God wants us to listen to our parents because that is how He has designed life and therefore the way that it works best. As a new born baby each of us is totally helpless and dependent on someone else to feed us, move us, clean us etc. As we grow up, we learn to do more things for ourselves. In our teenage years, we start to have freedom to make our own choices about things while still being largely dependent on our parents or carers for food, for clothes, for direction and for help when we make mistakes.
…it makes sense that our parents who love us most, should be able to guide us to do good things…
The fifth commandment
The fifth of God’s ten commandments says, “Honour your father and mother” (Exodus 20:12 ). To honour our parents means to value and respect them and to listen to them. Proverbs 1:8 says “Listen my son to your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching” and Proverbs 6:20-22  reminds us that listening to our parents will help and guide us. Wisdom in life is gained through experience and experience increases with age, so it makes sense that our parents who love us most, should be able to guide us to do good things and help us not to make mistakes that could permanently harm our lives. Sadly not all homes are as they should be, but God still wants us to try to honour our parents in the best way we can.
It is important to note that God attaches a promise to those who obey this commandment. ‘…that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you’. Listening to and honouring our parents not only pleases God, but it is also good for us. As we learn to respect our parents in the home, we also learn to respect other people who will be in authority over us at school and later in our lives at work or in the church. Society only works well if people are prepared to submit to appropriate authority and we first learn how to do this in the home by honouring our parents.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
We also honour our parents by being obedient to them. Jesus, who lived a morally perfect life, was an example to us of this. The Bible does not tell us a lot about Jesus’ life on earth before He was thirty years old, but Luke 2:51  tells He “was obedient to them” (his parents). Two other Bible verses in the New Testament teach that children should obey their parents: Ephesians 6:1 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” and Colossians 3:20 “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord”.
So by listening to, respecting and obeying their parents, children and young people will please God and also learn to live in a way that will make life enjoyable and successful.
- Exodus 20:12 “Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”
- Proverbs 6:20-22 “My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck. When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you.”
- Luke 2:51 “And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.”