I was once at a family gathering (kind of a reunion) in my childhood that took place in Alabama. I remember hearing some members of my family sing as song with a line it that said, "An old brimstone preacher lived long ago. His message was clear it said you reap what you sow." I always liked that line, and of course it comes from a passage in the book of Galatians. The Bible does teach that you reap what you sow. Of course we know this is true in the natural. If you go outside and plant a field of corn you should not get upset when spring harvest comes and you've got corn to pick. To go outside and expect a field of watermelon or a field of snap peas would be utterly ridiculous. As crazy as this may sound, most parents today are surprised, upset, bewildered, and distraught when they see there children get involved with the wrong crowd or in sinful activities the older they get. But the message of the brimstone preacher was right. They are reaping what they've sown.
You cannot expect to never spend quality or quantity time with a child and then have him love and adore you the same way as if you did spend such time with him or her. I cannot expect my daughters to respect my understanding and wisdom one day when it comes time for them to get married if I do not nourish and take care of them now when they are young. My sons will not want to listen to me, much less obey me when I council them not to go to a certain place or area, or not to hang out with a certain person, if I've not been diligently teaching them the commandments of the Most High all throughout their elementary years. But the opposite is just as true. The more time I take care to talk to my children, play games with them, teach them the Scriptures, sing with them, and just spend good, plain ol' family time with them, my harvest will be plentiful.
To not raise your children up properly and then expect them to do what is right in their teenage years is like looking for snap peas after you've planted corn. Parents, you are accountable for your children. If you've brought a child (or children) into this world they are your responsibility. I don't just mean that you have the job of feeding and clothing them, I mean that you have the job of training them up in the way that they should go, in the way of the law of Yahweh. It is your job to teach them diligently out of the Scriptures, it is your job to make sure that they understand the commandments and what they mean and entail. It is up to you to take time to discipline them when they err at a young age. You must "water," "pull out the weeds," "till," etc. you children, just as a farmer takes great care to make sure what he planted will produce abundantly.
I'm looking for the best harvest myself. Yahweh has given me the tools to make sure the best harvest is what I get. The tools are the books of the Bible. I am using them; I hope you will too.
When is the last time you sat down with your family and worshiped the Creator? I'm not talking about in a church building or at a church function. Those should be done, but to limit our times of study, praise, learning, etc. to once or twice a week is not beneficial to our families. The Bible teaches us that men's hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked (go look it up) and that we need to be encouraging one another daily so that we are not hardened by sins deceitfulness. Our children need to be hearing the good news of the gospel along with a host of other Biblical studies each and every day of their lives. They need to be hearing it from their Father and Mother, not just their church Pastor or Elder.
My family has been going through Proverbs for a while now and I've noticed particularly that a common saying in the book is that a wise child makes his Parents glad, but a foolish child brings discomfort on Parents. But why are so many children foolish? Is it because they have to be that way? Is it because there is nothing a Parent can do to drive away such foolishness? Are Parents just to throw up their hands and wait until their children "grow out" of such a stage? None of the above, I say. Foolishness is driven away by applying the Bible to your childs life and by disciplining your child with the rod of correction; it (the rod) will drive foolishness far away from your child, but it must be administered in love, not in hate.
Getting back to Biblical training, I believe that us Father's should be taking time out everyday to study with our children. Sing songs of praise with them to Yahweh, teach them Bible verses encouraging them to commit them to memory. Take time to go through the life of a Biblical person, or an entire book in the Bible. Talk to them seriously, give them practical applications that they can follow through with even now in their childhood. Teach them to pray to the heavenly Father. All of this is assuredly a wonderful and proper use of our time here in this life. People waste their time with so many other things, when they could be glorifying their Maker with family worship.
I want to suggest for you to have family worship in the morning before everybody goes about their day. It's so great to begin each day with Yahweh. Don't waste your life; don't wait until tommorrow, start today. You'll be glad you did.
