The first four of the Ten Commandments of God define our relationship with God. There are clear; absolute and there is no way ANYONE can mistake HOW we are to conduct ourselves before Father, through the Son, Jesus the Lord and Savior.
The next six of these Ten Commandments of God define our relationship with each other. Jesus Christ summed up all the in Luke 10:27 (“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”) What we shall do here is examine each of the remaining six and see how we are to "love our neighbor as ourselves"!
The Fifth Commandment says “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you." (Exodus 20:12 ESV). It is no accident that this is the first of the Relational Commandments. How we honor, love and respect Abba, our Heavenly Father, depends on how we do the same with our earthly parents!
The ancient Hebrew families all lived together and the family could all be found in the same compound, for the most part. Everyone had a part in helping aging elders in this setting, which was indeed the earthly ideal set up by Holy God. For example, Jesus was on the Cross and as He looked over to His Disciple John, He said in His dying moments to him "Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home....(John 19:27). The Messiah was not saying that His earthly mother Mary was ANYTHING other than she was now John's responsibility to care for, as was the Hebrew family custom! This is ALL that verse means. Jesus' earthly half-brothers - Mary's two REAL sons - James and Jude (who wrote two New Testament books) were not yet part of the body of the Disciples. They would join in later as the entire group ended up living and travelling together.
Fast forward to 2012...how does this affect us today? The same! The nucleus of the family was determined in Heaven along with Marriage between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24). Whereas marriage today has been degraded as America and the west slouch towards Gomorrah, all children today still have parents! Children growing up in single (and unmarried) households are increasing, even faster than those in traditional families, as God intended it. Ungodly liberal policies and politicians are attempting to redefine God's plan for families by saying over and over, that the infrastructure of the local community is the one which children should honor. In other words, these people say - "it takes a village"! Well, God says in His Word that it does not take a village or a public school teacher or some social activist. It takes a parent.
Are some parents not deserving of respect and honor? Yes.
Are some parents not raising their children with the fear and knowledge of the Lord? Yes.
Are these parents going to be held accountable by the Lord for NOT teaching these children His statutes and precepts? Yes, Yes and a thousand times Yes! Still, this does not absolved our children...as we once were, from their responsibility to be polite and respectful of their parents (or parent if the natural mom or dad is absent).
This command from the Lord sets up the foundation for the future behavior of children, as we will see over the next five commandments!