3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: A teaching about honoring your parents even if they were not the best examples

Honor Your Parents

CCCAG June 25th, 2017

Scripture- Exodus 20:7

When I was in basic training, we mostly were trained by the drill sergeants and other noncommissioned officers. However, we were officially commanded by a 2nd lieutenant that we only saw when there was an inspection or if you got written up into a disciplinary function called an Article 15. We knew who our lieutenant was, but never saw him. About 4 weeks before graduation our lieutenant was replaced with another guy fresh out of ROTC.

The new guy was very hands on. He came marching with us, attended PT with us, came to the range with us, and was very much involved with us as we finished our training.

This was much to the dismay of our drill sergeants, as this guy couldn’t get anything right and kept telling us the wrong thing to do, and not only that, but he was a jerk about it. Always yelling, never making a lot of sense, and generally being a pain in the backside to everyone.

That’s actually the definition of a newly minted 2nd LT.

I remember walking from one part of the range to another and I saw him approaching. Now when you are on the range you are to treat it like a combat situation. In combat situations, or when you are “in theater” you do not to salute or otherwise recognize a superior officer as it makes them a target for snipers.

So as he walked past, I greeted him appropriately saying, “Good afternoon Lieutenant.”

HE stopped me and asked, “where is my salute private?”

I explained to him that we were on the range and we are to treat officers or NCO’s as if we were in combat and offer no obvious recognition to them as that makes them a target for snipers. He said, “We are at peacetime private and I expect all military honors to be paid to the officers appointed over you.”

So I snapped my rifle to present arms which is how you salute while carrying a rifle. He then said I should have my rifle slung over my shoulder (which was another no-no on the range as you don’t have control over the safety or trigger) so I could salute properly. By then one of the drill sergeants saw what was happening and rescued me from the lieutenant and sent me on my way.

Later in the barracks, I was meeting with my squad and we were talking about what happened on the range, as I wasn’t the only one. Our Senior Drill sergeant was walking by and asked several of us to come into the office with him, where he asked us questions about what happened. We told him everything we experienced that day and he wrote it down as he was going to report him to the company commander. When it was all done, he dismissed us with a reminder that even though we can’t stand him, he is still an officer.

I asked Drill Sergeant Monk (permission to speak freely), “You are a Ranger, a combat vet, with over 25 years of experience in the army. Do you ever have a problem showing respect or saluting these 2nd Lieutenants fresh out of college with no experience?”

He said, “Private Oscar, I’m going to tell you a secret that will greatly enhance not only your military career, but your life as well. If you understand this, you will be so much further ahead in life than most people your age-

“Remember, you are Saluting the uniform, not the person”

He said there will always be people in your life that you will not agree with but will be in positions of power over you. You don’t have to respect them, but you have to honor the rank or position they hold. If you can learn to do that, you will get very far in life.”

I started today’s lesson with this story to illustrate that I know the 5th commandment and the subject of honoring our parents is a tricky one.

Let’s do an experiment-

Close your eyes and picture your father- God says to honor him

Keep your eyes closed and think of your mother- God says to honor her.

Open your eyes

For some, that was a time of fond memories and for those of us whose parents have passed on, a little bittersweet.

For some of us, those mental pictures made a knot in our stomachs, and there is now a little pain left over.

If you are in the second group-

I understand, as I grew up in a broken home around drugs, alcohol, partying, motorcycle gangs, and was physically abused by my mother’s boyfriend.

So for me, this was a very hard sermon to prepare, and it’s probably on it’s 10th version this morning.

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