The 5th Commandment and the Affections of Our Children.


I moderate a Theological discussion forum and I made a comment concerning the subject of our Children and their affections being stolen away from their parents recently. I believe this is a very important issue concerning family today. I must admit that I am learning more about this issue actually late in life. I have failed miserably at it.

RPCNA Covenanter
There is a problem in some of the scenarios between Pastors and Youth Leaders that need to be addressed. Sometimes these people steal away the affections and respect of the kids from the place the children ought to have them. The children’s affections and respect are turned toward their Church leaders instead of directed toward their parents. The goal of the Church should be to direct the affections and admiration of children back toward the Parents. After all that is God’s plan. 

(Mal 4:6) And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

After I made the above comment a Youth Minister responded with this.

Youth Minister
Since this is the case, I guess we should keep our children from studying John Calvin, or Martin Luther, and we should keep them from listening to great preachers like Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan, etc. After all, we would not want the affection of the children turned to these men….

What you present is an either/or scenario, but this is facetious. I love my wife. But I also love my children, and I have some very dear, special friends in the ministry as well. Robbing the children from their scripturally mandated mentors (the scriptures command the older men to train the younger, in the church, NOT just the parents…), is not the answer. If the Youth Pastor is a godly man, and brother in Christ, the youth SHOULD love him…and love their parents as well. The two do not oppose one another.

I then replied….

RPCNA Covenanter

I never implied that we shouldn’t have our children love to read and appreciate God ordained means. I am just suggesting that the teen’s sometime start to become more enamored by their teachers and youth ministers because they are cool in their eyes and that their parents become secondary. The commandment is to first honour one’s parents and with that there is promise. I noted that sometimes these people steal the affections of the teens away from the parent when that shouldn’t be. These offices are suppose to be supporting roles in developing the affections of Children toward their parents. That is all I was getting at. I know what I am talking about by experience. I have seen it happen way too many times. And with many bad consequences.

A great example of a family that generationally honoured parents and received a great promise of blessing because of it is Jeremiah 35. The prophet could have told them they were being legalistic but he didn’t. He was told to commend them and said because they honoured and valued the wishes of their Great Grandfather they would always have someone standing before God.

Here is the passage of Scripture where I found this great blessing.

(Jer 35:1) THE word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, saying,
(Jer 35:2) Go unto the house of the Rechabites, and speak unto them, and bring them into the house of the LORD , into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink.
(Jer 35:3) Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habaziniah, and his brethren, and all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites;
(Jer 35:4) And I brought them into the house of the LORD , into the chamber of the sons of Hanan, the son of Igdaliah, a man of God, which was by the chamber of the princes, which was above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the keeper of the door:
(Jer 35:5) And I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites pots full of wine, and cups, and I said unto them, Drink ye wine.
(Jer 35:6) But they said, We will drink no wine: for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons for ever:
(Jer 35:7) Neither shall ye build house, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any: but all your days ye shall dwell in tents; that ye may live many days in the land where ye be strangers.
(Jer 35:8) Thus have we obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab our father in all that he hath charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, nor our daughters;
(Jer 35:9) Nor to build houses for us to dwell in: neither have we vineyard, nor field, nor seed:
(Jer 35:10) But we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us.
(Jer 35:11) But it came to pass, when Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, that we said, Come, and let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans, and for fear of the army of the Syrians: so we dwell at Jerusalem.
(Jer 35:12) Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah, saying,
(Jer 35:13) Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words? saith the LORD .
(Jer 35:14) The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, that he commanded his sons not to drink wine, are performed; for unto this day they drink none, but obey their father’s commandment: notwithstanding I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye hearkened not unto me.
(Jer 35:15) I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me.
(Jer 35:16) Because the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father, which he commanded them; but this people hath not hearkened unto me:
(Jer 35:17) Therefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon Judah and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them: because I have spoken unto them, but they have not heard; and I have called unto them, but they have not answered.
(Jer 35:18) And Jeremiah said unto the house of the Rechabites, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Because ye have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done according unto all that he hath commanded you:
(Jer 35:19) Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me for ever.

This family kept the affections of their children. This affection passed on from one generation to the next for probably a few centuries before the Prophet Jeremiah penned this and then beyond. And God’s promise to them for this was that the Lord said Jonadab the son of Rechab would always have a man to stand before him forever! Wow! 

Jonadab put some pretty heavy requirements upon his family. You might even say he went beyond scripture in his requirements concerning his children in the following generations. Jonadab obviously had their love, affections, and respect though.

One thing I noticed in this was that the Lord didn’t reprove the family for what some might call legalistic ways. In fact the Lord blesses the family for honoring their parents and doing what their parents wanted. It is a wonderful picture of fulfilling the 5th commandment.

(Exo 20:12) Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Exposition from St. Paul…..

(Eph 6:1) Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

(Eph 6:2) Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise)…

(Eph 6:3) That it may be well with theeand thou mayest live long on the earth.

Another thing I want to bring notice to is where Noah’s son was irreverent to his father and mother by uncovering his nakedness to make his Dad look stupid. It brought a curse {a curse} upon him. Noah, wasn’t an idiot. He may not have done everything correct but… We should be careful not to help promote this defaming of our parents and that we should perform in honor as the two wise sons of Noah did. They recognized sin and honored their Parents still. Am I saying a son shouldn’t reprove his father? By no means. Mine reprove me. I am grateful. I can be an idiot.

(Gen 9:20) And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:

(Gen 9:21) And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.(Gen 9:22) And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.

(Gen 9:23) And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.

(Gen 9:24) And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.

(Gen 9:25) And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.

(Gen 9:26) And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.


My prayer and heart felt wish is that we might learn this and be able to perform this way. Not in a legalistic sense or in a way were we bind our children’s consciences to things the Holy Bible does not bind them to. But that we bind the hearts of our Children to their parents and God. May we as the body of Christ endear our Children and turn their hearts toward their parents and Christ for such generational blessings.

I wish I had learned this when I was young. I wish I had learned to keep my affections for my parents this way. I wish I would have of endeared my children and their friends this way. I have miserably failed. May God grant me repentance.

The following link is the Sermon that started getting me thinking about this. My Pa pa in the faith Joe Gwynn preached it. It is more than worth your time to listen to it. It has taken me some time to soak it up though. I listened to it a few years ago and it has been slowly simmering in my soul. I am slow to hear.…D=621091614512