Christian Churches of God

No. CB74





Fifth Commandment


(Edition 2.0 20050914-20070302)


The Fifth Commandment tells us to honour our father and our mother that we may live long in the land the Lord our God gave us.






Christian Churches of God

PO Box 369,  WODEN  ACT 2606,  AUSTRALIA






(Copyright ã 2005, 2007 June Hoyt and Diane Flanagan, ed. Wade Cox)



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Fifth Commandment



To teach the basic premises of the Fifth Commandment.




  1. Children will know the Fifth Commandment is the first commandment with a promise.
  2. Children will appreciate and know why their parents are trying to teach them.
  3. Children will identify three benefits/blessings for obeying their parents.
  4. Children will identify the result of disobedience.
  5. Children will identify which adults may also be included in this Commandment in addition to their parents.
  6. Children will know that God is their Father and even if they are “fatherless” God will take care of them.
  7. Children will identify their responsibilities to their parents as the parents become elderly.
  8. Children will understand why the first-born would receive a double portion.
  9. Children will know that in the Seventh year the Law is read and we try to do a better job of putting the Commandments into practise each and every day.


Relevant Scriptures:


Leviticus 19:3; Deuteronomy 5:16; 21:18-21; 27:16; Proverbs 30:17; Matthew 15:4; 19:19; Mark 7:10; 10:19; Luke 18:20; Colossians 3:20.


Memory Scriptures:


Exodus 20:12 reads: Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land, which thy God giveth thee.


Ephesians 6:1-3: Children obey you parents in the Lord for this is right. Honor your Father and Mother (which is the first command with a promise) that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.


Activity Options:

  1. Puzzle: Use the blank rectangle puzzles which can be purchased at Wal-Mart (or your local craft store). If blank puzzles cannot be found buy puzzles for under a dollar and spray the front side with Kilz paint; sometimes this takes 2 coats but it will typically cover all the pictures and gives a clean white surface to work with. On one side of the puzzle print a relevant Scripture related to obeying or listening to our parents. On the front side are the child’s name and something relevant to that child. Each child’s name is colour-coded. After making the puzzles take each puzzle apart and one piece of the puzzle goes into an envelope that has a dot of colour that matches the child’s name. Once all puzzles are done and pieces placed in envelopes, the envelopes are hidden outside. The children need to find all their envelopes (tell them how many they are looking for). Return inside and put puzzles together. Assist the little ones with reading what their puzzle says. It is useful to lightly colour the entire side of each puzzle a different colour in case puzzle pieces become confused. This way they can easily be sorted and restored to the rightful owner.
  2. A gift or keepsake for the family such as picture-frame with a family photo in it. This could be one of the lesser expensive frames purchased at Wal-Mart (or other) and the child decorates. For the older ones it could be making a frame with the paper folding technique.
  3. Bookmarkers made for each parent by each child.
  4. Card or plaque with the goal for that child for how they are going to make things godlier in their families until the next Feast.
  5. Various role-plays of family interactions that are then discussed.
  6. Draw a picture of the child’s family and display; do a foam picture of the family; make a 3-D picture box of his/her family.
  7. If doing a parent/adolescent group use the Landmine exercise.
  8. Blind-trust walk where parents lead the children through a maze with only words.
  9. Puppet shows with Esther and Ruth. Review the symbolism of how it ties to God’s family and how fathers are like Messiah, mothers are like the Church, God the Father is the Father of us all and He is in charge. Satan is the person that rebelled and did not do what God asked; other people and the Host (loyal and fallen) are the sons of God.
  10. Use cheap yard gloves or plastic food-handler’s gloves for a one-dimensional hand, or blow up a “surgical glove” for a 3-D effect. Label the thumb God, pointer finger Christ (points us to God the Father) middle finger father, ring finger mother and little finger or pinkie, the children. Use in the lesson when talking about the Fifth Commandment.




Option 1: Puzzle activity

  1. Puzzles: 1 per child
  2. Envelopes or snack zip-lock bags with child’s name or colour on the envelope or bag
  3. Markers
  4. Scripture references for puzzles
  5. Optional puzzle glue if children want to seal their puzzle and keep it.


