The first three of God’s laws show people how to treat God; the rest of the Ten show us how God wants us to treat one another. Isn’t it interesting that the first relationship for our instruction is that of a child toward his or her parents? “Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you” (Deuteronomy 5:16).
After figuring out how to keep their baby alive, the next most important thing parents can do is teach their children obedience and respect, the younger the better. Children will never take the concept of God seriously if they haven’t learned about parental authority. Children will also never develop into employable young people if they haven’t learned how to follow the instructions of others, feel accountable to other people’s standards, keep their own egos in check, and accept responsibility for their own mistakes.
So important is this law that God attached two sweet promises to parent obeyers: your quality of life will improve and the quantity of your life will increase.
He attaches divine curses to people who choose to be authority defiers: “Whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves” (Romans 13:2).
Parents, you should only have to give orders once.
Pastor Mark Jeske brought the good news of Jesus Christ to viewers of Time of Grace for 18 years. He is currently the senior pastor at St. Marcus Church, a thriving multicultural congregation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mark is the author of several books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics. He and his wife, Carol, have four adult children.
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