed and prayer we pray...
SHOULD be a small glimpse of our BIG God and a gentle nudge to follow Him.
The 5th commandment is a WORD to parents to direct your children to their true Father.
You are not perfect, and that is why we can rest in His control and His sovereignty.
You are going to snap at your kids, discipline them in anger; your going to be selfish at times, and you will, absolutely disappoint them, embarrass them, hurt them, and lead them into sin.
But there is grace, there is repentance, there is the opportunity to seek forgiveness and start fresh.
God’s power is as much with them as it is with you.
Pray that He will use your screw ups to magnify His perfection.

2) Instructs our POSTURE as Children.

The word HONOR literally means “to become (or make) heavy/weighty.
God is commanding that we make the role/position of our parents HEAVY/important/significant in our lives.
The application of honoring our parents changes with life stages and familial circumstances.
When you live at home as a child, you obey them; and for all of your life, you respect them.
You may be thinking “but what if my parents don’t deserve respect?”
If you are out of the house, the way we honor changes.
By no means am I trying to minimize the particulars of your family situation.
We sometimes struggle to grow up, but our
Our community is full of stories of abuse, neglect, addiction, abandonment, and all kinds of other things that have left many of you hurt and struggling to see how you could every honor your parents.
I am not saying you should overlook what they have done or haven’t done.
I am not saying you should listen to them, open yourself up to them, or even trust them.
I am saying you should honor the role and institution of parenthood and the part they played in it.
Your mother birthed you.
The point is, and never will be, to make much of your parents, it is an exercise in honoring and worshipping God.
Because when you honor your parents, you are honoring the God behind your parents
The God the institution of parenthood represents.
When you obey the 5th commandment as a child (an offspring) you are submitting yourself to your one true Father in heaven.
and obedience to Him is the ultimate aim.
If your screwed up home life leads you closer to God then Praise Him for His sovereign plan and provision.


The 5th commandment instructs us to honor our parents as way we might worship God.
When we honor the role of parent, we are honoring our Lord.
Dishonoring the name of our parents translates into disregard for God and His authority in our lives.
This is not to say we overlook the negligence, abuse, or deficiencies of our parents, but we still honor the role of Mom or Dad to the glory of God whom they are to represent.

Promises us eternal hope:

Paul highlights the promise of the 5th commandment in
Ephesians 6:1–3 ESV
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”
The promise is not about your physical health or your financial success.
Just like the other commandments, the promise is FREEDOM and HOPE.
And the trajectory of each is toward Jesus, who fulfills them all.


The 5th commandment points to the weightiness of the institution of parenthood.
Many (perhaps MOST) of us view God through what we experienced with our parents.
For some your mom or dad never seems to be satisfied with your performance, you never heard them say “Good job son.” So now you work and strive and sacrifice in order to prove yourself worthy.
For others your mom or dad wasn’t present or involved growing up, so you feel the need to stand out in order to be recognized by someone, to feel like to matter.
For someone else, your dad was distant and detached, you never felt loved or adored by him, so now you look to guys to give you what you never received from your dad.
The REALITY: the identity and approval you longed for in your parents, but never got wasn’t even suppose to come from them.
Your parents were suppose to lead you to the one who truly loves you.
1 John 3:1 ESV
1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
In Jesus you can find the tenderness, affection, and approval you’ve always craved.
Your parents will disappoint you; but God won’t.
You are created for God!
Each of you, even if you don’t believe, there is a longing for an perfect Father deep in your soul.

2) Promises us eternal BLESSEDNESS.

God promises long, fruitful days in the promised land for the people of God if they follow this command.

3) Promises us unimaginable JOY.

It is a promise that has a judgement behind it.
And the promise hinges not on our obedience, but on our submission.
At the end of the day, our obedience is dependent on your submission.
The 5th commandment is promising, “If you will submit (give up, swallow your pride…) then you will live long in the land.”
Paul later translated this very idea in
Acts 16:31 NLT
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.”
Acts 2:38 ESV
38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Believing is more than just believing it is true, Paul is calling them to submit themselves to the truth and the PERSON of Jesus.
Romans 10:9 NLT
9 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Have you done that?
Romans 10:9 NIV
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
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