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To Honour and Obey

To Honour and Obey

By Talitha van Tonder on November 2nd 2019

A pair of hazel eyes flickered upwards to meet her mother’s eyes for a moment.

“Yes, mommy”

“You can play over here, but don’t go down the stairs and don’t play around those rocks. Do you understand?”

“Uh huh”

Mom let go of my hand and headed inside to chat to her friend.

I watched until she was inside then immediately hopped down the steps and skipped straight for the rocks. Picking flowers as I went, I whistled softly, looking around to see what else there was to see.

A bluebird, a monarch butterfly and a beautiful red Barberton daisy.

That was when I noticed a long, slender-looking dark object lying between the rocks and dead leaves.

I meandered towards it, contemplating how many knots I could tie in it.

As I reached down to play with it, it turned on me and I realised to late that it was a snake.

I didn’t make it back up the stairs before everything began to swirl around me and then went black.

Sitting up, sweating and gasping, I pressed my eyes closed for a moment. Then pushed my palms against my forehead and breathed in deeply. Then let it out.

Just a dream… Talitha, it was just a dream.


Well, I don’t usually remember my dreams – I mean, seriously, not many people do!

That dream though has stayed with me since I had it, which is around fourteen years or more ago.

That dream reminds me of what happened in the Garden of Eden - God gave a command, man disobeyed, and death entered this world.

This death is more than just a physical death, it is a spiritual death too. A kind of death that only One can save us from.

Romans 5:19:

For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Romans 5:19 (NKJV)

The One by Whom we are made righteous is Jesus and we are called to follow in His steps. (Phil. 2)

Ephesians 6:1-9 expounds on obedience:

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3 (NKJV)

Regarding children, they are to obey their parents because it is right. This commandment even comes with a promise of long life and blessings.

So, let’s briefly look at how Ephesians applies to young adults:

First, note that honour and obey are different things.

The principle of honouring our parents (and others in authority) does apply, always, regardless; but obedience to those in authority is not absolute. We are to obey God rather than man (Acts 5:29).

For example, a young believer may honour ungodly parents without obeying them if their parent’s commands are in opposition to God’s will and the principles that are set out in His Word.

Thus, we are always to honour authority and we are to obey authority when in accordance with God’s will, because to honour and obey those in authority is to honour and obey God.

2 minute read

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To Honour and Obey

To Honour and Obey

By Talitha van Tonder on November 2nd 2019

A pair of hazel eyes flickered upwards to meet her mother’s eyes for a moment.

“Yes, mommy”

“You can play over here, but don’t go down the stairs and don’t play around those rocks. Do you understand?”

“Uh huh”

Mom let go of my hand and headed inside to chat to her friend.

I watched until she was inside then immediately hopped down the steps and skipped straight for the rocks. Picking flowers as I went, I whistled softly, looking around to see what else there was to see.

A bluebird, a monarch butterfly and a beautiful red Barberton daisy.

That was when I noticed a long, slender-looking dark object lying between the rocks and dead leaves.

I meandered towards it, contemplating how many knots I could tie in it.

As I reached down to play with it, it turned on me and I realised to late that it was a snake.

I didn’t make it back up the stairs before everything began to swirl around me and then went black.

Sitting up, sweating and gasping, I pressed my eyes closed for a moment. Then pushed my palms against my forehead and breathed in deeply. Then let it out.

Just a dream… Talitha, it was just a dream.


Well, I don’t usually remember my dreams – I mean, seriously, not many people do!

That dream though has stayed with me since I had it, which is around fourteen years or more ago.

That dream reminds me of what happened in the Garden of Eden - God gave a command, man disobeyed, and death entered this world.

This death is more than just a physical death, it is a spiritual death too. A kind of death that only One can save us from.

Romans 5:19:

For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Romans 5:19 (NKJV)

The One by Whom we are made righteous is Jesus and we are called to follow in His steps. (Phil. 2)

Ephesians 6:1-9 expounds on obedience:

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3 (NKJV)

Regarding children, they are to obey their parents because it is right. This commandment even comes with a promise of long life and blessings.

So, let’s briefly look at how Ephesians applies to young adults:

First, note that honour and obey are different things.

The principle of honouring our parents (and others in authority) does apply, always, regardless; but obedience to those in authority is not absolute. We are to obey God rather than man (Acts 5:29).

For example, a young believer may honour ungodly parents without obeying them if their parent’s commands are in opposition to God’s will and the principles that are set out in His Word.

Thus, we are always to honour authority and we are to obey authority when in accordance with God’s will, because to honour and obey those in authority is to honour and obey God.

2 minute read