Worksheets: none



Option 1. Based on puzzle activity


  1. Have puzzles prepared and envelopes hidden prior to beginning the lesson.
  2. Open with prayer.
  3. Ask the children what is the Fifth Commandment. Place the commandment on the poster board that tracks their progress in learning the Commandments
  4. Go through the formal aspect of the Fifth Commandment, having older children read some of the Scriptures and encouraging as much participation as possible. Children’s questions are in bold.
  5. Activity associated with the Plan of God and the Fifth Commandment and making a glove.
  6. Continue with the question and answer part of the lesson.
  7. Activity regarding God’s truth about families and the Fifth Commandment puzzle activity; review the procedure; take children outdoors to find their puzzle pieces.
  8. Return inside and give each child a stiff piece of paper to assemble his/her puzzle on.
  9. Have children take turns reading the Scriptures that are on their puzzle, and discuss the meanings of the Scriptures.
  10. Disassemble puzzles and place all pieces in zip-lock bag or envelope with child’s name on it.
  11. Close with a prayer.


Formal aspect of Lesson:


Children’s questions are in bold. (Provide scriptural answers for them.)


Who always existed? 


Are God and His Law the same or different?


What was the first thing God created?  (Spiritual beings to help with His family.)


Afterwards, God created the Earth and the angels shouted for joy; the Earth became waste due to angelic rebellion; over time the Earth was refashioned for man. Though God created all the animals, plants and the ways the Earth functions, He allowed man to be a free moral agent. That means we can choose to obey or disobey, just like the spiritual beings have the choice to obey or disobey. God extended His creative capacity to people by allowing us to have children and bring up the children in the fear and abomination of the Lord. In our families we practise obeying God or we choose to disobey.


The creation was based around the family and the family is the basis of society and the backbone of the country. When we break down the family unit, we also break down the backbone of our country. The orderly function of the family relates to the spiritual structure of the Church. The family unit is as a family of sons, and daughters of God, both spiritual and physical. We are all subject as a family within the Plan of God.


Which of the Commandments talks of God’s family?


Four fingers and thumb: thumb (different to fingers) = God; pointer finger = Christ as first begotten who points us to the Father; middle finger = father; ring finger = mother; 5th finger/pinkie = child, the littlest and weakest of all the hand. Just as thumb can oppose and touch each finger, it is through God that all parts of the creation (spiritual and physical) are tied together. It is the thumb that truly makes us different from every other creature physically, and when applied to God too.


It might be helpful to do the demonstration of picking up a cotton ball with the pointer finger and middle finger and then move to grains of rice, and do analogy of how man thinks he can do things without God, but that to move things and get things done right we always need God. Other examples, i.e. buttoning, writing, cutting, all require the thumb; concept of hand working as a unit/family. Working as a unit is stronger and can get more done than each piece alone (God of course is beyond this analogy.) Can do activity 10 where children leave with a glove with the names written on the glove. While discussing the hand, starting with God, do a brief review of the Plan of Salvation.


Have a child read Exodus 20:12


Exodus 20:12 reads: Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land, which thy God giveth thee.


Have a child read Ephesians 6:1-3


Ephesians 6:1-3: Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. Honor your Father and Mother (which is the first command with a promise) that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.


What does a promise mean?


What happens if we keep our part of the promise?


Does it just affect us? What about our family members like mom and dad and brothers and sisters, and even our children in the future?


It is also written in Deuteronomy 5:16 and reinforced in the New Testament in Matthew19:19 and Colossians 3:20.


What does it mean to honour our parents?


The Webster’s Dictionary says the word honor means: honesty, fairness, integrity in one's beliefs and actions – a source of credit or distinction, high respect, to be a credit to, accepting personal responsibility for one's actions.


Honour (SGD 5091) timao from the Blue Letter Bible means: 1) to estimate, fix the value a) for the value of something belonging to one's self 2) to honour, to have in honour, to revere, venerate.


We need to be obedient when our parents ask or tell us to do or not to do something. We should not argue with our parents. We should be willing to help, and with a good attitude, with chores we are given to do. It would be nice if we saw something that needed to be done and we just did it without having to be asked.


Obey (SGD 5219) hupakouo from the Blue Letter Bible means: 1) to listen, to harken a) of one who on the knock at the door comes to listen who it is, (the duty of a porter) 2) to hearken to a command a) to obey, be obedient to, submit to.


