One morning as I was walking my dog I spotted a young man walking up the street toward me carrying a young child. My first thoughts were, “It’s so great to see a father involved with his child.” When I got close enough that I could hear what was being said a car pulled up, the mother got out and began to beg him to give her baby back.
Instead of giving her the baby or getting in the car he began to curse her and call her very degrading names. In a few minutes she had no choice but to get back in the car. Then he began to shout, “Bye-bye, B**ch.” After repeating it several times he got the child to start saying this to his mother. She finally drove away in complete humiliation!
The First Commandment–With a Promise!
My heart broke as I listened to the child speak to his mother in such a degrading way. Instantly God spoke to my heart, “Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” When I got home I immediately began to meditate on that verse. Here are a few things that emerged:
First and foremost, if parents want their children to honor them they must be honorable. The way we treat our spouse determines the way that child will see and relate to people of that gender!
As I pondered I couldn’t get past the fact that this Commandment creates the first hope, i.e. confident expectation of good. Why? The way we respond to authority will affect every aspect of our life. In fact, the older we get the more consequential is the lack of respect for authority.
Children who are not taught to honor authority have trouble in school; they ignore boundaries in every area of relationships. As they reap the results of disrespect it can cause them to drop out or be expelled from school, creating a lifetime of financial and social repercussions.
Children who do not respect authority won’t obey the rules. They feel as if their attitude toward those in authority is justification for their behavior, in fact, if taken to extreme, this can produce a sociopathic mindset that has disregard for the feelings of anyone.
Even if they don’t go as far as becoming a sociopath they will most likely become a codependent victim who feels they are being persecuted because of their color, education, income or appearance! When parents model, permit or reward bad behavior it sears the conscience of the child; they lose any awareness of their wrong doing.
Most of what happens in the life of a child who does not honor their father and mother is simply social. But too many teens and young adults cross a line with law-enforcement and it ends their life. Then those same parents who instilled this dangerous behavior are blaming everyone else for the outcome of their child’s life.
Children who do not honor authority will probably never walk with God. They will view His Commandments as rules rather than wisdom. They will live like unteachable fools. The only hope for an unteachable fool is suffering the consequences for their actions.
People who have no honor cannot show honor. Husbands and wives, always show respect toward one another. Never belittle. Never discuss your spouse’s faults with your children. There is no need to be harsh or cruel, but mean what you say and say what you mean. Be sure you always allow your children to face the consequences of their actions. Make sure they know they are loved even when they have to face consequences.
When you are honorable you have taken the very first step in giving your children a hope of a long, abundant life!