I have a new article up at NewEvangelizers.com.
With the general breakdown of the family, this commandment can be harder and harder to follow.
What does it mean to honor your parents? It of course means to respect them, but it also means that while they are raising us we must obey them. This is a very uncomfortable reality for many, especially teenagers. When I explain this part of the commandment, I usually get the question:
“So if my mom tells me to clean my room and I don’t, then it’s a sin?”
My response: “Yep.”
“So if my parents tell me to rob a liquor store, I have to?”
Of course not. We have an obligation to obey any authority over us. In general, when we disobey our parents, we sin. In the same way, we are under the authority of civil laws. In general, when we break the law we also sin.
There is, of course, an exception: when an authority commands us to disobey an even higher authority, then we are no longer obliged to obey.
But in ordinary circumstances, we must obey our parents as they raise us. Why? Because out of all eternity, God chose for each of us two specific people to be our mother and our father. That isn’t to say that they will be perfect. And it is no guarantee against human sinfulness manifesting in emotional or physical abuse. But in His Divine wisdom, these people were placed in our lives for some higher purpose.
And it must be understood that the command to honor the father and the mother goes beyond the obligation of children. We as a society must honor parents and the family.
You can read the entire article here.