The Key Study adds: to hear, to listen, to hearken, mostly it means to obey, give heed, follow, yield, also denotes the continuous subjection of faith under the preached Word. In other words: keeping of the Word in believing obedience.


Ephesians 6:1-3: Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. Honor your Father and Mother [which is the first command with a promise] that it may be well with you, and that you may life long on the earth.


Therefore, based on the meaning of the words, children are to listen and do what their parents say in the Lord for this is right. Respect or revere your Father and Mother that it may be well with you and that you may have a long life.


Remember, our parents are acting in the place of God on Earth. How would we treat God if He asked us do something or if He corrected us?


Remember also, the Fifth Commandment is the first commandment with a promise; but we need to do what God says.


Does the word “parents” mean just our physical parents?


The Fifth Commandment also covers our relationships with people who are older than us or in charge, such as teachers, grandparents and older people in our neighbourhood. We must first and always obey God. Should some adult ask us to do something that we know breaks God’s Law we should not do it.


We also show respect and honour to our parents by our actions towards others when we are away from home; also by doing our very best at whatever we do, be it school or work, or helping others; by being honest in both word and things we do, and by being trustworthy. It is very important to always keep our word and protect our good name and reputation. The things we do, don't just affect us, but everyone around us.


When our parents can trust us to do what is right, no matter where we are or what the situation is then we are honouring our parents.


What happens if we don’t keep our promise?


What happens if we don’t keep God’s Law?


Does it just affect us, or does it affect our family members like mom and dad and brothers and sisters and even our children?


Review the concept of God’s mercy and forgiveness.


What happens when we sin?


What should we do when we sin?


What happens if we repent and change?


What happens if we don’t ever repent and change but we just keep disobeying our parents and God, even when we are grown up?


Disobedience to parents also has a promise in Proverbs 30:17.


Proverb 30:17: The eye that mocks a father, and scorns obedience to a mother, will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley.


Children are responsible to the parents and subject to the death penalty for disobedience and lack of respect and honour (Deut. 21:18-21).


Deuteronomy 21:18-21:  If any man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey [SHD 8085] his father or his mother and when they chastise him he will not even listen [SHD 8095] to them then his father and mother shall seize him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gateway of his hometown. And they shall say to the elders of his city: This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious he will not obey us; he is a glutton and a drunkard and all the men of his city shall stone him to death so you shall remove the evil from your midst and all Israel shall hear of it and fear.


Did this person disobey once or a lot of times?


Is he still a child or is he now grown?


So is it the most merciful thing for a rebellious person to be put to death?


The Fifth Commandment points towards the Messiah who acts as our everlasting father under his eternal Father, who is the God Most High (1Tim. 6:16; Jn. 5:37). Each father stands in place of Messiah and his wife stands in place of the Church. They are responsible to God for their children.


If children will not obey their parents whom they can see and touch, how can they obey and honour God or Eloah whom they cannot see or touch?


The head of every man is Christ and the head of Christ is God (Eph. 5:23).


Does God make every decision for all the adults?


If not, why not?


Can parents make every decision for their children?


Because God and our earthly fathers love us they correct and discipline us if and when necessary. They do not want anything negative or bad to happen to us. They want us to have happy and productive lives but they cannot make the decisions for us. Our parents are to help us learn to want to make the right choices. When we are babies or very little, it is our parents’ responsibility to keep us safe, but as we get older we need to be the ones making more and more of the right choices.


Ask the children to list ways to obey parents or disobey parents?


We can obey or disobey our parents and God in many ways. Things as simple as when we listen to music, or watch TV shows, or play video games we know our parents told us not to are ways of disobeying our parents and therefore God.


Ask the children who is the Father of us all?


What happens if a child’s father leaves his family and there is no father in the home?


Will God always look after the fatherless?


What does “first-born” mean?


What does “double portion” mean?


Deuteronomy 21:17:  But he shall acknowledge the first born the son of the unloved by giving him a double portion of all that the he has for he is the beginning of his strength to him belongs the right of the firstborn. (See also Gen. 49:3; 25:31.)


What is the first-born supposed to do for his parents as they get older?


In what year is the Law read?


Why is the Law read?


How can we learn more about God’s word and the Fifth Commandment?


Move into the searching of God’s truth through the puzzle activity.


Close with prayer.