Summary: The command to honor our parents is not reserved for childhood obedience. In today's culture of independence and personal choice, Christian adults must learn to show honor to their parents and not abandon them.

We never stop worrying about our children.

That includes our adult children!

Our children can bring us the GREATEST JOYS, and also the GREATEST SORROWS. Many Christian parents grieve over....

Unsaved adult children

Children who have walked away from the Lord

Children hooked on drugs or alcohol

Many Christian parents are discovering the pain of strained or severed relationships with adult children. Some of this is due to worldly thinking we carry into our adult life that puts personal needs ahead of familial responsibilities and honoring parents.

The 60's generation that abandoned respect for authority are now grandparents. One of the inevitable consequences for our society is a generation who live their lives independently, with little commitment to their “out-of-date” parents.

Today’s sermon will affirm that Christians should honor their parents through all of our lives.

There are Two Extremes in Adult Parent/Child Relationships:

The FIRST is an Enmeshed relationship. Paul Tripp uses this term in his book, “Relationships, a Mess Worth Making.”

These are also called co-dependent relationships. In such relationships, parents maintain control over their adult children.

There are certain characteristics of enmeshed relationships between parents and their adult children.

1. Both generations have few friends outside of the family

2. The older generation uses money or guilt to force the younger into spending all their time together.

Biblical examples include Rebekah’s control over Jacob (Gen 27), and the relationship between Jacob and Benjamin. When Joseph’s brothers were told to return home and bring back Benjamin, Judah begged Joseph to take him instead because his father Jacob would never recover from the loss of Benjamin. Jacob favored Joseph (who he thought was dead) and Benjamin because they were the sons of his beloved Rachel. Jacob’s life was enmeshed with Benjamin and Joseph. “Now therefore, as soon as I come to your servant my father, and the boy is not with us, then, as his life is bound up in the boy’s life,” (Genesis 44:30, ESV)

The second type of relationship extreme between parents and their adult children is an Isolated relationship.

Here, either the older or younger generation withdraws from interaction.

It is common today for young people to want to have a limited relationship with their parents.

We can find a Biblical example in the relationship of David and Absalom (2 Samuel 13-14). After Absalom murdered his brother Amnon, David could not face Absalom. He avoided contact with him for years, until Absalom finally rebelled and attempted to usurp the Kingdom from his own father. David’s failure to restrain Absalom resulted in a family separation that almost destroyed the Kingdom.

A proper relationship between children and their adults parents avoids both extremes of enmeshed and isolated. The command to honor parents does not end when we become adults.

““Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12)

““Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise),” (Ephesians 6:2, ESV)


Because FATHERHOOD and MOTHERHOOD are vital themes that point us to the characteristics of God.

He is is our creator. Earthly parents provide a basis for understanding God’s love for us.

The idea of “Family” does not end when the new generation marries or leaves home

A new family is formed when a son or daughter marries and the two become “one flesh,” (Genesis 2:24; Matt 19:6).

BUT relationships and responsibilities to your own parents continue

Following are FIVE important passages in which we see that the command to honor our parents is not limited to small children obeying their parent’s commands. As Christians, we can demonstrate the importance of the Characteristics of God in the way that we honor our parents.

The first passage is a command specifically commands us to honor our parents, even when they are old (which implies that the child is old too!) “Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.” (Proverbs 23:22, ESV)

The second passage tells GRANDCHILDREN about God’s blessings. “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may show these signs of mine among them, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and of your grandson how I have dealt harshly with the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them, that you may know that I am the Lord.”” (Exodus 10:1–2, ESV)

Another passage warns GRANDCHILDREN about disobedience. “When you father children and children’s children, and have grown old in the land, if you act corruptly by making a carved image in the form of anything, and by doing what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, so as to provoke him to anger, I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that you will soon utterly perish from the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess. You will not live long in it, but will be utterly destroyed.” (Deuteronomy 4:25–26, ESV). In this passage, the idea of the extended family is very strong. God intended his commands to be passed on from one generation, and specified the importance of grandparents in this forumla.

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