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Exodus 20:12 HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER
Intro: A mother that had scrimped and saved to put her son
through college sat in her sons 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
Lets face it, there arent that many children who
hold their parents in that high regard. Too often, good old 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. You see, 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 strictly followed. The husband/father is
to be the head of that home, submitting himself to the will of the heavenly
Father. The wife is to be in subjection to her husband, not as his doormat,
but as his helpmeet. The children are to submit themselves to their parents,
and in doing so, will be blessed of the Lord. If this order is followed, then
the home will be blessed and will be a blessing to all those involved in it.
Yet, many homes are in shambles tonight because the children
have forgotten all 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. Lets talk tonight about Honoring Thy Father and Thy Mother.
I. THERE IS A RESPECT THAT IS DEMANDED
A. An Elevation To Recognize This verse
makes it plain that parents are to be held in high regard by their children.
Notice Eph. 6:2 "Honor thy father and mother." Honor
= "To give great weight to; to hold as valuable." Children are to
hold Mom and Dad in high respect. They are not just two old fools out to ruin
your fun. They have been placed in your life by the sovereign will of Almighty
God to be your overseers until your 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!
(Ill. There were times in my youth when I disobeyed my
parents and I was wrong for doing so. I wish I could go back now with what
I know. I would try to be a model son. But, I cant go back! You young
people who are still living under your parents roof might want to
reconsider just how you are treating them! If you arent holding them
in high regard and respect, then you need to repent of that sin and do right
by your parents.)
(Ill. 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 ones parents! It is a sign of ignorance and immaturity!)
B. An Esteem To Render - As we grow older,
we are continue to regard our parents with great respect. As children grow
up, it is natural for them to leave their parents home, Gen. 2:24. At
this time, we are no longer under there direct authority. In other words,
they arent there to tell us what to do day by day.
(Ill. Many are dreaming of that day right now! It aint
all its cracked up to be!)
Even though we leave their home and leave their authority,
we are to still respect our parents and we are to call to mind the sacrifices
they have made to bring us into the world and to nurture us to maturity.
We should call to mind the long nights spent beside the sickbed. The many
hours worked to provide food, shelter and clothing. We should remember the
love dispensed in abundance for so little in return. Even though we are
out from under their authority, we still owe them our respect. They deserve
(Ill. Jesus, He was the great example. As a 12 year old
boy, He submitted Himself to His parents, Luke 2:51. And, as a dying man,
He remembered to honor His mother by seeing that she was cared for, John
(Ill. Brother Gerald He is selling his home and
moving away just so he can be near his parents and be certain that they
are getting the care they need. That is the spirit of this verse!)
C. An Experience To Regard Let me say
a word about parental advise. Many young people simply refuse to hear what
their parents tell them and as a result, they often experience trouble and
hardship. Young people would do well to remember that parents speak from the
experience gained by taking the hard knocks themselves. Their warnings are
given to guide their children in the right path and to steer them past many
of the obstacles of life.
(Ill. Experience is far wiser than ignorance! It is an
ignorant child that refuses the counsel of wise, experienced parents.)
(Ill. Many are like this little girl - A youngster was very unhappy because
her parents had refused her wishes. That evening her mother was amused to
hear her pray, "Please, Lord, don't give her any more children; she
doesn't know how to treat the ones she's got now!" )
(Ill. The attitude of children toward their parents changes as they grow
older. During the teen years especially, some young people show little respect
for their fathers and mothers. It's disheartening to see this. But as those
young teenagers mature, they begin to recognize that Mom and Dad knew a
lot more than they gave them credit for. Mark Twain once said, "When
I was 14 years old, my father was so ignorant I hated to have the old man
around. But when I was 21 years old, I was astonished to see how much my
father had learned in only 7 years."
Sometimes young people come to realize with deep regret that if they had
followed the counsel of their parents they could have avoided much heartache
both for themselves and their family.
II. THERE IS A RESPECT THAT IS DESERVED
(Ill. While this verse speaks primarily to young people and
children, it also speaks to parents. Children will have a difficult time respecting
a parent who hasnt lived a life worthy of honor. Allow me to share with
you three reasons how parents can earn the respect of their children.)
