Exodus 20:12 says, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.”
Where the first four commandments deal, primarily, with our relationship to God, the final six commandments deal primarily with our relationship to one another. In other words, the first four commandments are vertical and the final ones are horizontal.
But in what group should the fifth commandment about honoring your parents really be listed? It can be seen as a segue bridge between the first four and the final commandments.
On one hand, the fifth commandment deals with a human relationship—child to parent. Conversely, there’s nothing comparable that shapes and influences our relationship to this God more than our relationship to our parents. Our parents, Lord willing, are there to teach us submission to authority, right from wrong, responsibility, and what it means to be truly loved without exception in God’s eyes.
Worldliness encourages the reversal of the fifth commandment—parents obeying their children instead of the other way around.
Did you know that the some of the most well-known atheists in the last century (Freud, Marx, O’Hare, etc.) all had a severely dysfunctional or damaged relationship with their biological father?