The Fifth Commandment – or Who Cares!

We trained our kids NOT to say “I don’t care!” or “Who cares!”  If they uttered either of these phrases they were asking for trouble.

Both comments are disrespectful and dishonoring, especially to parents.  The Fifth Commandment says to “Honor your father and mother.” One way children honor their parents is in caring about how they respond to them.

Another way children honor their parents is by obeying them cheerfully, not begrudgingly. Parents need to train them to do that.  If we allow our children to treat us—or anyone else—disrespectfully, then we are not training them in the way they should go.  We are not being obedient to God.  We are not helping our children.

My parents loved us with deep affection, yet they were also strict disciplinarians. We never crossed them.  Never!  We had great respect for them and we loved them deeply.

In some ways I compare the love I had for my parents with the love I have for God.  The Bible tells us in Psalm 111:10 that “the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.”  Exodus 20:20 tells us “the fear of God will keep us from sinning.”  It’s true!

There is a healthy fear of God.  Anyone who does not fear God is foolish.  Even though I loved my parents dearly, I feared crossing them. That is a healthy fear. It kept me in line.

Who cares?  You’d better care—or else!

  • Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.    Proverbs 22:6
  • Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.     Exodus 20:12
  • The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.     Psalm 111:10
  • SONG:  INTO THE LIGHT – by Kathleen


[This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:  and

[To leave a comment or prayer request, simply click on the TITLE of this post and scroll to the bottom.]

About Kathleen

God delights in working through His people as they submit to Him. Jesus said to go into all the world and preach the good news to everyone (Mark 16:15). No matter where we live on this planet, people are separated from God because of sin. We ALL need a Savior, and there’s only ONE. It brings me great joy to share Christ with the lost and lonely. Over the years I’ve learned a great deal while facilitating Bible studies. I’ve found myself on college and university campuses, the beach, the streets, the hospital, the jail and the juvenile facility for incarcerated teens sharing God’s message of love. I also serve as an online missionary with Global Media Outreach. I’ve seen countless lives transformed when people turn away from sin and turn to Jesus. The changes God makes are real and lasting. These are some of my experiences. NOTE: My stories have been altered, removing any and all identifying factors. This includes names and other particulars in order to protect confidentiality and anonymity.
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7 Responses to The Fifth Commandment – or Who Cares!

  1. Roya Reader says:

    Hi Sister. How true is what you wrote. I remember even thinking as a child, if my parents slipped punishing me for ½ day after being disobedient, that they truly did not love me. I rarely EVER crossed my parents. Hence, I have no problem obeying the Lord. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. I shall read more of Psalm 111:10. Keep ’em coming!

  2. Lynda says:

    Any specific suggestions on how to train children in this way? A family member is having difficulty with an 8 yr old who exhibits disrespectful behaviour and the punishment isn’t having the desired effect. This a Christian family.

    • Kathleen says:

      This can be difficult with a strong-willed child. I remember my pediatrician telling me that if you can’t control your child at age 3, you won’t be able to control him at 13. I have suggestions, but this venue does not provide enough space. You may email me at

  3. Everest A says:

    A very relevant post especially for the times we’re living in, Kathleen.

    It is important to understand though, that the word “fear” as used in this context doesn’t mean to be afraid of God but to reverence and worship Him.

    God doesn’t want us to be afraid of Him but to see Him as a loving Father with arms open wide to welcome us home and protect and nurture us as dear Children.

    Hear His heart, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.” Matthew 23:37 (TLB)

    • Kathleen says:

      Dear Everest, While respect and reverence are definitely included in the concept of fearing God, there is more to it than that. A biblical fear of God, for the believer, includaes understanding how much God hates sin and fearing His judgment of sin —- even in the life of a believer.
      Hebrews 12:5-11 describes God’s discipline of the believer. While it is done in love (Hebrews 12:6), it is still a fearful thing. As children, the fear of discipline from our parents no doubt prevented some evil actions. The same should be true in our relationship with God. We should fear His discipline, and therefore seek to live our lives in such a way that pleases Him.

  4. Frank King says:

    Kathleen, this post is so relevant for many in today’s generation. Sometimes, as I listen to children talk to their parents, it sounds as if the child is the parent and vice versa. And these parents give their children a pass when it happens! This failure on the part of parents is not behind them but in front of them.

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