Summary: Sermon on the Fifth Commandment
“Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God will give you.” Exodus 20:12
A mother that had scrimped and saved to put her son through college sat in her son’s graduation. She watched as he walked across the platform and received his degree with honors. As he walked down the isle, instead of turning into the designated row, he kept walking; down to where his mother sat. The young man threw his arms around her neck, kissed her on the cheek, and as he placed his diploma in her hands, he said, "Here, Mother, you earned it!" The fifth commandment addresses that which many parents have earned.
Let’s face it, there aren’t many children who hold their parents in that high regard. Too often, mom and dad are seen as obstacles to be overcome rather than wise guides to be followed and emulated. In this Fifth Commandment, God lays down a principle for life that will determine how every relationship around you will turn out.
“I now have a 7-year-old boy and a 9-year-old boy, so all I can say is, I apologize. Now I know what you guys were talking about.” Matt Groening, creator of "The Simpsons," responding to complaints that Bart Simpson is a bad role model The home is the foundational institution of society. No nation, or community of people, is stronger than the family structure that makes them up. As goes the home, so goes the nation, the community, the church, etc. In the home, God has established an order that is to be followed.
In Ephesians 5 and 6 we find this order spelled out for us:
And further, you will submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. You wives will submit to your husbands as you do to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his body, the church; he gave his life to be her Savior. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives must submit to your husbands in everything. And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man is actually loving himself when he loves his wife. Eph. 5:21-28
Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. "Honor your father and mother." This is the first of the Ten Commandments that ends with a promise. And this is the promise: If you honor your father and mother, "you will live a long life, full of blessing." And now a word to you fathers. Don’t make your children angry by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord. Eph. 6:1-4
Many homes are full of pain and hurt today because we have forgotten about the Fifth Commandment. It is fitting that this Commandment should fall here. It divides the commandments related to God from those related to our fellow man. You see, when we are out of step in the home, we will be out of step with God and with our fellow human beings. It is in the parental relationship that we learn first how to submit to the Lord and then how we are to serve our fellow man. As we take a few minutes to look into this verse and all that it teaches, we will find that there is instruction here for both parents and for children.
1. There is a respect that is demanded
A. Respect them:
This verse makes it plain that parents are to be held in high regard by their children. Notice Eph. 6:2 – "Honor your father and mother." Honor = "To give great weight to; to hold as valuable." Children are to hold their parents in high respect. They are not just two old people out to ruin your fun. They have been placed in your life by the sovereign will of Almighty God to be your overseers until you reach maturity. In the early stages of life, while a child is maturing from birth to adulthood, they are to be in absolute subjection to their parents. Children are to offer unquestioning obedience to their parents! When a child refuses to obey his/her parents, they are in effect refusing to submit to the Lord, Col. 3:20!
It is discouraging, and frightening, to see a child or young person being disrespectful to their parents. It spells trouble down the road, and it shows a lack of regard for God. It is a sign of deeply rooted sinfulness. There is absolutely no excuse for any behavior that attacks, disrespects or dishonors one’s parents! It is a sign of arrogance, ignorance and immaturity!