Teaching Your Children His Commands

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The Torah equates the respect you owe your parents with the respect you must show God. Furthermore it says, 'Whoever curses his father or mother shall be put to death' Exodus And furthermore it says, 'Anyone that curses God shall bear his sin' Leviticus By using the same terms the Torah compares cursing of parents with cursing the Almighty. Because honouring parents is part of honouring God, the mitzvah does not depend on the worthiness of the parent:"Even if his father is wicked and a sinner, he must fear and revere him A convert to Judaism must not curse or despise his non-Jewish father.

It also requires honour to one's stepparents [16] [17] or an older sibling who is raising one, [18] and one's teachers, [19] though one has a greater obligation to honor a parent than a grandparent. The commandment is repeated eight times throughout the bible. Keeping this commandment was associated by the Israelites with the ability of the nation of Israel to remain in the land to which God was leading them.

Honouring one's parents is also described in the Torah as an analogue to honouring God. According to Jeremiah, God blessed the descendants of Rechab [28] for obeying their forefather's command to not drink wine and uses the family as a counterexample to Israel's failure to obey his command to not worship other gods:. Will you not learn a lesson and obey my words? To this day they do not drink wine, because they obey their forefather's command. But I have spoken to you again and again, yet you have not obeyed me. Again and again I sent all my servants the prophets to you.

They said, 'Each of you must turn from your wicked ways and reform your actions; do not follow other gods to serve them. Then you will live in the land I have given to you and your fathers. The descendants of Jonadab son of Recab have carried out the command their forefather gave them, but these people have not obeyed me. According to the Mishneh Torah this commandment requires one to honour both of one's parents equally; there is no greater weight given to either the father or the mother.

While in some parts of scripture, father is stated first, in others, mother comes first. This shows that the honour due to each is equal. While Jewish teaching holds that a married woman must honour her husband, there are also guidelines for how she may continue to honour her parents:. It is the duty of both men and women to honour their parents.

However, a married woman, who owes devotion to her husband, is exempt from the precept of honouring her parents. Yet, she is obliged to do for the parents, all she can, if her husband does not object. The commandment requires one to obey one's parents when the command given by a parent is reasonable and permissible under Jewish law. Everything that your father says to you, you are obliged to obey. But if he says to you: "Let us bow down to idols", you must not obey him, lest you become an apostate.

I am the Lord your God, and both you and your parents are equally bound to honour Me, therefore, you must not hearken to them to disregard My word.


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This can be done by reciting kaddish for 11 months and on the yarzeit anniversary of the parent's death , and by donating charity in the memory of the parent. The study of Torah is also considered to be reverence toward a parent, for it shows that a parent raised a worthy child. A child must never put a parent to shame, or speak arrogantly to a parent. In the gospels, Jesus affirmed the importance of honouring one's father and mother Matthew —9, Matthew —19, Mark —19, Luke —21 Paul quotes the commandment in his letter to the church in Ephesus :.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. See also Colossians In his letters to the Romans and Timothy , Paul describes disobedience to parents as a serious sin Romans —31, 2 Timothy The words of Jesus and the teaching of Paul indicate that adult children remain obligated to honour their parents by providing for material needs. In the gospels, Jesus is portrayed as angry with some people who avoided materially providing for their parents by claiming the money they would have used was given to God Matthew —8, Mark — In these passages, Jesus quotes Isaiah According to the Gospel of John , when Jesus was on the cross, he provided for his natural mother by giving the Apostle John the charge to care for her, which John accepted.

According to the gospel of Matthew , the obligation to honour one's parents is bounded by one's obligation to God: "Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.

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The divine fatherhood is the source of human fatherhood. Ephesians This is the foundation of the honour owed to parents. It is required by God's commandment. Exodus Respect for parents filial piety derives from gratitude toward those who, by the gift of life, their love and their work, have brought their children into the world and enabled them to grow in stature, wisdom, and grace. According to the teachings of the Catholic Church, the commandment to honour father and mother reveals God's desired order of charity — first God, then parents, then others.

The family is the original cell of social life. Authority, stability, and a life of relationships within the family constitute the foundations for freedom, security, and fraternity within society. The family is the community in which, from childhood, one can learn moral values, begin to honour God, and make good use of freedom. Family life is an initiation into life in society. The Gospel of Luke notes that, as a child, Jesus was obedient to his earthly parents.

