Spare the Rod, Spoil the Parent

I think she might actually hate her child. She sat beside me at the soccer game, her daughter competing against mine. Meanwhile, her son sat beside her. Or he did for a minute, at least, until he got up and began to look longingly at the concession stand. He demanded a treat, first plaintively, then insistently, then angrily. She protested for a while, saying something about not being his personal bank machine, but she caved soon enough and dug a …

Be a Parent Worthy of Honor

For a number of weeks, I have been exploring the fifth commandment and, in particular, how adult children are to obey it. “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.” While heeding this command is relatively straightforward to the young child under the authority of his parents, it is much …

Become a Patron

The Commandment We Forgot: Honoring the Dishonorable

Today we continue this series on honoring our parents, the series that considers how we, as adults, can fulfill the fifth commandment. Behind it is the knowledge that few of us seriously consider the fifth commandment and how we can actively fulfill it, even after we have left our parents’ authority. We have been focusing on Deuteronomy 5:16: “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it …

6 Practical Ways to Honor Your Parents

God’s commandments are perfectly clear in what they say and, broadly, in what they require. Yet implementing those commandments in practical ways and in the nitty-gritty of life can pose a challenge. It can take thought, prayer, creativity. This is exactly the case with the fifth commandment—“honor your father and your mother”—and especially so for adult children. Young children honor their parents through their obedience, but what about adults? How do we honor our parents in ways that are fitting? …

Momentary Obedience, Forever Honor

We have looked at the sweet blessings God promises to those who heed the fifth commandment and we have looked at the terrible judgments he promises to those who do not. We have seen that children have a lifelong duty of honor toward their parents. But while we have learned why we ought to honor our parents, we have not yet considered how. Our question for today is this: How do we show honor to our parents, especially when we …

The Disciple-Making Parent

A core component of my regular reading diet is books on parenting. As long as I am a parent, and especially a parent of tweens and teens (parenting babies and toddlers is straightforward by comparison!), I want to stay sharp, to be challenged, to be equipped. A good book helps me better understand the purpose of parenting and helps me better fulfill my God-given duties. Chap Bettis’s The Disciple-Making Parent is a good book, exactly the kind that challenged me and, …

Sweet Promises of Blessing, Terrible Threats of Judgment

Last week I told you why I believe the fifth commandment—honor your father and mother—is The Commandment We Forgot. The response was overwhelming and proves to me what I suspected—many people have serious questions and concerns about this commandment. We are comfortable with its implications for children, but perplexed when it comes to the implications for adults. How do we, as adults, show honor to our parents? What are our continuing obligations? What about parents who are difficult, absent, abusive, …

The Commandment We Forgot

It is a commandment of God. It is a commandment with promise, with divine blessings attached to it. It is a commandment positioned in a place of special honor and significance. It is a commandment pertaining to the whole life of every human being. It is a commandment with application to the home, church, and workplace, a commandment that provides a stable foundation to all of society. Yet it is a commandment that is sorely neglected today. It may not …

3 Reasons Children Need to Obey Their Parents

Should children obey their parents? Or, perhaps more to the point, should parents insist upon their children’s obedience? The culture around us seems perplexed, so focused on personal autonomy that in many families it seems clear that the children rule the roost. Many parents doubt their ability to direct their children and may even doubt their right to demand obedience. Yet the Bible insists that children are to obey their parents and that parents are to enforce their children’s obedience. …

Why Christian Kids Leave the Faith

Few things are sadder to witness than people who once professed faith leaving it all behind. This is especially true when those people were raised in Christian homes by God-fearing parents. These children were given every opportunity to put their faith in Jesus but determined instead to turn their backs on him. Why would they make such a tragic choice? Several years ago Tom Bisset carried out a study of people who had left the faith. Wanting this to be …