by email

in reader




Parents do not have an absolute claim to honor.  The command to honor parents and related penalties (Exo. 21:17; Deut. 21:18-21; Mark 7:9-13; cf. 1 Tim. 5:3-17) only apply if they live righteously according to God’s law. We must ever honor God first, and parents second:  If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26).  Only in this way can we truly honor parents.  When a son marries, he sets up a new household, according to Gen. 2:24. If parents come to live with their married children, they must adjust to the rules of their son's or son-in-law's house. Honoring parents does not mean permitting them to destroy one's home. If grandparents undermine the discipline of the children, or if the mother-in-law constantly badgers and harasses her daughter-in-law, something will have to give.  Lazy parents who leech from their young married children, who refuse to go to church with them, and who undermine their homes, should be shown the door, if the elders agree. They have forfeited the right to honor by their actions.   Not all parents have an equal claim to honor.  The law is deliberately phrased in a somewhat vague manner. The poor son will not be able to honor parents in the same way as the wealthy man.  Bitter, nasty, pagan parents do not have the right to the same kind of privileges as saintly, Godly parents do. Any case that comes before the judges, therefore, will have to be assessed in terms of its situation.  

- James Jordan, The Law of the Covenant 107-08 (1984), at http://www.garynorth.com/freebooks/:  HTML, DjVu.