There’s a popular stereotype that fathers are strict, harsh, demanding, exacting and authoritarian while mothers are relaxed, mellow, flexible, carefree and altogether sweet. That may not be how it was in your family (or mine), but when that’s presented as the case in, let’s say, a television show like The Wonder Years, well…let’s just say that it doesn’t generate the need for a tremendous suspension of disbelief.
The biblical commentators pick up on this sentiment — apparently, it’s always and forever been like this — and in reference to Exodus 20:11 and Deuteronomy 5:15, they explain that the imperative to honor one’s parents (kibud) makes mentions of the father before the mother because that is the more difficult task; who’s not going to honor their sweet, motherly mother?
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