Summary: Honoring your parents is not always easy, yet God calls us to do this.
First Baptist Church
“Do you want a spanking? This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you. Do you want a timeout? You don’t want me to pull this car over! I told you to finish your homework. Clean your room! Turn that music down! Don’t get smart with me! If everyone else jumped off the bridge, would you? Because I said so, that’s why! You’re grounded! When are you going to grow up? Just wait until you have kids! I hope they turn out just like you.”
Don’t you just love parenting? If you’ve ever said three or more of those statements, you are definitely a parent. If you have said all of those statements more than once, maybe in the past week, then you really need a vacation! Parenting is an acquired skill, it is not one that we are born with, and frankly it’s probably not a skill we will ever master.
There was a group of expectant fathers in the waiting room, while their wives were in the delivery room. A nurse came in and announced to one man that his wife had just given birth to twins. "What a coincidence, I play for the Minnesota Twins!" A little later, the nurse came in and announced to another man that he was the proud father of triplets. "That’s amazing, I work for the 3M company." Upon hearing this, the third man in the room collapsed. When they were able to revive him, everyone wanted to know what was wrong. He said "I work for the 7-up Company!"
Kids keep you running, they always keep you on your toes. It has been said that insanity is hereditary. . . you get it from your kids. No matter how many times they ask why, how many times they put salt in the sugar shaker, no matter how many challenging experiences they provide us with, we still love them.
Ever notice that each family is like its own sovereign government. The family was designed to function in such a way that it is self-contained and self-sufficient. Think about it, each home has it’s own executive officers, legislators, police force and supreme court. Sometimes when children are around, they are often assigned top secret jobs, as if working for the CIA.
It is always worth the effort of being a parent. And the 5th Commandment deals with this parent - child relationship. It reminds children to respect their parents, and parents to respect their children.
The family serves as a child’s primary center for education, health, housing, and nutrition. It is up to the parents to provide security, love, and understanding. Home is where our children learn to cope with life, and to manage their lives responsibly. Home should be a safe place for them to discover themselves, and to learn about God. While teaching our children, we find the core of these lessons are about respect and obedience. To see just how vitally important this is, look around and you will realize all of the problems we have, and you should be able to see that they come from a lack of respect for authority. I believe this disrespect is a direct result from the deterioration of family values. Values are to be taught in the home. If we cannot teach our children to respect our authority, we cannot expect them to respect the world’s authority. The 5th Commandment sets forth the Biblical foundation for honoring those in authority.
So what are the requirements of this commandment? Like many other things we make this commandment harder than it really is. To answer that question, first let’s look at what is not required.
This commandment doesn’t require us to think our parents are perfect. Which is probably a good thing, since I don’t imagine most of us have perfect parents. Along the same line, it doesn’t require that parents actually be perfect. Total perfection is not in the job description. We have to realize that there are going to be mistakes, there are going to be hurt feelings and even arguments. We need to understand that this will take place, to work through the difficult times in ways that please God, not ourselves.
We are not required to believe our parents are always right. Nor does it inspire us as parents to believe we are always right. Sometimes parents get an "I Am God" syndrome where we feel our solutions are always the right ones. If the truth be known, sometimes even parents are flat out wrong. While it can be difficult to admit that we are wrong, if we and our children can admit our fallibility and place our trust in God rather than ourselves, our relationships will be that much stronger.
Unfortunately, our parents will not always act honorably. In some instances children have been totally embarrassed by the actions, and even the lifestyles of their parents. We are not required by this commandment to condone or participate in ungodly actions simply because our parents do it. We are not required to think everything our parents do is acceptable and even honorable.