Luther’s Catechism Questions #51-59
The Fourth Commandment

The Fourth Commandment:
Honor your father and mother that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.

What does this mean?
We should fear and love God that we do not dishonor or anger our parents and others in authority, but honor, serve, and obey them, and give them love and respect.

God's Representatives
The first three commandments speak of our personal relationship with God. The Fourth Commandment begins a new focus: our relationships with one another. Each of the remaining commandments addresses a specific aspect of our relationships with others. In the fourth Commandment, God directs our attitudes and actions toward those in authority. The authorities we are most familiar with are our parents, but, for our own good, God also has placed representatives over us in the government and the church.