Summary: This is the fourth message in a series of sermons called, "How to have a Happy and Healthy Home."

Series: How to Have a Happy and Healthy Home

Scripture: Ephesians 6:1-3

Sermon: How to Treat Your Parents Right

I heard a story about three young husbands who were in a hospital waiting room waiting for their wives to give birth. The nurse came in and said to the first father, "Congragulations. Your wife just gave birth to twins!" The father jumped for joy and said, "This is an incredible coincidence - because I work for the Minnesota Twins!" A few minutes later, the nurse came in and told the second father, "Congragulations! Your wife just gave birth to triplets!" The second father jumped for joy and said, "This is an incredible coincidence - because I work for 3M!" When the third father heard this he shouted "Oh no!" and fainted. The nurse tended to him and when he revived, she asked, "What’s wrong?" He replied, "The first husband works for the Twins and his wife had twins. The second husband works for 3M and had triplets. Well, I WORK FOR 7UP!"

That poor man fainted because parenting is an awesome responsibility. The Peace Corps says that its the toughest job you’ll ever love. But I disagree with that. I believe that being a parent is the toughest job you’ll ever love.

Think about it. Parents have an awesome responsibility. They are responsible for their child’s physical, emotional, and spiritual welfare. They are on the job 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.! Parents have a tough job and they deserve to be treated right by their children. As the fifth commandment says, "Honor your father and your mother." Paul adds . . . (Eph. 6:1-3).

But how can we honor our parents? How can we treat our parents right? Let me offer three principles. If your parents are still living, then at least one of these principles will hit home.

I. OBEY Them while You Are Under Their Care.

I am talking to children and teenagers, so listen up.

In verse 1, God commands children (IE. those who are under their parents care - whether a toddler or a teenager) to obey their parents. Remember, God’s commands are always designed for our good. When you honor your parents by obeying them, you’re really doing yourself a big favor.

a. For one thing, you’re learning to accept authority. Authority is a basic part of life (home, school, employment, society). If you can learn to accept authority at home, then you won’t have too much of a problem accepting it outside the home. But if you don’t learn to accept authority at home, then you’ll have a hard time accepting it wherever you go. You’ll have trouble in school, on the job, and in society. You’ll lead a hard miserable life, if you can’t learn to obey your parents.

b. For another thing, you’re benefiting from their experience. They’ve been where you are. They know what lies ahead for you and they know what can hurt you. When they lay down rules and curfews, and they demand to know where you are at night - they’re not trying to keep you from being happy, they’re trying to keep you from getting hurt! So obey your parents while you’re under their care.

II. RESPECT Them ALL the Days of Your Life.

I’m talking to every person whose parents are still living.

Look at verse 2. The word translated "honor" implies obedience and respect. R-E-S-P-E-C-T (that’s a song isn’t it?). The day you move out of your parents home is the day you are no longer under their authority. However, your obligation to honor them doesn’t end when you move out. God still expects you to respect them all the days of your life.

"Wait a second preacher, you just don’t know what my parents have done to me. They don’t deserve my respect." Well, I have two things to say to that.

a. There are no perfect parents. Children usually go through four stages when it comes to respecting them

i. They Idolize them (ILL: My Dad can do anything, he’s the smartest man in the world, etc.).

ii. They Demonize them; that is, they blame them for all their troubles.

iii. They Utilize them: "Dad, can I have the keys?" "Mom, what’s for dinner?"

iv. They Humanize them. They’re not gods. They’re not devils. They’re not things to be used. They’re human, just like you and they have their faults too. You can really appreciate your parents, once you humanize them.

b. There are even some sorry parents (ILL: my friend whose father molested her when she was a little girl. She couldn’t obey the 5th command because of him). Shame on the father or mother who keeps their child from obeying the 5th Command. Moms and Dads, remember, respect is something that must be earned. So do everything in your power to help your child keep the 5th commandment.

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