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So as you make your journey today- Get excited, and share your faith. About The Author. John Mark Caton. Related Posts. It's steeped in our culture. When children don't honor their parents, doors to bitterness, unforgiveness, anger and all sorts of relational sorrows are opened. Conversely, when children honor and obey parental authority, conflict is reduced and the peace of God prevails in the home. Both the quality and the quantity of a person's life are enhanced through simple obedience to the Word of God.

Like any good earthly parent, our heavenly Father is concerned about the safety and well-being of His children. In Proverbs , He told children to listen to their parents' guidance as it will serve as a protection for them. My son, keep your father's commandment, and do not forsake the instruction of your mother.

Bind them continually upon your heart, and tie them around your neck.

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When you go, they will lead you; when you sleep, they will keep you; and when you awake, they will speak with you. For the commandment is a lamp, and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life. The teachings of parents are to be given as "a light" to guide their children through the treacherous turns and enticements of life. Providing children with the means to discern safety from danger and to make decisions that will not harm them is a parental responsibility.

Children tend to resist the discipline of their parents because they do not recognize that it is one of the greatest expressions of love that parents can offer. But what about ungodly parents? Must we keep the commandment to "honor our father and mother" when the parents are not practicing godly lifestyles? Although each situation must be individually weighed in light of the entire counsel of God's Word, generally speaking, the answer is yes, as long as the parents do not act illegally, unethically or contrary to the Word of God.

Even when complete obedience is not possible, parents should still be treated with respect. If we disagree with someone in authority, it must be done with an attitude of humility and respect. God is honored when proper respect is given to parents and other authorities.

The most difficult situation of all is when a child has been sexually, emotionally, verbally or physically abused by his parents. What is God's answer regarding abusive parents? Is the believer required to remain in abusive situations? Absolutely not. In that case the parents have forfeited their rights to govern the child's life. Many who have experienced abuse at the hands of a parent find it impossible to imagine coming to a place of true forgiveness. How could one ever honor the parent who had damaged them so? If someone it still in an abusive situation, get help.

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But by honoring God with sacrificial obedience, we open the door through which the miracle power of healing and restoration for our damaged lives can flow. If someone is still in an abusive situation, get help. Sin turns our purpose and vocation toward something or someone other than God. Sin makes things worse. Cain moved from anger to violence because sin mastered him. When anger is conceived, it gives birth to violence. Jesus understood this.

Whoever is angry with another, he said, has already committed murder.

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Violence breeds violence. Cain feared this. He thought others might take matters into their own hands and kill him. His fear recognizes the inner dynamic of violence. Fueled by anger and generating fear, violence has no stopping point. We heard hope when Eve gave birth to Cain and gave him a name which expressed vitality and life.

Blessings and Woes

Adam and Eve were not bound over to evil by their exclusion from Eden. By the grace of God, they bore children, raised crops, herded flocks, and worshipped the Lord. God did not remove grace from the creation. The Lord did not execute Cain but protected him; the Lord showed mercy. The story continued, and God continued to pursue them. When God began to create, God took what was unordered and ordered it to make a good, habitable space.

God filled it with life, blessed it for growth and development, and gave humanity a choice.

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This choice is highlighted by the presence of the snake in the garden. The snake is clever but is also a symbol of chaos in the ancient world.

This crafty snake is the presence of chaos in the garden. But why does God permit chaos in the garden?

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Perhaps it highlights freedom. The man and woman may choose, and chaos gives them space to choose. The snake probes them and offers what they want. They want to be like God. Not because they are rebels but because their destiny is to be like God. God created them to become divine-like.

God wants them to be able to discern between good and evil because this is part of what it means to be like God. The snake, however, asks them to distrust God and take a shortcut to maturity. Like all children, they want to grow up fast. They grasp for wisdom as the snake outwits and deceives them.

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In their immaturity, they choose folly, and consequently, they fail to grow up. They circumvent the process that makes authentic wisdom and human flourishing possible. They do not maliciously rebel but as immature children they fail to trust their parent, as all children have done since.


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When they eat what was forbidden, they fall upward. It burdens them with toxic shame, and they realize they are naked. Their distrust generates fear and mutual accusation. They gain knowledge but at a cost. Consequences follow. Shortcuts sometimes have dire outcomes, and any shortcut to maturity is strewn with potholes and obstacles. Ill-equipped for knowledge, their choice introduces anxiety, brokenness, and fear. While harmony once existed within Eden, now hostility emerged between the serpent and the woman.

While childbearing was originally free of anxiety, now the woman will bear children with great fear. While the original couple once knew harmony in their marriage, now they will experience conflict. While in the garden the man enjoyed a bountiful provision, now he will anxiously struggle with the ground to produce food. While in Eden the man and woman were nourished by the tree of life, now they will experience death. These transitions are not so much punishments but what follows from foolish decisions.

Folly leads to self-destruction and death.