Part 5 Honor Your Father and Your Mother
INTRO: In a world where No one tells me what to do and I am my own authority, the Ten Commandments quickly find their way to the trash heap. For most of us, the words surrounding law—rule, restriction, regulation, requirement, code, commandment, covenant, must, ought, shall, will—are simply not our favorite words to hear. They are parental words, court words, conflict words. We use them only when we have to; otherwise, we willingly hold them at a distance.
But the Old Testament people of God had a different take on law. They took their copy of the law their God had given them, clutched it to their chests, and danced with it. They observed it daily in their relationships and required their young to memorize it. And when a copy of the law had grown ragged and old, they had a special ceremony to retire it. They buried it with all the dignity of a beloved grandparent’s body.
Words from the introduction to the book: Dancing with the Law: The Ten Commandments. By Dr. Dan Boone
"Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12
The first 4 commandments deal with our relationship with GOD . This is appropriate, because we are to love God first. . . There’s one God; worship him alone. Worship the Creator – not the created. Have no idols. Our worship of him begins by how we speak of him, not taking the Lord’s name in vain, and honoring him with a day of Sabbath rest to worship him. Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart. . .” was the first commandment, and most important. These are the VERTICAL commands..
The final 6 commandments deal with our relationships with OTHERS. But the second most important commandment is to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” So it’s appropriate that the final 6 commandments deal with our relationships with others. These are the HORIZONTAL commands. The first four commandments are about loving God, and as a result of God’s love for you and you loving God, commandments five through ten are about loving your neighbor, starting with your parents.
It’s no shock that this command would make its way into the Ten Commandments: Set Free to Live Free. As we start the commandments that deal with how we relate to other people, we begin first with how we deal with one of our most important relationships, because how we deal with our close relationships will necessarily effect how we deal with others we are in relationships with. Children who learn to honor their parents are WAY better off.
ILL: From: Today’s Christian Woman: When my daughter lost her last baby tooth, I was weary of the Tooth Fairy and decided it was time to dispel this childhood myth. "Kelli," I said, "You know how the Easter Bunny is really Mommy, and Santa Claus is, too?" "Yes," she replied, a bit warily. "Well, there’s one more person who is really me. Can you guess who that is?" Slowly, Kelli’s eyes grew big as saucers and her mouth dropped open. In a small, awe-filled voice, she said, "God?"
But our world today doesn’t value this commandment. When you watch TV shows, what are most parents like? In our culture today a lot of parenting is based on the teaching of Sigmund Freud, whose whole premise was, “We need to kill our father to liberate ourselves and live free,” which according to the Bible is the essence of all our trouble, that we’ve separated ourselves from our Heavenly Father.
And as we separate ourselves from our earthly mother and father, it’s to our own destruction and demise, because when we choose to sin, we choose to suffer. Today culture has restructured marriage and made acceptable marriage between two individuals of the same sex.
I believe the ideal family unit is a mother and a father. Now, even today, that’s controversial. Even today, that would be called bigoted and discriminatory, but that’s God’s design, that’s God’s decree, that’s God’s intent, that’s God’s plan.
Why you should honor your parents:
1. Honoring parents is a pathway to God’s BLESSINGS .
"Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you."
2. Honoring parents teaches your kids how to treat YOU .
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” Galatians 6:7 (NKJV)
You realize of course that the example that you set in how you relate and deal with your parents will be the one followed by your children. We cut a groove in our children by the way we treat our parents.
The song's chorus references several childhood things: The Cat's in the Cradle string game, silver spoons that are given to babies as christening gifts, and the nursery rhymes, Little Boy Blue, and Man in the Moon
How You can honor your parents:
“Honor” goes way beyond “obey.” It also has the following ideas:
* STRENGTHEN .
* Give weight and INFLUENCE TO.
* Not HUMILIATE.
1. Honor your parents by OBEYING them. 18 months – 5 years.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother." Ephesians 6:1-2
The application for parents: This is the AT HOME stage.
You’ve got to MAKE YOUR CHILD do it. If you fail to make your child honor and obey you, it is like letting them play in the road!
One way you have to do this: CORPORAL punishment. – Disciple…
Kids who have temper fits and show other bad behavior when they’re young may end up in prison cells when they’re older, says a new British study... they found that certain childhood behaviors were associated with later criminal behavior. . . habitually disobedient children had a 170% higher risk. . . Tantrums were linked to a 261% increased risk of an adult conviction for violence...
Do I advocate “spanking”? In full disclosure – Sharron carried a wooden spoon in her purse for a reason. I would say today, be creative:
- Does your child slam the door when she's angry? You might tell her, "It's obvious that you don't know how to close a door properly. To learn, you will open and close this door, calmly and completely, 100 times."
