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Honor, so That

“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:2‭-‬3 NIV

Paul's letter to the church in Ephesus cites this verse from the Torah (Exodus 20:12). This commandment immediately follows those laws on how we treat God; no other gods, no idols, do not take God's name in vain and keep the Sabbath holy. It also is the first that comes with a consequence, "Honor, so that." When we treat our parents with respect, our lives will likely be happier.

Implicit in this command is that the parents behave in a way that merits honor. Paul understands this and follows up in the next verse saying, "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." While fathers are specifically mentioned, the exhortation is appropriate for all parents. In acting with honor, we are worthy of respect.

My point is the commandments are to be observed in their totality. If we conduct our lives according to the life of Christ, who was the living embodiment of the law, we become worthy of honor. In becoming followers of Jesus Christ, things go better for us in this life, and we have the hope of eternal life.

God, our Heavenly Parent, we thank you for the example of your Son, the fulfillment of the law. Help us as followers of Jesus to live righteously and honorably that our lives glorify you. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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