Summary: Honoring your parents is always proper.
This week I asked parents a question on the Edgewood Facebook page: “What’s the #1 thing you want from your children?”
I was struck by the depth of answers along with the longing in the hearts of parents for their children to love and serve the Lord.
• To know God and make Him known.
• To have the ability to see God’s presence in all circumstances.
• Respect and obedience to God.
• I want them to love God deeply in their heart leading to serving and glorifying Him with their lives.
• To be sold out to Jesus.
• For them to taste and see that the Lord is good, thus causing them to love the Lord with all that they are.
• Love and respect.
• To love and obey Jesus for themselves.
After all these thoughtful responses, one person answered the question, “What’s the #1 thing you want from your children?” this way…
• To be quiet.
I should protect his identity but since he posted it publicly, I won’t. That was Micah Kuriscak offering his parental priorities. One person responded to him this way, “He didn’t ask what wives want from their husbands!” Another one quickly commented, “Micah, you know Pastor is going to use that!” To which I replied, “Count on it.”
I contacted Micah and asked if I could share his insight. He redeemed himself when he texted, “Being quiet isn’t obviously the #1 thing but I think it’s something as you get older you see the value in being quiet. Be quiet when God is telling you something. Be quiet when someone with more experience is talking.” Right on.
Behind each of these posts from parents is a longing for their children to honor them, and to honor God. In the fifth commandment, recorded in Exodus 20:12, we discover the #1 thing God wants from His children: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.”
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 tells us these commands are to be inscribed on our hearts so we can impress them upon our children. As a way to get these commandments into our heads and hearts, we’re encouraging everyone to take a bookmark and work at memorizing these short phrases.
1. One God
2. No idols
3. Revere His Name
4. Remember to Rest
5. Honor Parents
6. No murder
7. No adultery
8. No stealing
9. No lying
10. No coveting
I love hearing how parents are intentionally discipling their children by using these bookmarks. After the service last Saturday night, nine-year-old Aidra May, daughter of Randy and Nichole, and granddaughter of Randy and Lisa Matya, came up and asked if I wanted her to quote the 10 Commandments.
I told her I would love to hear her recite the commandments. She looked at me with a big smile on her face and quoted them perfectly. When I asked how she learned them so well, she said her parents go over them with her every night. I reached out to Nichole to get permission to share this and learned the backstory: “After the week you challenged us to memorize them, Aidra said in the car she was going to do it. So, we started doing it with all the kids when we read the Bible at night.”
Listen again to the command from Exodus 20:12: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.” Our main idea is this: Honoring your parents is always proper.
After making some observations, we’ll contemplate the precept. Then, we’ll consider the promise and conclude with how to practice this commandment.
1. This is a hinge commandment. The first four commands deal with our relationship with God. The final six relate to our relationships with others. The fifth commandment establishes that loving our neighbor starts at home. When we’re out of step at home we’ll be out of whack with God and others. Philip Ryken writes: “The relationship between parent and child is the first and primary relationship, the beginning of all human society.”
2. This is the first commandment dealing with the family. The fifth commandment focuses on the parent-child relationship while the seventh commandment calls us to marital fidelity. Family life is the bedrock of a culture. As the family goes, so goes the nation, and the church.
3. This is given to children of all ages. The atmosphere of the home is in large part related to the response of the children, not just to the loving leadership of the parents.
4. This command is a present imperative, which means we are to be in the habit of honoring continually. This is not a suggestion but rather an uncompromising command.