The first commandment with a promise.

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

–Exodus 20:12, ESV

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26 Responses to The first commandment with a promise.

  1. Pingback: The first commandment with a promise. | @the_arv

  2. Bart says:

    I’m very thankful for my father and mother, and try to show them honor. They are certainly imperfect, but they’ve always been faithful. They’ve always loved each other, and the kids, in-laws, and grandkids. Most importantly, they hope and trust in Christ. They will celebrate 49 years of marriage in a few weeks. We are also having them over for Mother’s day lunch tomorrow.

    One thing I really appreciate about them is that they taught me to take the Bible seriously, as it is God’s Word.

    That simple truth has taken me down some serious Bible red pill holes that my parents wouldn’t agree with. I ended up being far more conservative and patriarchal than my “Boomer” folks.

    Too bad. They taught me that the Bible is authoritative.😃

  3. mmaier2112 says:

    “Too bad. They taught me that the Bible is authoritative.”

    Well-played, sir.

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  6. Hmm says:

    Honoring my father and mother took a different direction once I became a believer at 19. And it’s different anyway from the honor due when you are a child. But I hope my parents would have said I always honored them, even to the end.

    It does my heart good to see the level of honor and obedience children give to parents in my current church. I was never taught this in church as a kid, but it was in society’s water at that time, so I wasn’t a bad child. Now it really goes against the grain of modern society, and I find it all the more admirable when honor exists in families, especially those with teenagers or college kids.

  7. Scott says:

    That simple truth has taken me down some serious Bible red pill holes that my parents wouldn’t agree with. I ended up being far more conservative and patriarchal than my “Boomer” folks.

    Too bad. They taught me that the Bible is authoritative.😃

    I wonder how common this is. My dad has passed away, but my mom thinks I am basically a crazy religious zealot. But they sent me to religious schools, where I learned about the Bible, the saints, and the true suffering of Christians in catacombs, being tortured, fed to lions, etc. They dragged me church every Sunday forsaking all other Sunday activities while my friends families had crazy fun weekends. They taught me marriage was forever (until they divorced when i was 19). I internalized the message of spiritual self-discipline, standing up for Truth no matter the cost. I honor that, even if both of them pretty much rejected the worldview later in life.

    Pray for your parents–both of them. They had a hard job, and most of the time did the best they could.

  8. Lovekraft says:

    I’ve struggled with this because the parent has to act like a parent. Growing up as a casualty of the frivorce plague and saw little humility or confession of how this decision affected me, it will require more than platitudes to forgive completely. It has been revealed through maturing that many mothers were tricked, manipulated etc into nuking their families, so there’s that.

    But still not willing to give a blank cheque.

  9. Jason says:

    I came to Christ later than most (age 39). My parents were cultural Christians. Dad was a lapsed Catholic. Mom was a lukewarm Methodist. I don’t recall any “negative” talk about Christianity growing up……they were hardworking, and earnest. We were not a church family, nor a praying family. They didn’t abuse me or my older brother. My father and mother had a strong marriage right until mom died from ovarian cancer back in 2009…….

    I dishonored my family for a large part of my life….after college slowly swirling down a drain of drug and alcohol addiction…….and this caused me to not have a relationship with them for many, many years………

    I cleaned up on my own in 2005…..and slowly rebuilt a relationship with them…after my mother died I began to ask a lot of questions about life, and finally found the answer in Christ Jesus. My father and I today get along well, politely…….we were never a close “rah-rah father son unit”

    But there is a comfort now of that honoring relationship that I lacked for so long in my life concerning these matters.

  10. Heresolong says:

    But note the caveat. This only applies in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. A promise with a geographical limitation?

    🙂

  11. Jason says:

    My father taught me to live in fear of man, and that God does not exist. My mother taught me that I am not allowed to have personal boundaries because that would hinder her from seeking emotional gratification from me. They divorced when I was 15, at which point my father announced that I was officially a man now and that she (my mother) was my responsibility now. I’m having trouble finding a Hallmark card for this. Any suggestions?

  12. @Lovekraft:

    The Biblical conception is something like “note the weight (of gold)”. It’s to “value the worthwhile”. For some, there’s not much to “honor” in their parents, but they can honor them being a Christian. Even if that means doing everything they wouldn’t do and nothing that they would do.

    Living in a Christ-like fashion is to confer honor to them, regardless of what is there to value otherwise.

    This is a part of a point I like to make that no one is careful, especially Christians, when it’s one of the most important aspects.

  13. Dale says:

    The command is to honor, not consider perfect. I realize how much my mother damaged me, but always honored her while she lived. (Did not disrespect her, or tell my friends how bad she was, etc.)

  14. feeriker says:

    I give thanks for the fact that my mother, along with my father, raised both my brother and me in the Word, made it the center of their lives, and refused to compromise with the world. Mom, for her part, was at Dad’s side 24/7/365 for the last 32 years of his life as he got his own business off the ground and she served as his “second in command.” Even at his death after 53 years of marriage, Mom viewed Dad’s passing as a “homegoing” rather than an occasion for mourning and cherishes still every moment that she and Dad had together.

    Unfortunately, it’s always 1957 for Mom, and she doesn’t seem to grasp that 1) her model isn’t in production anymore, or that 2) even in the event that her sons could find a similar model, society is operated on such a basis that marriage to even such a woman as that is an unacceptable risk for a man.

    Cure her of her generstional blinders and she’s been a nearly perfect mother.

  15. Chris says:

    Love my Mom to death. She’s currently fighting cancer; please pray that she will be born again and that the Holy Spirit may bring a healing along with Him.

