Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you. – Exodus 20:12 NKJV.  

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” – Ephesians 6:1-3 NKJV.  

Ding Liang, a 63-year-old grandmother in China has a problem, the problem is that she is too ugly! At least that is what her son has said. The issue has been a continuation of a long-standing problem that the Mother has encountered with her son. The son, basically, is just embarrassed to have Ding as his Mother. One of the first indications of a problem occurred many years ago at her son’s wedding. Ding’s son at the time was moving in a higher social stratum than his Mother and was embarrassed when she came to the wedding dressed as a peasant.   

Since the wedding of her son, the Mother and son have become more estranged with the son rarely making contact. Ding says, “I don’t mind, I know he has his own life now, so I understand that he doesn’t call and only speaks to me when I ring him. But when he rang me the other day to say that he had had a baby, I wanted to visit him and bring my grandchild some gifts.” But, “He said I would embarrass him because I’m too ugly.” Ding and her husband have always tried to be supportive of their son and borrowed money so he could go to college. They also borrowed money when her son was getting married to help them. But now the son says to his Mother that he would be embarrassed for her to visit because she is too ugly. (China Smack 07.21.14)  

“Honor your father and your mother” not only is one of the Ten Commandments, it is also a commandment with an attached promise. The promised result of obedience is, “that your days may be long.” It appears that a potential curse has been added to the commandment by the writer of Proverbs 30:17 which indicates mocking and scorning your parents will result in bad things. Here is what Proverbs 30:17 says, “The eye that mocks his father, and scorns obedience to his mother, the ravens of the valley will pick it out, and the young eagles will eat it.” Every child should be made to memorize it and repeat it daily (ha!). For the child of Ding there appears to be some truth in this as publicity about his bad behavior toward his parents is having some ugly consequences for him. 

The 5th commandment says to “Honor” your mother and father. W. A Criswell, a great Bible scholar, says that to “Honor” your mother and father means to consider them “precious.” Indeed, your parents are precious, in that through them God has given you life. You can call your parents names, and you can treat them like dirt, but here is one thing that you can take to the bank: God will not “honor” you if you act in that way toward your parents. You can be a possible beneficiary of the promise of the 5th Commandment by honoring your parents “that your days may be long upon the land.” Or, you can mock and scorn your parents and receive the ugly promise of Proverbs 30:17.

(To “honor” your parents means to consider them “precious.”)

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