When Paul exhorts children to “obey” their parents, he is simply asserting an inherent obligation. Obedience to parents is not a sole teaching of the scriptures. Every civilization, both ancient and contemporary, commands obedience from children to their parents. It’s part of the natural law of the universe. We need no special revelation for this truth. It’s readily apparent to everyone.

But the Bible adds a new dimension to children’s relationship with their parents. Both Moses and Paul says we are to “honor” them.  The Hebrew word  kabed, for honor, means to be heavy or weighty. We still use terms like this today. When we talk of people who “carry a lot of weight” we are talking about those who people listen to and have influence. In Scripture there is an antonym to honor and it is qalal. It means “to curse.” Literally, it means to “be light, or of little weight.” Again, today we think of people who carry no weight with regards to certain situations.

To honor our mothers is to regard them of high value and to make them “heavyweights” in our lives. I think it was Smalley & Trent who said, “Some people treat their parents as if they are a layer of dust on a table. Dust weighs almost nothing and can be swept away with a brush of the hand. Dust is a nuisance and an eyesore that clouds any real beauty the table might have.” When we treat our mother’s as lightweights it is not only wrong, it is also dishonoring to God. God calls us to deeply value them.

In my life there are three mother’s for me to honor and to view as heavyweights. My mother has passed away and both of my grandmothers. But I still have my wife’s mother, my son’s mother, and my grandson’s mother.  They all carry a lot of weight in my life. Truly, God could not have given me better women in my life!


“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother – this is the first commandment with a promise.” Ephesians 6:1-2