Exodus 20 v 12. Honour your father and your mother.


What about the comment to obey? Does this apply when we are adults and our parents are still demanding?


I draw your attention to the requirement which the scripture lays upon us. Honour your father and your mother.’ Let me now make the surprising statement that to honour your father and your mother is not always to obey them. In Ephesians 6:1 and Colossians 3:20, we are told, ‘Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord’. This passage refers to young children. They are to obey their parents, not because their parents necessarily always command respect, but because the Bible teaches that it is right to do so.


When children are young and growing up in their parents’ home, the scripture to them is simply this, ‘Obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right’. When they grow up and get married they must finally break with their family to create a new family. When that happens they no longer fall under the authority of their parents or are required to obey them in the same sense in which they did as young children. They now have to make their own decisions. Sometimes parents insist on exercising their parental authority over their married children and there is an increasing phenomenon of marriages under tensions and strain because of this. With the decline of the menfolk playing their role in society, women often bear the brunt and take the strain from problems that exist because of no leadership from the male. This often has to do with in – laws.


Men are sometimes unable to break from their mothers when they enter into a marriage relationship. That is why I want to point out that there is a difference between honouring and obeying when you become an adult. As an adult you do not need to obey your parents in the sense of listening to their commands and demands, but that doesn’t mean you cease to honour them. Advice they give should be welcomed but commands issued need not be accepted. There’s a big difference between advice and commands. It is unbiblical for any man or woman to grow from childhood, to enter into the making of a new family, and to refuse to take authority for themselves under God for that new family but rather choose to continue living under their parents’ authority. We must honour our parents. We must obey them when we are small, young and youthful. But as we move into adulthood, a wise parent will allow that child more liberty and teach him to make the right decisions until he comes to that point where he forms his own family before God and is able to take decisions for himself. We need to get that absolutely right.



Are you allowing your aged parents to interfere with your marriage? Remember that your spouse comes first, although we do not cease to honour our parents. Talk to God about this.