We all know that the Bible teaches children to obey their parents (Ephesians 6:1). We also know that everyone is to honor their father and mother (Exodus 20:12). But do we ever consider how seriously God takes these commands?
Take Ezekiel 22, for example. This chapter highlights the continued pronouncement of judgment from the Lord to the people of Israel that has dominated the book of Ezekiel. But in the midst of God’s strongest condemnation of Israel, in which He says, essentially, that their time is up (Ezekiel 22:4), God tells Ezekiel to say to the nation:
Father and mother are treated with contempt in you
Gad has just finished talking about the blood that they continually shed and the general lawlessness they exhibit, yet He takes the opportunity to say that children are not properly honoring their parents. Doesn’t that seem strange? Doesn’t it seem like dishonoring your parents is such a mild offense that it can’t even really be considered a sin?
This is the way we think about honoring parents. It’s really no big deal. Sure we should do it, but it’s not like God really thinks much about it. Doesn’t He have better things to do?
Scripture says that He doesn’t. This verse in Ezekiel and other’s like it make clear the seriousness with which God views our faithfulness as children.
Why is that? Why does God care so much about how we treat our parents?
Because if we cannot love and honor and respect our earthly parents, how can we expect to do the same for the Lord. We won’t. We will dishonor Him and disrespect Him and disobey Him because we don’t value our parents enough.
God is teaching us that we are to honor our earthly parents as much as we honor Him because honoring our earthly parents is really honoring God Himself, but dishonoring our earthly parents is like spitting in God’s face, and those who dishonor Him will never see life.
So let us honor our parents as we honor God. Love them. Esteem them. Give the respect and thanks. When we do these things out of obedience to God, He is honored, as are our parents. And when God gets the honor from us, things will go well with us in this life and the next.