Heidelbergian Children's Catechism (age 8- 10 years)
Lord's Day 39
The fifth commandment tells you to honour your father and your mother. This commandment is very personal: it speaks about your own father and mother. When the Lord Jesus returned to heaven, God his Father gave Him authority over everything. That includes authority over you. But Jesus Christ does not do everything Himself. He uses your father and mother to help you along. They should teach you how to live in obedience and faith, and to work hard. You should live this way in everything the Lord asks you to do, both now and in the future. So, when you listen to your parents with obedience, at the same time you are listening to God. Of course, parents should be good parents. That is what they promised when you were baptized. They tell you what is good and what is not. They read stories from the Bible to you. They also punish you when you deserve it. God wants them to discipline you, because you learn from that. Your parents also tell you what you are not allowed to do. after, you may not like to be told. Yet, you should obey them, for they know what is good for you, even when you do not understand why. When you are older you may not understand the Lord. There will be things in your life that you really want to be different. Even then you should go on loving God and obeying Him. It is not enough to obey your parents. You should also honour them. You should not have a big mouth when they don’t allow you to do what you want. And always be polite to them! Yes, it happens that they do something that is unfair. Even then, go on loving them, and be patient. For fathers and mothers are also sinful. Love your parents a lot. Obey them and be proud of them. Did you realize that this commandment also means that you must obey all people that have authority? That means you must obey your teacher, follow the instructions of the police, and keep the laws of the government. The Lord sees you honouring your parents. You will be blessed for this obedience, and on the new earth it will be entirely good.