Communities down through the ages have had to grapple with the issue of raising the next generation. It is a natural concern for us all. Love motivates us to want the best for our children, both as individuals and as the next generation. There is of course a healthy dose of self interest involved here. The way we raise our children will rebound upon us. Like a boomerang the values we teach and model will form the basis of how they will treat us.
And since we don’t live in a vacuum and it is human nature to be influenced by others, especially by those who would challenge our own values, we are all interested and involved in the process.
The 5th Command, first given by God to the Jewish nation for the benefit of all humanity, helps us to see the importance of authority and godly example.
God has granted to parents the awesome responsibility of caring for their children. Because He says “honour 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..”, we see that society will be best ordered by a real respect of children for their parents. But that puts an obligation upon us as parents to be honourable and respectful. Love and obedience for the other 9 Commands will help us gain the respect of our children.
God is vitally interested in our temporal joy. We all need order in our lives. The respect of parents will grow when both parents and children understand the God given responsibility of parents to live and instruct honourably.
We live in a confused age where the role of parents is blurred and confused. The wonderful truth that I’ve learnt about the God who gave us the 10 Commandments for our own good, is that He is forgiving and delights to give wisdom and strength to all who seek Him humbly.
At the end of the day to love His Commandments is the very best way for us to show that we honour God, respect ourselves and are committed to building a community that can function with some degree of freedom. The alternatives
are either anarchy or totalitarianism – the devastation of self-will or the imposition of the state. God loves us so much that He wants us to learn to become self-controlled people who discover in the home and then in our wider communal responsibilities that “His service is perfect freedom.”
Article by Peter Brain