  16. Greg C. says:

    I sent the song below, to my parents on a Valentine’s​ Day some 15 years ago, who’ve been married for over 60 years now It perfectly reflected how blessed I was to have them as parents. It also reflected the vision of the family I would soon have. Of course, my ex changed her vision, after 2 children and some 8 years later. I can only now, teach my children of such a virtuous family, from the days of old.
    BTW, Mom, if you are reading this, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!! I love you!!

    4HIM “Built on Amazing Grace”

    I can see it so vividly
    In a memory-the simplicity
    Of the strength of a father, prayers of a mother
    And the trust of a child
    Just a virtuous family
    Such a place of hope, such a place of peace
    And whatever the matter we all stayed together
    Through the toughest of times
    Cause love
    Was the common bond for all
    Looking back I still recall.

    Chorus
    It was all so amazing
    Every laugh, every tear
    Every moment we shared
    It was all so amazing
    Through your faith, I have come
    To believe in a prayer
    The hands of time may
    Take me down a million roads
    Still my heart always carries me
    Back to the place
    The home
    Built on amazing grace

    We must not let the years erase
    This inheritance of amazing grace
    But through every tomorrow
    Our children must follow
    In this passage of faith
    So that love will forevermore remain
    As the light that guides our way

    Repeat chorus

    Amazing grace
    How sweet the sound
    That saved a wretch like me
    I once was lost but now am found
    Was blind but now I see.

  17. Iowa Slim says:

    My parents divorced when I was three feet tall. They both made a lot of mistakes that didn’t do me any favors. They were limited people. That was then; this is now.

    This is my mother’s last mother’s day. She has been in hospice mode since February, due to brain cancer. Getting very close now. She was apparently fine this time last year. From diagnosis to death’s door, eight months. If anyone needed a reminder that tomorrow ain’t promised, there you go.

  18. “Fathers?!? What did they ever do?!?”

  19. So sorry to hear that, Iowa. Stay strong.

  20. ” in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.”
    A direct promise from God to the Israelis that if they honored their parents, they would have a long life… in Israel.

    On another note, the egyptian pastor at Church of Apostles Atlanta (my mom loves him, says he has a good heart) asked all the men to stand and give a standing ovation to “all women, mothers or not.” I sat…

    I was reminded of something else. Church of Apostles prides itself as being evangelical, being thoroughly grounded in Scripture (I think it’s more a feels and pastor getting emotional on stage church but whatever) and I noticed… a huge percent of the people in the pews were gray haired. Then there were people in their 30’s and 40’s with kids. Then kids. And no middle generation.

    The people on stage also made reference to “this corrupt/perverse generation.” Which kind of peeved me as a millennial. Yes, millennials are screwed up. Flip side is, culture is a house of cards. We millennials were decades away from being conceived when our oh so wise elders legalized abortion… when they made no fault divorce law of the land… when they decided to turn the USA into latin America.

    You yank out the bottom cards, everything collapses in time.

  21. Splashman says:

    @archer, every generation has its shortcomings, including the generations that now blame everything on millennials.

    My parents (born in 1930’s) were both very intelligent and educated, and to outside obersevers very good parents (lots of kids, church-going, provided well for us, not a lot of arguing, sent us to private school, etc.). But in reality their priorities were completely screwed up, so the end result was a bunch of seriously screwed-up kids (including me, for the first few decades of my life).

    There was a time when I blamed everything on my parents, but eventually realized they were the product of their parents, and so on. Obviously I don’t excuse them for their failures, but I try to keep things in perspective. I’m not a perfect parent by any stretch of the imagination.

  22. @splashman

    I don’t think there’s a point in going around try to say it was this generation’s fault, or that generation. However as a millennial it really wears thin on how everyone older wants to bash on us.

    Example: a few weeks ago, two of my coworkers at the law firm I work at were talking. The 33 year old white woman was talking to a 50 year old black woman, and it went from the black woman’s son to the white woman commenting how millennials are a pain and living in their parent’s basement, etc.

    I piped up, “Wait. Don’t you live at home with your family!?” She turned red and sputtered that it wasn’t the basement.

  23. Hmm says:

    No “Mother’s Day” sermon at our church this morning – just the 21st chapter of Exodus. The pastor’s comments:

    ‘For once, my sermon series happens to line up great with Mother’s Day!

    ‘Exodus 21:17 — “Whoever curses his father or his mother shall be put to death”
    ‘Exodus 21:22 — “When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman…”

    ‘Okay, so maybe it’s not your typical Mother’s Day passage — but it certainly brings home the point about honoring your father and your mother… :)’

  24. Bart says:

    Hmm. –
    A pastor that preaches through books in the Old Testament, is a rare jewel.

  25. Gunner Q says:

    Jason @ 9:41 am:
    “I’m having trouble finding a Hallmark card for this. Any suggestions?”

    The standard Mother’s and Father’s Day card. Also birthday cards. Keep the lines of communication open (unless the mother is completely toxic) and be there if/when they need you. If you have to be family at a distance, that’s fine.

    Hmm @ 3:31 pm:
    “Exodus 21:17 — “Whoever curses his father or his mother shall be put to death”

    Ugh, don’t give the Churchians ideas. Do remember that was back when father and mother practiced Judaism under a death threat of their own.

  26. Frank K says:

    @Scott – “Pray for your parents–both of them. They had a hard job, and most of the time did the best they could.”

    Well said, Scott. My parents, both who have passed away, were very flawed and sometimes selfish people. But they loved us kids and most of the time they did the right things, It gives me comfort to pray for them.

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