Confession 5

Commandment of the LORD no. 5 – Honor your parents

This one, Chinese actually do. They strive to be a good son or daughter. It is from the influence of Confucianism. The value of Filial Piety.

I once posed the question to a pastor, “What does it mean to honor your parents?” He told me it doesn’t mean to do whatever they say, but to not speak ill of them and something, something, I can’t remember.

I’ve since come up with my own definition of honoring your parents, based on the text that follows the fifth commandment. The text that follows is, “Honor your father and your mother so that you may live long in the land the LORD your GOD is given you.” Did you know that GOD wants to give you land? In the history of Israel. GOD gives His people an inheritance of land, the land of Canaan. But, Israel’s historians say that the Canaanites, who are descendants of Ham (son of Noah) actually took the land from the descendants of Shem, Israel, a long time ago. So GOD was just returning to Shem what is originally and rightfully his.

How does one lose their land? Mostly through not working hard enough, not having the wisdom to know when to work and what work to do when? People have to be able to grow their own food. Nowadays, no one wants to farm or grow plants. No one likes to be in the sun laboring, so they don’t have land. Another way to lose your land is through poverty. When famine, disaster, or just not being prepared happens, you may have to sell your land or sell yourself, indenture yourself as a servant to someone else.

The best reason to honor your parents is that if you do, to G-D’s satisfaction, He promises long life, and He promises that you will have land!

How do you have land? You have to receive it from your parents. You have to receive it, not take it. The land has to succeed to your hands. Now, you can take it rightfully, but wouldn’t you rather your parents happily give it to you? That takes patience and much hard work. Also, and most importantly, you have to please and HONOR your parents. That basically means don’t do things to shame them. Make them proud of you. Christian or GOD fearing parents basically always just want you to do the right thing. That’s all. And you have to love them, share their burdens, know them, work with them, etc. You’ll figure it out.

A side note, Chinese are very community based, having group thought and Chinese are business minded. So Chinese parents have this annoying habit of making their kids go around in social functions and say hi and bow down to everyone. As a youth, I found this very, very wrong. And I still do. But, these are my people, that is their custom. And if I want to do my best to stay in the group to help the group, then I may have to engage in this behavior. To make this clearer, Chinese don’t want others in the community to talk bad about them, that they are not teaching their kids. But, really why does one have to bow down to another? Sometimes Chinese want too much respect. Unless, you are supporting me why? Related to that point, most Chinese are business people and they buy from each other and need each others products and services. So bowing to each others maintains this bond. But, if I buy from other merchants, just for the stuff, then why do I need to bow to them.

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