Ephesians 6:1-3 (for the young people)
Why should you Honor and obey your parents?
When God gave to Moses the Ten Commandments, He gave them a complete system. In it, He placed everything that was necessary for His people to be an example to the other nations. You see, God wants His people to be different. God wants His people to show love, mercy, and honor. The Ten Commandments all go together. And the fifth commandment is to honor your Father and your Mother.
Paul tells us here in his letter to the church at Ephesus that the most important way for us to honor our parents is to obey them.
This is not an option for God’s people. And right here in the Bible, we see how important it is for you young people to listen, obey, and honor your parents, because the Bible says that honoring your parents will ensure you a safe journey through life.
You know, there are some things you do that will tell you if you don’t really honor your parents:
If you’re looking for ways to do the things that you know Mom and Dad don’t like.
If you’re always thinking up excuses to tell your friends why you can’t do the things they do.
If you’re thinking about what will please your friends more than what will please your parents.
God requires of all of us that we honor our parents.
That’s the system He set up. And He has set it up in such a way that, even if the parents don’t believe in God, or don’t always obey God’s commandments – if the children honor and obey their parents, God will be able to bless that family and use the children as a witness to God’s love.
Did you know that there are many reasons why God created people the way He did? And that means that when God created Adam and Eve, He gave them a way to have children. That means that it was God’s idea to have children on the earth.
And here are Top Ten Reasons Why God Created Children:
10. Because parents never know how to dress right with the latest fashion.
9. So when kids come back from Sunday School, they can show their parents where to find John 3:16 in the Bible.
8. To keep parents from believing they know all the answers.
7. To help parents with their communication skills by explaining things the easy way.
6. To hold parents responsible for keeping God’s commandments by forcing them to set an example.
5. To teach their parents what true forgiveness is all about.
4. To give parents a fast moving target when there are things to do around the house that they ought to be doing themselves.
3. To give frustrated fathers and worried mothers a really good reason to be faithful to Jesus Christ.
2. Payback for the grandparents.
1. To teach parents what God goes through every time they disobey His Commandments.
God knows what He is doing.
When Mom or Dad question what you’re up to, it isn’t because we don’t trust you. If we’ve never heard of the type of music you’re listening to, if we’ve never been to a certain place you want to hang out at, if we don’t know about the friend that you’ve made and we don’t know their parents – we’re going to ask question’s. Why? Is it because we don’t trust you? No, it’s because we don’t trust the other guy.
It’s because we’ve learned many things the hard way, and we want to protect you the best way we can.
It’s because we have done the things you’re doing now, and we know when you need to be careful, and we know that certain things are bad for you. That’s why we don’t do those things anymore, and that’s why we took you to church this morning. You see, your parents know what’s good for you.
It’s because – those things that Mom and Dad just won’t seem to let you do – we’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt. And some of us have learned the hard way.
King Solomon said in the Book of Ecclesiastes, “There’s nothing new under the sun.”
Everything has always been the same in this world.
We are all born with a nature that wants to do things our way.
That means nobody had to tell you how to disobey your parents. You learned all by yourself. That means nobody had to teach you how to hide from your parents the things that you know will upset them. But remember, even though you may be a young Christian this morning, most of the people you see in school, and in your neighborhood are not. And we know the things that most people do in this world have nothing to do with the things that God wants them to do.
I know, most of the time your friends are doing things we all like to do. But here’s the difference:
It isn’t the music you listen to, it’s the words – and it’s who’s doing the singing.
It isn’t the clothes you wear, it’s the people who are looking at you.
It isn’t where you want to go, it’s the people who are there.
Again, chances are, it’s not you we don’t trust, it’s the other guy. And many times, parents know something about other people that you don’t understand yet.
It’s not like we think everybody who isn’t a Christian is trying to do wrong on purpose. No, we all need to understand that people who don’t believe in God are deceived.
We know that God does exist. So people who don’t believe in God have been fooled in thinking that they can do things anyway they want.
The Bible tells us that the devil is the greatest of all deceivers, and Jesus said that the devil is the father of all lies.
Satan is not going to tempt you with anything that you think is disgusting.
He is going to deceive you into thinking that everything your friends are doing is OK, because after all – they’re your friends aren’t they. And they’re nice to you aren’t they? If the people you hang out with aren’t Christians, then chances are, the things that they do will sooner or later lead you to do things that the Bible says are wrong.
Your parents know this because they have been fooled into doing things when they were younger.
It’s OK to have friends who are not Christian, because you should try to show them that being a Christian is what’s best for them. But when they start doing things that you know the Bible says are wrong, then you have to be big enough to say, “God says that’s wrong.”
If you don’t think you have the strength to say no, then find another friend. Ask your parents to help you out in these situations.
If there is a difference between the things you like to do, and the things your parents like to do, ask why. Many times it will give your parents a chance to tell you how they learned some things the hard way. We’re not trying to restrict your life, we’re trying to protect you. It’s our job.
Think of it this way: [Illustration of a kite – and how “free” the kite is when it is flying high…]
What do you think the string on a kite is for? Do you ever think it’s OK to completely let go of the string?
Of course not! If we allowed you to do anything you wanted, sooner or later, you would be tempted to do something that would get you killed.
That’s why God says that if you honor your Mother and Father, you will live a longer life. God wants you to be safe.
What are the things that your parents are never going to allow you to do?
Anything the shows a lack of respect towards your parents
Things that are against the law
Things that are against what the Bible teaches
Your parents have been commanded by God to bring you up in the instruction of the Lord. You must not expect them to do anything different.
Now when it comes to the things you want to do, think about some of those things that I just mentioned
Knowing that your parents were once young, and have already learned many things the hard way.
Knowing that we are responsible to God for your safety and welfare.
You also have to understand that it’s tough letting go.
How many of you have ever had a little kitten, or a puppy. Can you imagine having a law that says you can only have a puppy or a kitten for one year, then you have to let it go?
Now we know that you’re not animals, and that God gave you a life. But because we know that it’s our responsibility to let you go when you get older, we must let you go out on your own slowly. Not all at once.
A good guideline here is that there must be a balance between family life and the things that you would like to do on your own.
You should be allowed to do your own thing sometimes, and you should be required to share with the family at other times. As you grow older, you may be allowed to break away from the family more and more in order to prepare for the day when you will step out into the world on your own.
But as you’re planning your life, think about this:
Wouldn’t you like to know that you are actually ready, and that you were prepared by some people who are experienced?
Don’t you think it’s smart to realize that your parents want you to be on your own, but at the same time have the peace of mind that you have learned to be smart with your choices?
What is a smart choice anyway?
Is it what you see on television?
Is it what your school says is OK?
Is pleasing God your first priority, by honoring your parents?
What are some of the things that we parents have learned the hard way that will lead you away from a life that is pleasing to Jesus Christ:
Going out on a date with someone who is not a Christian.
Listening to music that has words that persuade you to do things that the Bible says are wrong.
Reading stories where the hero is always breaking the law.
Watching TV shows whose main characters are living there lives against what the Bible teaches.
Dressing up in order to attract attention.
Your parents may have some other things that they want to teach you. That was a pretty short list.
Let me ask you a question?
When was the last time one of your friends said, “Lets see what we can do to honor are parents!”?
How can you honor your parents?
1. Always do what they ask you to do first, then ask questions.
2. If you still don’t understand, just trust them. God gave you a Mom and a Dad just for you.
3. Ask Jesus Christ to take hold of the kite string of your life…