III. HONORING ONE’S PARENTS
The third nugget, the third principle, is the honoring of one’s parents. After God, we should respect our parents, having regard for them, honoring them, and obeying them. Honoring our parents will prolong our days.
Revering God and honoring one’s parents are mentioned together in Proverbs. In the Ten Commandments the first four, concerning God, and the fifth, concerning honoring our parents, are on the first of the two tablets. This indicates that our parents are ranked with God. To honor our parents is to remember our source. Ultimately, if we trace back to our source, we will reach God. Therefore, to honor one’s parents is nearly equal to revering God. If we revere God, we will honor our parents.
A. Hearing the Instruction of Our Father
We should hear the instruction of our father and not reject the teaching of our mother; for they will be a wreath of grace for our head and ornaments for our neck (Prov. 1:8-9).
B. Receiving Our Father’s Words
and Treasuring Up His Commandments within Us
We should receive our father’s words and treasure up his commandments within us, making our ear attentive to wisdom and inclining our heart to understanding. Indeed, if we cry out for discernment and lift up our voice for understanding and if we seek her like silver and search for her like hidden treasures, then we will understand the fear of Jehovah and find the knowledge of God. For Jehovah gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding (2:1-6).
C. Not Forgetting Our Father’s Instruction
Proverbs 3:1 and 2 charge us not to forget our father’s instruction but to let our heart keep his commandments; for length of days and years of life and peace will they add to us. Here longevity and peace are related to honoring our parents. Verse 4 goes on to speak of our finding favor and a reputation for fine understanding in the sight of God and man. In verse 5 we are told to trust in Jehovah with all our heart and not to rely on our own understanding. We should not despise the chastening of Jehovah, nor be weary of His discipline; for whom Jehovah loves He disciplines (vv. 11-12). Verses 21 and 22 say, "My son, do not let them depart from your sight;/Keep sound wisdom and discretion;/And they will be life for your soul/And a graceful ornament for your neck."
(Life-Study of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)