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For a child in the home, the commandment to honour parents is comprehensive, excluding immoral actions. Grown children, while not obligated to obedience in the same way, should continue to afford respect for parental wishes, advice and teaching. When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you The Church teaches that adult children have a duty to honour their parents by providing "material and moral support in old age and in times of illness, loneliness, or distress".

The principle of the commandment is extended to the duty to honour others in direct authority, such as teachers, and employers. Father Seraphim Stephens sees "Honor" defined as "Love and Respect", and notes that this commandment is positioned between those that address one's obligations to God and those that relate to how one treats others.

Andrews points out that, "Every time we do something good, just, pure, holy, we bring honor to our parents. John Calvin describes the sacred origin of the role of human father which thus demands honour.

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The analogy between the honour of parents and the honour of God himself is further strengthened by this understanding that earthly fatherhood is derived from God's Fatherhood. Thus the duty to honour does not depend on whether the parent is particularly worthy. However, Calvin acknowledges that some fathers are outright wicked and emphasizes there is no excuse for sin in the name of honouring a parent, calling the notion "absurd".

Since, therefore, the name of Father is a sacred one, and is transferred to men by the peculiar goodness of God, the dishonouring of parents redounds to the dishonour of God Himself, nor can any one despise his father without being guilty of an offence against God, sacrilegium. If any should object that there are many ungodly and wicked fathers whom their children cannot regard with honour without destroying the distinction between good and evil, the reply is easy, that the perpetual law of nature is not subverted by the sins of men; and therefore, however unworthy of honour a father may be, that he still retains, inasmuch as he is a father, his right over his children, provided it does not in anywise derogate from the judgement of God; for it is too absurd to think of absolving under any pretext the sins which are condemned by His Law; nay, it would be a base profanation to misuse the name of father for the covering of sins.

The commentary of John Wesley on the commandment to honour father and mother is consistent with the interpretation in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. He summarizes the actions that express honour as follows: 1. An inward esteem of them, outwardly expressed, 2. Obedience to their lawful commands Ephesians —3 , 3. Submission to their rebukes, instructions and corrections, 4. As different opportunities arise, focus on other suggestions from the article.

Study the following article. If you are married, read and discuss the article with your spouse. Strengthening families is our sacred duty as parents, children, extended family members, leaders, teachers, and individual members of the Church. The importance of spiritually strengthening families is taught clearly in the scriptures. Father Adam and Mother Eve taught their sons and daughters the gospel.

The sacrifices of Abel were accepted by the Lord, whom he loved. We must understand that each of our children comes with varying gifts and talents.

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Some, like Abel, seem to be given gifts of faith at birth. Others struggle with every decision they make.


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  • As parents, we should never let the searching and struggling of our children make us waver or lose our faith in the Lord. In like manner, our teaching and testimony will be remembered by our children. The 2, stripling warriors in the army of Helaman testified that their righteous mothers had powerfully taught gospel principles to them see Alma — As we teach our children the gospel through word and example, our families are spiritually strengthened and fortified.

    The words of living prophets are clear regarding our sacred duty to strengthen our families spiritually. The home is the basis of a righteous life, and no other instrumentality can take its place or fulfill its essential functions in carrying forward this God-given responsibility. In the February letter, the First Presidency taught that by teaching and rearing children in gospel principles, parents can protect their families from corrosive elements.

    With the help of the Lord and His doctrine, all the hurtful effects from challenges a family may meet can be understood and overcome. Whatever the needs of family members may be, we can strengthen our families as we follow the counsel given by prophets. The key to strengthening our families is having the Spirit of the Lord come into our homes.


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    • The goal of our families is to be on the strait and narrow path. Countless things can be done within the walls of our homes to strengthen the family. May I share a few ideas that may help identify the areas that need strengthening in our own families. Make our homes a safe place where each family member feels love and a sense of belonging. Realize that each child has varying gifts and abilities; each is an individual requiring special love and care. Like the prodigal son, our children need to know that when they come to themselves they can turn to us for love and counsel.

      Spend individual time with our children, letting them choose the activity and the subject of conversation. Block out distractions.

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