Summary: #5 in 10 Commandment Series



TEXT: Ex. 20:12; Luke 2:41-52; Eph. 6:1-4

INTRO: The 5th commandment started off the second stone tablet. The first tablet began with our relationship to our heavenly father, the second tablet begins with our relationship to our earthly father and mother.

Just as success with the first commandment was necessary for a healthy relationship with God, so is success with the fifth commandment necessary for a healthy relationship with others in society. Simply put, the way children relate to their parents will determine their success in how they relate to other human beings.

Not only will it affect the relationship we have with other human beings, but it has a dramatic impact on our relationship with our heavenly father as well.

ILLUS: A study once disclosed that if both Mom and Dad attend church regularly, 72 percent of their children remain faithful in attendance. If only Dad attends regularly, 55 percent remain faithful. If only Mom attends regularly, 15 percent remain faithful. If neither attend regularly, only 6 percent remain faithful. -- Warren Mueller, Leadership, Vol. 2, no. 3.

There are two parts to this commandment

(1. it is about children honoring parents

(2. it is about parents being honorable!

PROP. SENT: The Bible teaches us that God has placed a high value on the institution of the home, and that much of what we become in life is influenced by the early years and how we respond to our parent’s authority. This commandment speaks to both children and parents and to society as a whole.

I. THE HONORING STAGE Ex. 20:12; Eph. 6:1-3; Lk. 2:41-52

A. Respecting Authority Ex. 20:12; Eph. 6:1-3

1. The first authority in life we encounter is our parents.

2. There are 3 stages in our life we must navigate successfully in order to become healthy adults:

a. Early Childhood stage: “enforced obedience”

(1. Enforced obedience with love and good balances will make the willful obedience stage later more acceptable.

(2. Enforced obedience with love produces respect so that willful obedience becomes a natural progression.

(3. The simple statement by Paul in Eph. 6:1 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” reflects this early stage, Paul does not elaborate on the philosophy of it, just the simple truth of it!

b. Youth stage: “willful obedience”

(1. Paul’s point in Eph. 6:2-3 about the 5th commandment and ‘honoring’ parents so that blessings may come may indicate this second phase.

(2. Willful obedience in youth helps produce a healthy adult who can exercise authority and mutually submit to other authority.

(3. Rebelliousness at this stage often makes for a rough transition later to adulthood and the dynamics of authority.

c. Adult stage: “mutual obedience”

(1. This stage is the result of successful navigation through the first two stages.

(2. Most adults that do well with authority have had good experiences with enforced obedience and willful obedience as they grow.

3. How well we do in each stage will dramatically determine how well we do in the next stage.

a. This is the point here about children “honoring father and mother”

b. To honor means to “RESPECT” their position and authority.

c. Much of the way children feel about God is modeled on how they feel about us as parents!

4. When children “respect” or “honor” their parents they learn to respect and honor God.

a. God is the ultimate authority figure.

b. As parents we represent an authority figure.

ILLUS: When my daughter lost her last baby tooth, I was weary of the Tooth Fairy and decided it was time to dispel this childhood myth. "Kelli," I said, "You know how the Easter Bunny is really Mommy, and Santa Claus is, too?" "Yes," she replied, a bit warily. "Well, there’s one more person who is really me. Can you guess who that is?" Slowly, Kelli’s eyes grew big as saucers and her mouth dropped open. In a small, awe-filled voice, she said, "God?" -- Ellen Yinger, Columbus, OH. Today’s Christian Woman, "Heart to Heart."

5. For these reasons it is important that we model God’s love and authority in the right way, this enables our children to honor God as they honor us.

a. How do our children view our obedience to God’s authority?

b. The way we honor our heavenly father may influence the way our children honor their earthly father and mother.

B. Responding to Authority Luke 2:41-52

1. This story on Jesus’ BAR MITZBAH – the act of being declared a ‘man’ in Jewish culture demonstrates the transition of authority in a healthy way.

a. Jesus had gone through the “enforced obedience” stage as a child like all children.

b. Now as a youth he transitioned from “enforced obedience” to his earthly parents to “willful obedience”.

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