Honoring Our Father and Mother
Evening Service for 2/16/2003
A. On her 60th birthday, a woman from Brooklyn decided to prepare her last will and testament. She went to her rabbi to make two final requests: First, she insisted on cremation. “What is your second request?” the rabbi asked. “I want my ashes scattered over Bloomingdale’s.” “Bloomingdales. Why over Bloomingdale’s?” the rabbi said. “Then I”ll be sure that my daughters visit me twice a week.”
B. This commandment was taken seriously by the Israelites. Leviticus 20:9- For everyone that cureses his father or his mother shall be surely put to death; he that curses his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.
C. Many times parents will remind their children of this commandment and it is for the children. However, it is even more for the adults.
D. Children do not understand but parents, adults do.
Thesis: Why should we follow this commandment? How can we follow this commandment?
A. Our children follow our example. If we don’t care about our parents, if we don’t care about our own family, then our children will not care about us.
1. A Harvard University study found that 6 out of every 10 juvenile delinquents had fathers who drank to excess; many had mothers who did the same; 3 out of 4 delinquents lacked parental interest or discipline; and 4 out of 5 had parents who took no interest in their friends or amusements. Many wayward children come from broken homes, and few have religious training of any kind.
2. Proverbs 22:6- Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
3. One congregation found that where both parents were faithful to the Lord, and that includes active interest in the local congregation’s programs, 93% of the kids remain faithful. On the other hand, if only one of the parents was faithful, that figure dropped to 73%. Where the parents were what we could call only reasonably active in the Lord’s work, only 53% of young people maintained their faith. Now here comes the shocker. In those cases where both parents attended infrequently (Christmas and Easter), the percentage of children who remained faithful to the Lord dropped to 6%. God gave the children to the parents and made the parents responsible for their upbrining.
4. Children have to be taught how to honor their father and mother. Proverbs 22:15- Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
5. Dealing with a rebellious child.
a. Make the choice to pray and trust God.
b. Love unconditionally. Tough love.
c. Live righteously before them.
d. Stand together in decisions, discipline, and love.
6. Can we reason with children? Do children appreciate people who discipline them?
7. It is amazing how much wisdom we realize our parents have when we leave the house. Age 4: My parents can do anything. Age 8: There might be one or two things they don’t know. Age 12: Naturally, my parents don’t understand. Age 14: I never realized how hopelessly old fashioned they are. Age 21: You would expect them to feel that way. They are so out of date. Age 25: They come up with a good idea now and then. Age 30: I wonder what Mom and Dad think I should do? Age 40: Let’s be patient until we discuss it with our parents. Age 50: What would Mom and Dad have thought about it? Age 60: I wish I could talk it over with them one more time.