Summary: It's always proper to honor your parents.

8 Words to Change Your Family: Honor

Ephesians 6:2

Rev. Brian Bill


That video reminds me of a quote attributed to Mark Twain: “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he’d learned in seven years.”

Showing honor is like giving a gift. I want to give someone a present this morning to help each of us better understand this concept. [Invite a father up to platform] You’ll be able to tell how much this dad likes the gift by his facial expression. The same is true when we honor others. People appreciate honor and we can see it on their faces when they receive it.

Watch now as this gift is opened [gift is a small plastic bag full of dirt]. What did you notice when he realized that I gave dirt to him? Many times we treat each other in dishonoring ways, and it’s like dishing out dirt to them.

I have a second gift that I’d like to give [gift is two 100 Grand candy bars]. I’d like you to keep one and then give one away to show honor to someone else.

Friends, when we dishonor someone, it’s like giving dirt to them. Likewise, when we honor someone, we’re giving them a valuable gift (This illustration comes from Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller).

We’re concluding our “Eight Words to Change Your Family” series today with a special focus on honor. Since today is Father’s Day, this message will have application to dads, but actually honor is a quality that we’re to develop not just for dads, but for God Himself and for everyone else we come in contact with.

Specifically, this sermon is directed more toward kids than it is toward parents. And since we’re all children in one way or another, it applies to each of us. Here’s the big idea for today: Honoring your parents is always proper.

I came across a quote this week from a book called, “Ancestors: The Loving Family in Old Europe.” Researching pre-industrial family life, Harvard historian Steven Ozment writes: “For a modern age faced with a family crisis, there is good news from the recovered history of the family: this smallest and seemingly most fragile of institutions is proving to be humankind’s bedrock as well as its fault line. Its strength lies in the cohesion and loyalty of the parent-child unit around which the larger worlds of households and kin, community and nation, and the global village necessarily revolve. Among those various social worlds, only the family…gives life and stability to others. The family is the great survivor amid the changing ages and cultures that envelop and shape and test it for awhile, only to run their course and pass away.”

What Dads Really Desire

Patty Maier, of Hearts at Home, wrote a column in the Pantagraph this past Sunday called, “So What Does Dad Really Want for Father’s Day?” Here’s what she found when she interviewed some dads:

• A hug, a kiss on the cheek and four words… “I love you, dad.”

• To spend the day with my kids doing something we all enjoy.

• A personalized note from my wife and kids about me as a dad.

• The assurance that my kids are going in God’s direction for their lives.

• The spiritual growth of my family.

• A big hug from my three girls because they will be grown and out of the house too soon.

• For my daughter to understand I want her to be safe, respectful and courteous to others…And for the same daughter to understand that I lecture, complain and urge her because I care, love her unconditionally, and wouldn’t trade being her dad for the world.

• Respect.

One dad said he wouldn’t turn down an elk-hunting trip, and another said he’d take a new motorcycle. Otherwise, most dads passed on gifts, hoping instead to just enjoy their family’s presence.

Knowing that there are some pretty cool dads at PBC, I decided to ask what they wanted for Father’s Day. Here are some responses:

• An uncompromising, unconditional, and relentless pursuit for truth…If I could know, somehow, that I instilled truth as a life lesson and value into my children, that would be the best present I could ever get...Well, that and an iPad...haha.

• All a dad wants for Father’s day is the same thing he wants everyday: love (moms get it all) and respect (it isn’t easy being dad).

• All I want is to have them around and spend some time together.

• For my kids to stop and listen to those who have gone before them, and take heed of their experience and wisdom.

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