Respect One Another

KEY VERSE: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” —Proverbs 22:6

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Proverbs 4:1-5; 6:20; 22:6; 31:26-28

THE FIFTH OF the Ten Commandments exhorts children to honor their parents. It is interesting that the keeping of this commandment, alone has a promise of longevity. “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” (Exod. 20:12) This admonition of honoring and showing respect to parents should be followed by all people, young and old, desirous of following God’s precepts.

Our lesson teaches that a child should remember the words of his father, and follow his instruction. We read: “Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.” (Prov. 4:1) An earthly father desires only the best for his children, and so teaches them with this view in mind. The loving parent, having been through more of the varied and complex experiences of life, seeks to impart to his children the lessons that, through his own mistakes, perhaps, he has learned. Our Heavenly Father says to us, “Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.”—Prov. 4:4

The Key Verse points out that early training of a child in proper paths will bring positive long-term results. Experts tell us that most behavior is learned at home in the very early years of life. This fact further supports the thought that the extent to which the young child learns from, and has respect for, his parents, he will not deviate from those principles.

Another significant lesson to keep in mind relates to our spiritual lives. It is written, “My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.”—Prov. 6:20,21

In addition to our natural parents, we have a loving Heavenly Father who desires to teach us his principles, so that we may never depart from his ways. He, even more than our fleshly father, has taught and instructed us through his Word, the Bible, what important qualities we must develop to be pleasing to him. We must follow his instructions if we are to be his pleasing children.

Just as it is necessary at times for a natural father to correct his child, our Father in heaven must also discipline us, not by physical hurt or deprivation of his love, but by the gentle instructions we receive through the overruling providences of his care. He enables us to see where we have erred, and gives us the opportunity to take corrective actions in our lives. The Apostle Paul speaks along these lines, saying, “My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons.”—Heb. 12:5-7

Referring once again to our Key Verse, we learn that those trained in youth to walk in the paths of righteousness, as taught by our Father in heaven, will likely remain in God’s favor and receive further guidance and direction. Let us heed Paul’s words: “Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.”—II Tim. 3:14

Dawn Bible Students Association
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