God has high expectations for children and their parents. In today’s passage, He connects holiness to, among other things, honoring one’s mother and father. In fact, the Old Testament contains stern warnings for repeated disrespect and disobedience (Ex. 21:15; Deut. 21:18-21).
The Lord knew that rebellious children who escape discipline for their wrong actions could lead a society into chaos. Just look around you—tragically, it’s not very hard to find adults who disregard God’s law, relax rules of discipline, and fail to teach their children spiritual principles or moral ethics. If we allow children to get away with disobedience, we are shirking our God-given responsibility.
When godly parents are firm in a loving way and discipline consistently, they establish themselves in a position of righteous authority. To turn a blind eye to disobedience or disrespect is to undermine the Word of God. A son or daughter who disrespects a parent and gets away with it has violated Scripture (Ex. 20:12). And not only has the child sinned, but the parent has also transgressed by permitting the misdeed. Moreover, the door has been opened for the child to question the rest of God’s law: If that rule doesn’t matter, maybe this one doesn’t either.
Give your mom honor, and if you are a mother, be worthy of your family’s esteem. Expect obedience from your offspring—as well as respect, whether they are toddlers, high schoolers, or retirees. God has given you charge over your children. Honor Him by holding them to a high standard.