6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Sermon on the fifth commandment.

AM Sermon preached at Central Christian Church February 18, 2007

The 5th Commandment “Give Honor”


You gotta love the story of the 3rd Grade Sunday School teacher who was trying to drive home the importance of family life. She illustrated her point by referring to the commandment “honor your mother and father.” Then she added, “Now that commandment about honoring our mother and father deals with how we are to treat our parents---can any of you tell me a commandment that deals with how we are to treat brothers and sisters?” There was a long pause and then one boy’s face lit up as he said, “I know! You shall not kill!”

When you think about it, he was right you know. But I don’t think that that’s the kind of answer his teacher was looking for. In any case it’s good to be back today after spending last weekend teaching at a Family Life Conference in Kewanee. This morning we’ve come to a pivotal point in our current sermon series that’s looking at the Ten Commandments. We’re ready for the 5th commandment---that means counting today we’ve got 6 left to look at. Now here’s why I say we’re at a pivotal point in this series. [SLIDE #4] The first four commandments, the ones we have already considered all dealt with our relationship to God. The last six all deal with our relationships with other people.

I know that many of you know that in response to the question “what’s the greatest commandment of all?” 37Jesus replied: " ’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ’Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

[SLIDE #5] Well, in essence the first four commandments---the ones that deal with our relationship with God---they’re all about loving God. And the last six, the ones which teach us how to relate to other people---they’re all about loving others. [SLIDE #6] And today as we begin looking at the last six commandments we’re going to checking into how God wants us to show our love for others. And with this fifth and transitional commandment I believe God is subtly saying to us the foundation of our loving others begins at home. It germinates, gets its start in loving parent-child relationships. [SLIDE#7] And so in this fifth commandment we are told to give honor to our parents.

Here’s how the 5th commandment reads in the NIV--- Exodus 20:12… [SLIDE #8]

“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.”

Before anything else is said I want you to notice the timelessness of this commandment. The commandment doesn’t read---honor your father and mother until you become an adult yourself. And it doesn’t say honor your father and mother until that day you strike out on your own. It simply reads, “honor your father and mother.” That means if you’re a seven year old living at home with your mom and dad---this commandment is for you. If you’re a teenager who has come to the conclusion that your parents are uncool—this commandment is for you too. If you’re a young adult living on your own---you’re not exempt from this commandment. You might even be a Senior Citizen and have an aged parent in a nursing home---still your age and the age of your parent doesn’t change the fact that this commandment is for you too.

Now, I want to spend the largest part of my time this morning talking about how we can honor our parents but before I jump into the how---I want to share a few thoughts about the why. Very quickly let me give you three good reasons why we should honor our parents. The first is the most obvious. [SLIDE #9] We should honor our parents because God tells us to.

Those of us what have raised children know that they go through phases as they grow. Around the age of two they go through the “no, no no” and “mine, mine!” stages. That’s often followed by the “let me do it” or the “I can do it myself” stage. Those stages are followed by a whole list of other stages: there’s that tattling stage where every other sentence is “OHM…I’m telling.” there’s a point where they complain all the time “that’s not fair” there’s the stage where they say “how come they can but I can’t”

There’s that wonderful stage when they’re teens where every answer is a one syllable grunt word. How was school today? “Uh.” You want to go to the store with me? Nah.

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