Is to Honor to Obey?

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Puritan Board Sophomore
Certainly, the Fifth Commandment is binding on Christians of all ages. Christians have always understood the Fifth Commandment to mean that children and adults alike should respect appropriate authorities, the family structure serving as the foundation.

However, does not a child honor his father and mother differently than he would as an adult? Paul's instruction for the church is that children are to obey their parents in the Lord. At some point, it would seem, "obey" transitions into "honor" as a child becomes an adult. Any thoughts on the practical differences in the relationship?


Puritan Board Freshman
A child obeys his father and mother so that he may be instructed and disciplined. Assuming the instruction and discipline are upright, the child's obedience would honor his parents and thus, God. By the grace of God, as the child transitions into adulthood he would gain wisdom and discernment. To honor his parents then would be, I think, to respect and care for them. Not as much instruction would be necessary and discipline would only be needed if the child became a delinquent. But if the parents requested anything that was not sinful of their child, it would be in his best interest to do it joyfully, with love. I think that honoring his parents would also include showing them appreciation for their care all those years.

In my case, I am a young woman--and an adult--still living at home. As long as I live under my father's roof, I obey his commands--so long as he does not ask me to disobey God's commands. Life is good.
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