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In the Gates

Fulfilling the Fifth Commandment

A Kingdom Catechism

The fifth commandment requires as much of parents as of children.


Q 85: How do they who have been redeemed fulfill the fifth commandment?

A 85: The redeemed of the Lord fulfill the fifth commandment by honoring their parents and all proper authorities, giving others the respect which is their due, and exercising stewardship over the creation. (Lev. 19.3, Deut. 18.15-20; Ex. 22.28; Ps. 8)

The implications of the fifth commandment reach beyond the responsibilities of children toward their parents. The home is the primary environment in which people learn to love God and their neighbors and to exercise stewardship over the creation and personal possessions. The principles of love, respect, duty, obedience, deference, civility, and so forth, which are bound up in the duty to honor one’s father and mother, are readily transferrable to other areas of life. The fifth commandment requires as much of parents as of children, for children only learn to honor parents as they are taught to do so. The absence of parental instruction and nurture in love for God and neighbors will have effects throughout society and culture, as we are seeing in our day.

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T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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