- If your child likes to stomp off to his room or stomp around in anger, send him outside to the driveway and tell him to stomp his feet for one minute. He'll be ready to quit after about 15 seconds, but make him stomp even harder.
- The same goes for throwing fits. Tell your child to go to her room to continue her fit. She isn't allowed to come out and she has to keep crying for 10 minutes. Ten minutes is an awfully long time, and it's no fun if your parents tell you to cry.
- Another way to handle temper tantrums is to simply say, "That is too disruptive for this house. You may continue your fit in the backyard. When you're finished, you are welcome to come back inside." When there isn't an audience, the thrill of throwing a temper tantrum is gone.
- If your child asks for something and then argues or throws a fit when you tell her no, tell her that no matter what she asks for, from that moment on the answer will be an automatic no until she can accept the answer "no" respectfully.
- I heard of a grandmother who was buying shoes for her 10-year-old grandson. He threw a fit when he realized he wouldn't get the more expensive pair. So she leaned down and whispered in his ear, "If you continue to embarrass me, I will kiss you all over your face right here in the middle of the store." He stopped immediately.
2. Honor your parents by valuing their ADVICE .
"A wise son heeds his father’s instruction..." Proverbs 13:1
ILL: When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned. ~ Mark Twain
3. Honor your parents by showing your APPRECIATION .
"When your mother is old, show her your appreciation."
Proverbs 23:22 TEV
Proverbs 23:22 TEV
This can be as simple as a phone call, a card, a letter. . . let them know what they mean to you!
At the funeral of a father or mother, I’ve never heard anyone say, “I wish I had spent less time telling them that I loved them and appreciated what they did for me.”
4. Honor your parents by helping meet their NEEDS .
"But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show their commitment to God at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God.....But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." 1 Timothy 5:8 (NKJV)
5. Honor your parents by FORGIVING their FAILINGS .
"If you let the sun go down while you are still angry, the devil is going to have a foothold in your life.” Ephesians 4:26-27
Forgiveness is not a FEELING. It is a choice to let go of ANGER and the desire for REVENGE .
CONCLUSION: Now I realize that there are probably some of you here who are all knotted up inside, the stomach acid is boiling and you’re thinking, “Like that’s ever going to happen, after the way they treated me.” And unfortunately that is the reality of today that whenever you speak about parents there is someone in the group who was abused, physically, emotionally or sexually while they were growing up. Some of you may have grown up in the homes of alcoholics or workaholics, abusive or neglectful perhaps you had parents who were distant or cold and uncaring. And you want to cry out “how can I honor people who are un-honorable?” “How do I honor someone who never once honored me?”
What is God asking of you this morning, is God asking you to put on a mask and pretend it never happened? No, He is not. He knows how sorry your parents were! But he’s here this morning to ask you to take this step toward honoring your parents – forgive. Give up your right to hold bitterness and a desire for revenge. Give up your right to always think of them with contempt.
Then, ask God to begin using you as a channel for his love. You can’t create love in your own heart. God is the source of love. Ask him to simply pour his love for them into your heart . . . and OVER TIME, as you continually make the choice to forgive, you’ll sense an attitude change in your heart. Then you’ll truly be honoring your parents. . .
Closing ILL: The Story from the Grimm Brother’s fairy tales about “the Grandfather and His Grandson” illustrates how vital it is that we honor our parents through our care. The Old Grandfather and His Grandson by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Once upon a time there was a very, very old man. His eyes had grown dim, his ears deaf, and his knees shook. When he sat at the table, he could scarcely hold a spoon. He spilled soup on the tablecloth, and, beside that, some of his soup would run back out of his mouth.
His son and his son’s wife were disgusted with this, so finally they made the old grandfather sit in the corner behind the stove, where they gave him his food in an earthenware bowl, and not enough at that. He sat there looking sadly at the table, and his eyes grew moist. One day his shaking hands could not hold the bowl, and it fell to the ground and broke. The young woman scolded, but he said not a word. He only sobbed. After that they bought him a wooden bowl and made him eat from it.
Once when they were all sitting there, the little grandson of four years pushed some pieces of wood together on the floor.
"What are you making?" asked his father.
"Oh, I’m making a little trough for you and mother to eat from when I’m big."
The man and the woman looked at one another and then began to cry. They immediately brought the old grandfather to the table, and always let him eat there from then on. And if he spilled a little, they did not say a thing.
We always need to honor our parents!
We always need to honor our parents!