Especially For Parents

“And he who curses his father or his mother, dying he shall die” (Exodus 21:17).

“Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long on the land which Jehovah your God [is] giving to you” (Exodus 20:12).

“Then the scribes and Pharisees came to Jesus from Jerusalem, saying, Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread. But answering He said to them, Why do you also transgress the command of God on account of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honor your father and mother, and, The one speaking evil of father or mother, by death let him die. But you say, Whoever says to the father or the mother, A gift, whatever you would gain from me; and in no way he honors his father or his mother. And you annulled the command of God on account of your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy concerning you, saying: This people draws near to Me with their mouth, and with [their] lips honor Me; but their heart holds far off from Me. But in vain they worship Me, teaching [as] doctrines [the] precepts of men” (Matthew 15:1-9).

[I am not endorsing or promoting John Calvin as a true Christian when I quote from him. But I think he writes some things that true Christians could benefit from.]  Here is Calvin regarding honor claimed especially for parents:

“Wherefore, we ought to have no doubt that the Lord here lays down this universal rule, viz., that knowing how every individual is set over us by his appointment, we should pay him reverence, gratitude, obedience, and every duty in our power. And it makes no difference whether those on whom the honour is conferred are deserving or not. Be they what they may, the Almighty, by conferring their station upon them, shows that he would have them honoured. The commandment specifies the reverence due to those to whom we owe our being. This Nature herself should in some measure teach us. For they are monsters, and not men, who petulantly and contumeliously violate the paternal authority. Hence, the Lord orders all who rebel against their parents to be put to death, they being, as it where, unworthy of the light in paying no deference to those to whom they are indebted for beholding it. And it is evident, from the various appendices to the Law, that we were correct in stating, that the honour here referred to consists of three parts, reverence, obedience, and gratitude. The first of these the Lord enforces, when he commands that whose curseth his father or his mother shall be put to death. In this way he avenges insult and contempt. The second he enforces, when he denounces the punishment of death on disobedient and rebellious children. To the third belongs our Saviour’s declaration, that God requires us to do good to our parents, (Mat 15). And whenever Paul mentions this commandment, he interprets it as enjoining obedience” (John Calvin, Institutes  2.8.36; underlining mine).

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