HONOR AND DIGNITY – THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT

Simple, easy to understand,  straightforward.    As are all the Commandments:

“Honor thy father and thy mother . . .”     (The Fourth Commandment)

4th father

And, see?   The word  “thy”  is used — a word of respect, giving dignity to the addressee.   The Good God gives us dignity along with our humanity.

Honor your father and mother.   In every way you can.

There is a kind of internal reverence when we give honor, that hushes all our own self-referencing thoughts.   This internal reverence arises out of an object worth and dignity inside the person.    No man is respected more than one who is seen honoring his own mother or father.

4th mother

  Remember in the last post I wrote that Virgil’s epic informed the principles of governing  –  and morality –  for men of Western Civilization  …    Here is  Aeneas supporting his father Anchises as they flee destruction,  with his own son Ascanius looking on — and learning:

It is so easy and common to see the world through our own lenses.  We are quite naturally selfish,  self-centered, and self-referencing in all that comes before us.  “How do I feel about this?”   Or, more crassly,  “what’s in it for me?”
But to stand before your parents,  to talk with them, to have to deal with them and help them and have patience with them  should immediately quiet down all those references to ourselves as we freely honor our parents.  “Honor” is an internal movement of our hearts and it manifests itself in our words and actions.

“Honor thy father and thy mother” never stops.  No expiration date on that Commandment!

Do we honor our parents because of the authority they have over us?  Sure.

Do we honor our parents because it is prudent?  Yep.  Certain times of our lives that works best for us.

Do we honor our parents because we love them?  Can be.   Hope so.

Do we honor our parents because we note the sacrifices they made on our behalf.    Yes!

Do we honor our parents because it is part of our traditional culture?  Often. It’d be smart to “conserve” that one/

Do we honor our parents because they brought us into the world in an act of Creative generation that they, in their marital act, shared with the Creator? Yes.   that’s the way it works.    (No marital act is ever committed without the Presence of the Creator.)

But most of all we honor our parents because the Good God made it so.   We are made with a kind of “software”  that keeps us running, and one of the “programs”  is honor given to our parents  because  it connects us to God Himself and reminds us of our relationship with Him also, that He made us to be humans, and He gives to us humans our dignity and worth.

God loves humans and cares for them and has not abandoned them to figure out things for themselves.   We have Free Will, of course,  but He is a rewarder of those who seek Him and obey Him.   The rest of the Fourth Commandment tells us this: “Honor thy father and thy mother that thy days may be long on the land that the LORD thy God has given thee.”

So there is a reward.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Christendom, Creator, Ten Commandments

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