I've heard it said many times before, "Blood is thicker than water." Those using such a statement are making reference to their bond with their family. In other words, in a "sticky situation" they are always going to side with family. I do not believe in this concept. I rather believe that "Covenant is thicker than blood."
Basically stated, our relationship with Yahweh comes first and foremost, before friends, and yes, before even our most immediate family. I'm one of those people who really does not like upsetting another person. I like for people to like me, desiring to love my neighbor as myself and give a soft answer to turn away the anger of another. As much as I like to be a "people person" I refuse to cave in to another persons whims while at the same time giving up a conviction that I have before the heavenly Father. If push comes to shove then I choose to upset the feelings of my friends and/or family instead of upsetting Yahweh.
Yeshua the Messiah taught this in Matthew 12:46-50:
"While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. (KJV)"
See, Yeshua believed that covenant was indeed thicker than blood. He recognized that his true family were those who were obedient to his Father in heaven. This was stated plainly by him also in Matthew 7:21 where he taught that it wouldn't be those who called him Lord or Master that would enter the kingdom of heaven, but rather those that performed the will of his Father.
I recently spoke with a gentleman over the telephone concerning his being put out of an assembly. This man was told he was not welcome in the assembly he had been attending because of his belief in a certain doctrine. The Elder or Pastor of this assembly explained to this man that he was causing division amongst members in the assembly, and even division amongst long time friends and family members. I told my friend that this Pastor was correct; my friend was causing division in this assembly, but there is good division and bad division. The Bible warns us to mark those which cause division amongst brethren (Romans 16:17) but this division is speaking of false doctrine dividing the assembly, not true doctrine.
I was once accused by a group of men who told me I was causing division amongst people in a church over the doctrine of our heavenly Father's name. I was seeing that our heavenly Father has a name and this name was and is not God or Lord or even Jehovah. I wanted to make this known to other people so that they could share in this glorious truth and begin to call upon the name of Yahweh (Joel 2:32). One Pastor told me, "Matthew, it will cause division in the church." I thought about this and responded by explaining that this man had already agreed with me that our heavenly Fathers name is Yahweh so the division I would be causing would not be division about false doctrine, but rather division over true doctrine; i.e. seeing who would follow the truth instead of fables.
Yeshua taught this in Luke 12:51-53:
"Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. (KJV)"
John 7:41-43 states that there was a division amongst the people because of what Yeshua taught; in John 10:6-19 Yeshua caused division amongst the Jews because of his words. These passages show clearly that Yeshua believed in causing division amongst the true believers and the false "believers". It is put very plain in Matthew 10:34-39:
"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. (KJV)"
Here Yeshua explains that one of his missions upon earth is to send the sword, or in other words, division. He says that a man's enemies will be those of his own household, or his own family. Many times the truth will divide, and divide sharply it does. As it states in Matthew 25:32-33, Yeshua will divide the sheep from the goats on judgment day. There will be a division that takes place; the "sheep" will have eternal life, and the goats will have eternal destruction (also see Luke 6:22; 2 Corinthians 6:17; Exodus 8:23).
Yeshua was only teaching exactly what his Father taught in the law, as he always did. Yeshua spoke the words of Yahweh always and fully. Yahweh was not bashful in telling the Israelites that covenant was thicker than blood. He told them in the plainest of terms who they were to love more.
"If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the Yahweh thy Mighty One, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you. (Deuteronomy 13:6-11 KJV).
What shall we say to these things? Well, sometimes division can be a bad thing, in stirring up discord among brethren by gossip (Proverbs 6:14-19), in spreading false doctrine amongst people (Romans 16:17; 1 Corinthians 1:10), and in just seeking to cause division and strife (1 Corinthians 3:3). However there is such a thing as good division, and we must recognize this so as to not always think that division is a "work of the devil."
The fifth commandment directs us to honor our father and mother, and most people take this command to only mean respect, saying "Yes Sir; Yes Ma'am" and the like. I do promote honoring your parents in this fashion. I was raised saying "Sir" and "Ma'am" and to this day have a habit of using this speech when talking to people older than myself. We should respect elder people in general for Leviticus 19:32 says, "Thou shalt rise up before the hoary (grey) head, and honor the face of the old man, and fear thy Mighty One: I am Yahweh."
