“We don’t need no education; we don’t need no thought control. Teachers! Leave the kids alone!” No, this is not the cry of protest of high school students who recoil from K12. These were the lyrics of a well-known song by Pink Floyd in the seventies. Judging from the more than 100 million views in You Tube that the hit song enjoys, its impressive popularity is showing no signs of demise.
For the musically inclined, the song may have its merits; for the nostalgic, a must-hear. But I believe in large part that the song has magnetic appeal to the young–the lyrics are fighting words, rebellious and anti-establishment. It strikes a chord in the hearts of the youth that makes them hate controlling authority and yearn for unbounded freedom.
True, the young have had their share of abuse from superiors but the Scriptures view authority in a different light: children are to honor authority; they are to honor their parents and this extends to all rule that has been placed over them by God (Ex 20:12; Deut 5:16; Eph 6:1-3; Col 3:20).
What does it mean then to honor father and mother?
1. It is to show our parents thorough respect. The honor of children to parents is an earthly expectation (Mal 1:6). Our parents were God’s instruments in giving us life. No matter how imperfect our parents are or might have been, God’s grace in them made them nurture us when we were young. We could have died in a shoebox that was left on the sidewalk after we were born or perished as a result of an abortion. But parents or foster parents cared for us so that we are alive today.
Christian youth especially must honor the aged as part of their holy living (Lev 19:3)–and not just by outward expressions like saying po (at least in Luzon) or making mano (cf 1 Kings 2:19) but by having a high inward esteem for them as well.
2. It is to listen to their instruction and counsel. This of course assumes that parents do their duty in teaching their children the ways of God in His word. This is done in the framework of family worship, informal talk, bringing their children to Sunday School, and being a good example of listening to preaching.
They also are to give their counsel especially with respect to the great affairs of life such as relationships, employment, career and other challenges (Ex 18:24; Judg 14:1-3).
The young think that because of changing times, they have the right to lecture their parents. But notwithstanding the faults of our superiors, it is those who listen to their parents that God calls wise (Prov 1:8-9; 3:1-2; 4:1-2; 5:1-2).
3. It is to follow their lawful commands. Obedience to authority must mark the youth (Eph 6:1-3; Col 3:2). This is right and well-pleasing in God’s sight. They cannot reason out that their parents are unreasonable. They cannot argue that domestic disobedience is their response to parental failure. Obeying their parents is obeying God.
The scope is expansive–all things. Yet, it has its limitations as well–in the Lord. Parents are not lords over their children’s consciences. Only God is Lord of the conscience.
There is an encouragement attached to this duty–this is the first commandment with a promise. The blessing of life is with those who obey.
4. It is to submit to their discipline. True, abuses have been committed. Yet that does not diminish the importance of Biblical discipline (Heb 12:7-12; Prov 13:1; 15:32; 19:27). The way a child is trained when young will reap its fruit when he is old. Lovingly applied, the young must see that discipline is for their good. It is an expression of care not just for their physical safety but for their spiritual well-being.
They must meekly and patiently bear the reproof and corrective training, no matter how painful, for their own good. They must seek to correct what has been pointed out is wrong and displeasing to God.
5. It is to be grateful to them for their care. Good children thank their parents and appreciate their care–hopefully not once a year but every now and then (Prov 31:28). You can express this by giving them thank you notes or cards, or giving them gifts, greeting them on special occasions or simply by saying thank you at opportune times. We owe a lot to our parents that to be ingrates is simply wicked.
6. It is to give them joy and encouragement. The young should not humiliate their parents by their words and actions. Daddy should not be often at the principal’s office because his son committed another misdemeanor. Mother should not be red with shame because junior is acting like a monkey on the loose at church. Students should perform well at school and be known for the good that they do. This brings joy and happiness to their elders (Prov 15:20; 17:21; 19:26; 28:7).
7. It is to care for them when they are old or sickly. Children, even those who have left home to marry or to live independently should not forget their parents, much less forsake them (Ruth 4:15; Gen 47:12; Prov 23:22). It is a fitting return to parents for children to reciprocate the love and concern that was showed them when they were still under their care. Very soon, their beloved elders will be gone–why not show them love and concern while still possible? Why wait for the time when it would be too late?
[Preached at MCBC Youth Fellowship, 11/13/15.]
Lapids come in full force.
My nieces and nephew were also present.
I taught on the virtue of honoring parents.
Elaine leads the games; Eval assists her.
Clay Charade: Yup that’s me, they guessed it, what a striking resemblance!
The complete cast; including me behind the camera.