A. By Our Faithfulness Parents need
to remember that children will respect a life that is lived faithfully. Children
long to see their parents living with their best interests at heart. When
a child knows that mom and dead really care about what happens to them, they
will respond to that display of love.)
(Ill. Lets face it, many parents want their kids
to do right, because it makes them look better. Their primary concern is,
"What will my friends think of me if
?" Others are devastated
when their children start to turn out differently than they had planned.
A parents duty to their children is to love them unconditionally and faithfully
place their needs ahead of your own. Kids will respond to that kind of love.)
(By the way, faithfulness to the Lord goes along way with
kids too. When we live as though the Lord, His work, His worship and His
House are optional, our children will come to believe it too. Dont
expect them to be faithful, dedicated Christians when you arent one
(I guess that what we do speaks so loud our kids cant
hear what we are saying!)
B. By Our Fairness We earn respect by
being fair. That is, we are firm in what we say, but we are tempered in our
actions by love. This brings to mind 2 methods of child rearing that need
to be mentioned.
1. Discipline There are parents who
believe that the answer to every infraction is a beating.
2. Liberty There are others who feel
that their children can do as they please. Oh, they may not like what their
kids do and there is a lot of yelling, threatening and pleading, but there
is never any discipline imposed on the wayward child.
These 2 methods represent the extremes, our duty, in fairness
to our children, is to find the happy medium. There are times when we must
discipline, Pro. 13:24; 29:17. Any parent who refuses to apply the board
of education to the seat of learning is doing his children a great injustice.
Then, there are times when we need to allow our kids a little growing room.
Our job is to find that place where they can be themselves and still learn
that God has a plan for their lives. Too bad they dont come with training
C. By Fruitfulness Parents earn respect
from their children when they can see their parents investing their lives
in their children. When we give them love and time and patience and encouragement
and hope, they will respond with respect and love of their own.
(Ill. There was a little boy who expressed great concern
about his parents. He told of how his father worked hard to provide for
all of his needs and how his mother slaved around the house, cooking and
cleaning up after him and taking care of him when he was sick. When asked
what he had to be worried about he said, "I am afraid that they might
(Ill. Thank God for those parents who invest their lives
into those of their children!)
(Ill. Children have much to be thankful for in their parents.
However, too many are too immature and too self-centered to see that. Yet,
they will some day, many when it is too late to say thank you.)
III. A REWARD THAT WILL BE DELIVERED
(Ill. This verse contains more that a "dont",
it also gives us a great promise. This verse reminds those who obey Father
and Mother that there are some promises that they can have for themselves.)
A. Our Days Will Be Lengthened (Ill.
Eph. 6:3) When one honors his parents as he ought, then God has promised him
longer days upon the earth. I believe that we can take this literally. If
this is true, and it is, then it can also be said that refusal to obey parents
can result in an abbreviated live!
B. Our Days Will Be Lightened Not only
does the Lord promise length of days to those who honor their parents, He
also promises blessings to those who choose this wonderful way of life.
(Ill. George Washington had his heart set on going to sea.
His trunk was already on board the ship when he went to tell his mother
goodbye. He found here with tears in her eyes and a heavy heart that was
opposed to his journey. He turned to a hired servant and ordered him to
go to the ship and get his trunk. He said, "I will not leave and break
my mothers heart." Her response to him was this, "George,
God has promised to bless the children that obey their parents." God
did bless his life and still uses his influence to this day!)
(Ill. By the same token, God has cursed those who refuse
to obey mother and father - Prov 30:17, "The eye that mocketh at his
father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall
pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.")
(Children that treat their parents with the respect they
are due, and worthy of, will be blessed of the Lord!
Conc: As I look back over all the years of my life, I realize
that in many ways I was a very disobedient child. Yet, I thank God for my parents
and for the life and raising they gave me. What I am tonight is a product of
the investment they made then. The same stands true for each of us this evening!
We may not always agree with them, and we may not always understand them, nut
they are our parents and as such, they deserve all the love and respect that
we can possible give to them.