Summary: We are called to honor our parents no matter what!
• When you are out in public or even when you are in the church, do you ears perk up when you hear someone say “yes mama” or “yes sir”. What about the young person who calls someone “Mr. or Mrs. So and So? It seems like we have lost a bit of formality in our society doesn’t it?
• As time goes by, it seems like each generation has less respect and appreciation for those who have gone before them and blazed the trail for them. In our society we do not value wisdom and age like in days past.
• Why is this happening? I am appalled by how kids talk back to adults today. I cannot fathom treating teachers the way kids do today. There is no respect of authority. Why? Television has something to do with it. Parents are usually hapless buffoons who can only be saved by their kids. Today we are going to look at the 5th Commandment. Maybe part of the problem with our society springs from us violating this command?
I. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HONOR YOUR PARENTS?
1. Defining Honor
• The Hebrew word translated "honor" here means to "make heavy" or "weighty". The word picture is weighing down someone with esteem and respect. The opposite of "honor" is to take someone "lightly," by withholding honor and respect.
• Honor also denotes a “deserved deference”.
• In Dr. Laura’s book the Ten Commandments, she states: In the Jewish tradition to “honor” meant to “serve food and drink, provide clothing and shelter and lead them “in and out” as long as the parent is alive. The command to honor parents is supplemented by another biblical verse that states we must revere (some Bibles translate this as “fear”) our parents (Leviticus 19:3). Jewish tradition interpreted reverence as meaning that we should not “stand or sit in our parents’ reserved place, nor should we contradict their words.” Honor was demonstrated through acts of kindness and caring, while reverence meant to refrain from actions that diminished their role as parent or embarrassed them in public. These distinctions are just as relevant today
• How many times have you seen children yell at their parents or mouth off to them in public or argue with them in public? This is not pleasing to God.
• Honoring our parents means we will give then the proper attention and respect they deserve because of the fact they are our parents.
• To honor means to “to place a value on”. It is not enough to just do what they say out of fear of punishment, but we are to value them and respect their position.
2. The Scope of the command
• This command is not just written to children. This command covers adult children also. In the Jewish society, the family was a close knit group. As children would grow up and get married, they would stay with or very near to family. The children would eventually take care of the parents. If the children did not do it, it would not happen.
• We have to make sure we do not reduce this command to children doing what they are told to do although this is part of the command. Paul in Ephesians 6:1-3 restates this command as one to be followed and he added that children are to obey their parents.
• As we age, our roles with our parents change. I do not have to call my parents and ask them if I can stay out late anymore, I do not have to ask their permission to go places anymore, but I still must honor them. We are going to talk about how children can honor their parents and how adult children can honor their parents in a moment.
• This command covers anyone who has parents. It also includes all parents.
• The command also covers ALL parents. There is no disclaimer or qualifier that says we are only to honor our parents IF they were deserving. My parents were great so I have no problem honoring them, but many people are not that fortunate.
• This is a tough pill to swallow for those who have had terrible or abusive parents.
• To honor an abusive parent does not mean we allow the abuse to happen or place the grandchildren in a position in which they can suffer the same.
• Dr. Laura in her book on the 10 Commandments, she suggests that when a parent is violent, sexually aggressive or emotionally destructive, children are justified to put some distance between themselves and their parents
• It takes great courage to honor someone we deem not worthy. If we cannot do this because of abuse, we allow the abuse to continue throughout our lives. It will affect our relationships and our children as we seethe in hatred.