The fifth Word/Commandment of God to His people is to honor their father and mother, so that they might live long in the land. At first glance, one may think that there are other more important commands which could be given. Upon closer examination, it turns out that the issue of honoring one’s father and mother is very close to the heart of God’s design and order for human society. Parents represent the Lord to their children and it’s from their parents that children learn foundational lessons for life.
What does it mean to honor one’s father and mother? It likely encompasses many things but a few important ones include giving deference/respect, offering obedience, following their pattern of faith and life, honoring the inheritance one receives, and taking care of them in old age.
The fifth commandment points to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in that, through faith in Him, we are adopted into God’s family; the Lord becomes our ultimate Father. In addition, we are blessed to have spiritual fathers and mothers who guide and nurture us and to whom we offer honor.