Summary: Why we should honor our parents and how we should honor them.
How would you like to have a long and prosperous life? Did you know that God wants that for you? It may surprise you what is required to achieve it. (Read texts)
Definition of honor: “To respect greatly, regard highly; treat with deference and courtesy.”(Websters) The Hebrew word used here for honor means literally, “To make heavy.” In other words don’t take your parents lightly. Give them the respect and reverence they deserve. You may say, “But you don’t know my parents. You don’t know what they did to me.”
Shaq Oneill wrote a rap song titled “Biological didn’t bother.” His real father deserted him and his mother when he was 6 months old. He hasn’t talked to him since. Once at a NBA ball game his biological dad showed up and Shaq was asked about him. Shaq’s smile disappeared and he said, “That man doesn’t exist to me.” Father’s day can be a difficult day for many. But, here we have this Commandment from God. It doesn’t say, “Honor you mother and father if they have been good to you.” It says honor your mother and father, period. It may be that you find it hard to honor your parents as persons but at least you need to learn to honor the position of motherhood or fatherhood. We may not like the President of the U.S. but we should honor and respect the office of the president.
This Commandment is given for us to relate to our parents as adults. It is true that when we marry we “Leave our mother and father and be united to our spouse and the two become one flesh.” (Gen.2:24). It means to sever a covenant relationship with the parents. Your mom and dad are no longer a part of your immediate family but part of your extended family.
So then what is to be our relationship with our parents when we marry or leave home? God tells us here in today’s passage. We are to HONOR them.
Two broad themes for this morning: (1) Why should we honor our parents, (2) How we can honor our parents.
I. WHY WE SHOULD HONOR OUR PARENTS
A. It Teaches Kids to Honor all Authority
The health of the family reflects the health of the nation. What happened to Godless communism? The state took preference over the family. Look at Russia today.
Crime increases where there is a lack of respect for parents:
17 The eye that mocks his father,
And scorns obedience to his mother,
The ravens of the valley will pick it out,
And the young eagles will eat it.
A man who disrespects his parents is put out to suffer from the elements. Judgment comes on him. He suffers in relation to his treatment of parents.
Destruction can come to a nation:
7 In you they have made light of father and mother; in your midst they have oppressed the stranger; in you they have mistreated the fatherless and the widow. NKJV
15 I will scatter you among the nations, disperse you throughout the countries, and remove your filthiness completely from you. NKJV
Zacharius Ursinus, the primary author of the Heidelburg Catechism wrote: “The design or end of this commandment is the preservation of cival order, which God has appointed in the mutual duties between inferiors and their superiors. Superiors are all those whom God has placed over others, for the purpose of governing and defending them.” (teachers, ministers, government officials, etc)
Dr. Laura Schlessinger wrote in her book, The Ten Commandments: The Significance of God’s Laws in Everyday Life “Parents are teachers of faith and morality. What God is to the world, parents are to their children. Unfortunately, some parents become so focused on the element of friendship or their own convenience, comfort, self-fulfillment, happiness, or love life that they forget their job is to help mold moral character so their children will have the strength to do what is right in a world that sometimes encourages them to do otherwise.”
B. The Honor You Give is the Honor You will Receive
The Bible says, “Give and it shall be given to you.” Give what? Love, money, respect, HONOR.
In Grim’s Fairy Tales is a story related to this:
It is the story of an older man who lived with his young son and his son’s wife. They also had a 4 year old boy. The old man’s eyes blinked, his hands shook. When he ate food the silverware would rattle against the plate. He often missed his mouth. Food would be spilled on the tablecloth. This upset the young wife. She appealed to her husband to do something. They decided to move their dad to a corner at meal time away from the family. He would set alone in the corner eating out of a bowl, sitting on a stool. The old man would look sadly at the others and desired to be with them. One day the man dropped his bowl and broke it. His son and daughter-in-law said, If you a eat like a pig then we will serve you like a pig. They made a wooden trough for the old man to eat out of. Not long after, they came upon their son playing with some pieces of wood. The dad asked what he was doing. The boy looked up, smiled and said, “I’m making a trough to feed you and mama when I get big.” The next day the old man was back at the table eating with the family again and no one ever scolded or mistreated him again.