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Summary: “Honor your parents,” the Bible says, “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” What does God mean? That the one thing that is most key to the success and health of the rest of our lives is our relationship with

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How to be the best son or daughter in the world

Today I’m talking to children in the Christian family, but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook if you’re over 21! Last time I checked we’re all somebody’s child. If you have living parents, you’ll find something of value in this message. And, if you have kids I believe you can glean insights, as well.

My son, Jay, decided to drive in today to keep his Dad honest for this sermon! Thank you, Jay. You can check in with him after the service to see if I practiced what I preach, (imperfectly anyway.)

Erma Bombeck, the late humorist, wrote an essay about mean parents. I think some of you will find it easy to identify with her thoughts.

Was your Mom mean? I know mine was. We had the meanest mother in the whole world!

While other kids ate candy for breakfast, we had to have cereal, eggs, and toast.

When others had a Pepsi and a Twinkie for lunch, we had to eat sandwiches. And you can guess our mother fixed us a dinner that was different from what other kids had, too.

Mother insisted on knowing where we were at all times. You’d think we were convicts in a prison. She had to know who our friends were, and what we were doing with them. She insisted that if we said we would be gone for an hour, we would be gone for an hour or less.

We were ashamed to admit it, but she had the nerve to break the Child Labor Laws by making us work. We had to wash the dishes, make the beds, learn to cook, vacuum the floor, do laundry, empty the trash and all sorts of cruel jobs. I think she would lie awake at night thinking of more things for us to do.

She always insisted on us telling the truth the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. By the time we were teenagers, she could read our minds. Then, life was really tough!

Mother wouldn’t let our friends just honk the horn when they drove up. They had to come up to the door so she could meet them. While everyone else could date when they were 12 or 13, we had to wait until we were 16.

Because of our mother we missed out on lots of things other kids experienced. None of us have ever been caught shoplifting, vandalizing other’s property or ever arrested for any crime. It was all her fault. Now that we have left home, we are all educated, honest adults. We are doing our best to be mean parents just like Mom was. I think that is what’s wrong with the world today. It just doesn’t have enough mean moms.

My kids had pretty mean parents, too! Bev and I believed in work, discipline, responsibility- mixed in with big does of laughter and love!

Teenagers, I want to encourage you to pay attention today.

(I hope you pay attention every Sunday, but especially today as what I’m going to talk about has the potential to spare you a great deal of grief down the road in life. What I’m preaching about today is a key to your success in the future.)

My goal in this sermon is to STRENGTHEN the relationship of Parent/Child in your home. If our Christianity does not work in our homes, it won’t work anywhere, because that’s where our TRUE self shines through!

PRAYER

God’s wisdom for sons and daughters of every age is straight forward.

I invite you to turn with me today to the Scripture.

TEXT - Ephesians 6: 1-3 Pew Bible page 1823

First question we need to speak to is this – To whom is that passage addressed?

Children - is a translation of the NT Greek word - ‘teknon.’ It does not refer to infants or those who have not reached the age of majority. It is the most general word for offspring, used also to describe the ‘children of God.’ It was used to describe the affectionate relationship of an older man who mentored a younger man as when Paul referred to Timothy as his ‘son in the faith.’

It is therefore a word addressed to all of us. It speaks to the relationship not just with your birth parents, but also those who became your parents by marriage. I guess we have to watch out for those ‘mother-in-law’ jokes guys!

There are two words that describe our relationship with our parents - Obey and Honor!

Let’s consider that first command - Obey your parents!

1. It’s a SPIRITUAL matter!

God added a curious little phrase to that command - ‘in the Lord.’ Some mistakenly read that, ‘obey your Christian parents.’ What God is telling us is that the way we relate to our parents is one of the ways we demonstrate our relationship to God! If you claim to be a follower of Jesus and fail to obey your parents, you’re at best immature - at worst, a hypocrite!

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