What does the fifth commandment teach us?


To love and obey our parents.

The fifth commandment is the first commandment in the Second Table of the Law. With all those numbers, it’s hard to keep things straight! But if you remember, the Second Table of the Law combines the last six commands. When you put them all together, these laws teach us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. And God starts off the Second Table of the Law by talking about two special neighbors he wants us to love: our parents! In Exodus 20:12, he commands, “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

If he wanted to, God could have designed every human baby to just suddenly pop into our world. From that moment on, he could spend day after day teaching us all about who he is, how his world works, and how we’re supposed to behave. But God didn’t do that. Instead, he designed moms and dads to do that job for him!

After speaking his laws to his people, God gave one extra command to each and every parent. We can read it in Deuteronomy 6:6-7. He said, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Here, God gives every parent a critical mission: to try their absolute best to make sure their little ones understand God’s laws. They are to chat about commands with their children constantly: from breakfast time to bedtime, at home and on the road, any time and anywhere!

Here’s what makes the fifth commandment so important. A parent’s job is to make sure their kids understand and follow God’s commands. So a good and godly parent will teach their children to obey God’s laws. When children obey and honor their godly mothers and fathers, they are actually obeying their Father in Heaven! The fifth commandment is so important because parents are God’s plan to make sure everyone knows all of his other commands!


+ What does the fifth commandment teach moms and dads to do?

+ Is there ever a time when disobeying your parents is the right thing to do?


Matt. 15:3-6; Eph. 6:1-3; Col. 3:20; Ex. 20:12; Deut. 5:16

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