Summary: A children’s sermon on obeying and honoring their parents- also applicable to adults.
Living with Honor
[Read “Am I Praying?” & encourage kids to pray at home, school, and everywhere.]
Ephesians 6:1-4 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 "Honor your father and mother"-- which is the first commandment with a promise-- 3 "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." 4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
[Interview a panel of kids about obedience]
1. What does it mean to obey your parents?
2. Is it always easy to obey your parents?
3. Where did parents come from?
4. What might happen if we don’t obey our parents?
5. What should you do if you are having trouble obeying your parents?
Top 10 Reasons Kids should obey their Parents
10. Your parents brought you into this world.
9. Your parents can take you out of this world.
8. Your parents are probably bigger than you are.
7. You will reap what you sow (What goes around comes around.)
6. Your parents love you more than you know.
5. Your parents are smarter than you think. (They really do know more than you do.)
4. It will save you a lot of extra danger and trouble in life.
3. It helps you learn to honor and obey God. (If you dishonor your parents, you are dishonoring God.)
2. It is right.
1. There’s a reward: So it may go well with you and you may enjoy long life on the earth.
[Read story of Becky who didn’t obey her mother.]
[Tell story of Jesus who obeyed his parents. Jesus got left behind in Jerusalem. Eventually they found Him. Luke 2:51-52 51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.]
A Little Help from Dad
-Kids who love Jesus will do all they can to obey their parents and honor them. However, the Bible tells us that Dads can help the kids learn how to do that. Some of you may not know your Daddy. Maybe he is not around to help teach you how to obey and show honor. If so, just remember that God Himself said He’d be your Daddy. Psalm 27:10 “Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.” Psalm 68:5 “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.”
-Back in Paul’s day, the Dad was the absolute boss of the family. Whatever he said was the law for the family. Sometimes Dads would get a little carried away while making their kids obey and sometimes that made it really hard for a kid to love or even want to obey.
-Now Paul wasn’t telling Dads not to discipline their kids. No! The Dad who does not discipline his kids does not really love them.
Hebrews 12:5-8 "My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son." 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.
-So, Dads are supposed to discipline, but not in a harsh, uncaring way that crushes the spirit of a child. There are times when something looks like disobedience to a Dad, but it actually is a situation where the child needs Dad to give instruction and personal attention to the child. Obedience is learned behavior. That means that we as parents must teach our kids how to do it. There should be consequences for disobedience, but they should never be harsh, angry, or brutal. That is not bringing them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
-Have you ever driven on ice or gravel when the back end of the car begins to slide? This happens a lot more with rear wheel drives. Drivers are taught to turn into the slide, but not too far. When you try to correct the slide by turning the same direction that you’re sliding, it is easy to go too far the other way and lose control of the car. I have done this, so I speak from experience. However, I was very blessed to have a Dad who did not blow up at me and belittle me when I crashed his car. This is called over-correcting, and just as it can cause a driver to lose control of the car, it can cause a parent to lose control of his kid. Why? Colossians 3:21 tells us why: “Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.” Too much overcorrecting can cause a child to become angry and bitter and lose heart or give up. Sometimes they give up on their family. Sometimes they give up on God because we often get our idea of who God is by who our earthly father is. So they begin to think that God is a harsh tyrant who enjoys dominating people.