I would just like to comment on an overlooked aspect of the commandment in Exodus 20:12, and that is material honor. What I mean is that children are called upon to take care of their parents materially, when they are in need, or when they are elderly and unable to take care of themselves. In other words, if my father needs help mowing his lawn or carrying out the garbage when he's unable to do so, I am under obligation by Almighty Yahweh to honor him by doing these chores for him.
In Matthew 15 we find the Pharisees coming to Yeshua and asking him why His disciples trangressed the tradition of the elders. Yeshua replied by asking them why they transgressed the commandment of Yahweh in order to keep their tradition.
"He (Yeshua) answered them, And why do you break Elohim's commandment because of your tradition? For Elohim said Honor your father an your mother; and, The one who speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death. But you say, Whoever tells his father or mother, Whatever benefit you might have received from me is a gift [committed to the temple] he does not have to honor his father. In this way you have revoked Elohim's word because of your tradition." (Matthew 15:4-6)
Commentator Albert Barnes' gives an excellent exposition on this passage and although it is rather lengthy, I offer it for the sake of clarity:
"It is a gift—In Mark it is “corban.” The word “corban” is a Hebrew word denoting a gift. Here it means a thing dedicated to the service of God, and therefore not to be appropriated to any other use. The Jews were in the habit of making such dedications. They devoted their property to God for sacred uses, as they pleased. In doing this they used the word qaarbaan or korban, or some similar word, saying, this thing is “corban,” i. e., it is a gift to God, or is sacred to him. The law required that when a dedication of this kind was made it should be fulfilled. “Vow and pay unto the Lord your God,” Ps. 76:11. See Deut. 23:21. The law of God required that a son should honor his parent; i. e., among other things, that he should provide for his needs when he was old and in distress. Yet the Jewish teachers said that it was more important for a man to dedicate his property to God than to provide for the needs of his parent.
If he had once devoted his property once said it was “corban,” or a gift to God—it could not be appropriated even to the support of a parent. If a parent was needy and poor, and if he should apply to a son for assistance, and the son should reply, though in anger, “It is devoted to God; this property which you need, and by which you might be profited by me, is “corban”—I have given it to God;” the Jews said the property could not be recalled, and the son was not under obligation to aid a parent with it. He had done a more important thing in giving it to God. The son was free. He could not be required to do anything for his father after that. Thus, he might, in a moment, free himself from the obligation to obey his father or mother...
Besides, the law said that a man should die who cursed his father, i. e., that refused to obey him, or to provide for him, or spoke in anger to him. Yet the Jews said that, though in anger, and in real spite and hatred, a son said to his father, “All that I have which could profit you I have given to God,” he should be free from blame. Thus, the whole law was made void, or of no use, by what appeared to have the appearance of piety. No man, according to their views, was bound to obey the fifth commandment and support an aged and needy parent, if, either from superstition or spite, he chose to give his property to God, that is, to devote it to some religious use.
Our Saviour did not mean to condemn the practice of giving to God, or to religious and charitable objects. The law and the gospel equally required this. Jesus commended even a poor widow that gave all her living, Mark 12:44, but he condemned the practice of giving to God where it interfered with our duty to parents and relations; where it was done to get rid of the duty of aiding them; and where it was done out of a malignant and rebellious spirit, with the semblance of piety, to get clear of doing to earthly parents what God required."
One can easily see that the fifth commandment has reference to much more than just respecting one's parents. Yeshua was rebuking the Pharisees for not giving their gift to their parents. Notice, the gift given to Yahweh by the Pharisees should have gone to the parents as an act of honor. To honor one's parents meant (among other things) to take care of them materially when they are not able to watch after themselves.
Other uses of honor in Scripture supporting material giving are found here:
Blog by Matthew Janzen. Lover of Yahweh, Yeshua, my wife and 5 children. All else is commentary.