Pleading the fifth is critical in a court of law when the defendant is called to testify against him or herself. The reference to the fifth amendment points to provisions concerning prosecution and reminds us how the founding fathers provided for basic individual rights, one of which is that no one can “be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.”
Calling on the fifth commandment in the book of the Law is critical when a generation judges the preceding generation. Independence and hard-headedness, particularly between dads and sons can spark a judgmental nature that will open a chasm in family. Once open it is hard to bridge. View this testimony of how humility and compassion bridged a 15-year chasm between a father and son.
Remember the Fifth: “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 commandment with a promise is too often overlooked or even forgotten. Jesus said, “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” – Matthew 22:37-39. To ‘love the Lord your God’ is a summation of the first four commands and ‘love your neighbor’ sums up the last five. What did Jesus have to say about the middle commandment? He lived it! Just as the commandment in Exodus 20:12 bridges the early commands to the latter, the spiritual to the physical, Jesus bridged the relationship with the Father to the relationships with others by honoring His Father every step of His journey in this world. Earthly fathers have the same responsibility to bridge faith from one generation to the next.
While the fifth amendment may indeed be critical for protecting one’s self in a court of law, the fifth commandment is critical in reminding us that the focus is not to be on self. Jesus walked this command in humility and with compassion, a perfect example of selflessness. This is a call to pray through how you can follow His example and honor your father and mother. Remember, the fifth commandment comes with a promise – “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” – Eph. 6:3. A great resource is Dennis Rainey’s “The Forgotten Commandment”.
Prayer guide: Lord, I thank You for bridging the chasm that existed between my father and I. The generational healing opened the door to new levels of relationship that I did not know were possible in family. As the family heals the Church heals; as the Church heals, communities will heal; and as communities heal, our nation will heal. Lord, open hearts to the humility and compassion of Your Son and let the healing begin in Jesus name. Amen.
A faithful father remembers the fifth commandment and honors his father and mother.