LAW 5 ‘HONOUR YOUR PARENTS’ (ie Submit to authority)

Posted: August 17, 2011 in Controversial

This does mean to obey them, but it doesn’t mean blind obedience. It means we are to hold our parents in high esteem & keep a soft heart towards them no matter what their faults or mistreatments, ie. not to hold an attitude of disrespect against them.

As with all these laws, it’s the spirit of the law that God is interested in, not the legalistic duty of blind obedience. Therefore, this law does not mean that we necessarily do everything that they want. Apollos didn’t just do what Paul wanted 1Cor.16:12. Jesus did not do what His mother wanted when she requested to speak to Him (Mark 3:31). Neither did He do what His parents wanted when He stayed behind at the synagogue at the age of twelve. He was only interested in doing what His Heavenly Father wanted Him to do. He refused to compromise Law 1. This is true love.

It does not mean keeping quiet and not expressing your opinion. Jesus spoke His opinion directly to His mother (John 2:1) when she interfered and tried to get Him to fix up the problem of the shortage of wine [as if He didn’t already know]. Similarly, a wife must never bow to her husband’s lustful desires. She must stand for truth & allow the truth to convict him (& vice versa).

It does not mean that we should keep quiet for fear of offending. Jesus did things, and deliberately said things that He knew would offend not only his opponents, the Pharisees, but also His own followers (John 6:61). He was only interested in doing what His Heavenly Father wanted Him to do. This is true love.

It doesn’t mean that we have to stand there and continually take abuse. There are times when it’s right to leave. When king Saul consistently abused David, David left the palace. However, David never held a grudge against Saul. He simply waited for God’s timing and God’s justice. Waiting on God is true love.

It does not mean that we should never stand up and oppose evil authority. God chose Jeroboam to oppose the evil regime of Rehoboam, and God inspired the people to rebel (1 Kings 12). Peter opposed the Sanhedrin with “we ought to obey God rather than men” Acts 5:29

RULE 3 … Selfish rebellion is sin, but God-inspired rebellion is obedience to law 1.

SUBMISSION doesn’t mean being walked over. It’s being willing to be walked-over, or willing to be told what to do or to be corrected. It’s having a spirit of meekness (soft heart) that carries no offence & doesn’t compromise truth (1Peter 3:4) & has an inner heart of respect for those who are in authority over us Col.3:18-23. Submission is doing what God wants, not what I want, & not what others want. Submission is an attitude of spirit.

LOVE does not submit to pressure. SUBMISSION does not bend to FEAR. Submitting out of FEAR, is PRIDE, not LOVE. Solomon held his mother in high regard, but this didn’t stop him from changing his promise to her, when wisdom dictated otherwise (1Kings 2:19-24). Asa removed his grandmother as queen mother because of her adultery 1K.15:13.
We are required to submit to authority (good or evil), unless that authority tells us to contravene God’s laws eg. the midwives in Egypt (Ex.1), & the fiery furnace (Dan.3), or God tells us to oppose it eg. Jeroboam (1K.12). The truth is, all authority is under God’s authority (R.13:1,2); therefore, we are actually submitting to God, not the authority.


It does involve caring for our parents’ uncared-for needs. Even when Jesus was on the cross, He attended to the needs of His mother (John 19:26,27).

It does involve putting them before yourself, but not before God.

The consequences of the 5th law are clearly specified in Exodus 20:12 … viz. your life will be shortened if you do not keep a soft heart towards your parents.

‘Everyone that curses his father or mother shall be put to death’ Lev.20:9.

The opposite to righteous submission is unrighteous rebellion.


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