“Honor Your Father and Mother”

From Issue: Discovery 12/1/2007

Some young people do not think it is very important to use respectful words when speaking to their mother and father. Boys and girls can be heard all over the world talking to their parents in a worse manner than they talk to their own dog. “You are stupid, dad.” “Mom, you are terrible. I hate you.” “I wish you were dead.” Just as Satan tries to trick young people into thinking that it is acceptable to curse, or to use God’s name in a profane manner, he also tries to get boys and girls to think that they can talk disrespectfully to their parents.

In order for you to see how serious God is about young people respecting their parents, notice the following law that God gave to the Israelites in the Old Testament. Exodus 21:17 says: “He who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.” This law was repeated later in the book of Leviticus (20:9). Jesus even quoted these verses once when He encountered a group of scribes and Pharisees who had not been honoring their parents (Matthew 15:4).

Both in Moses’ day and in Jesus’ day, it was an extremely serious thing for a young person to dishonor his or her parents with disrespectful speech. Sadly, because so many young people today see worldly young people frequently cursing and talking back to their parents, they begin to think that verbally abusing their parents is not very serious. The Bible, however, says it is serious—very serious. If, under the old law, a young person cursed his parents, or spoke so rudely to them so as to damage their reputation, he would be put to death. Even though we are not under the old law today, it was written for our learning (read Romans 15:4). And we learn from this law that God expects children to honor their parents with their words, not dishonor them. One of the very best ways that we can all honor our parents is simply by speaking respectfully to them and about them.


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