Strive To Honor Father and Mother

Bible Book: Exodus  20 : 12
Subject: Ten Commandments; Children Obey Parents
Series: Ten Commandments

The subject of parental authority has always been an issue; especially in the latter part of the 20th century and the early part of the 21st century. When it comes to authority or how much a parent should “control” their child or how much should a parent intervene in a child’s natural developmental process does the bible speak clearly on these issues? I believe it does. I want you to notice a progression. The first four commandments tell us of our duty to God. No exception! God wants us to obey it just as He wrote it. The next priority, in order for our society to function properly, is our relationship to our parents. This is divine order; not the notion of some parent/child relations expert! This is the only system that will work to preserve safety and society.

I. Who are the people of this command, vs. 12.

A. Who is to get the honor, vs. 12.

"…thy father and thy mother… "

The first thing we can notice here is that mother and father receive equal respect! You may ask, "Who are my mother and father in the sight of God?" To answer that question simply, it’s the ones who gives you birth! That’s it! That’s all you get! No chance at another mother and father. Are there others whom you’d have the same, or more respect for? Yes, in some cases. But that’s your choice, not God’s command. Good, then I don’t have to do what my stepparents tell me to do! Children, listen closely here! You are to obey and honor anyone who instructs you “in the Lord”. The word honor denotes a person-to-person relationship. It’s used to describe the one who has authority over you. If you have a stepmother or stepfather you are under their authority. But remember, right always takes authority over wrong. Not only do we see who is to get the honor, but also:

B. Who is to give the honor, vs. 12.

"…thy father and thy mother…"

vs. 12. The word thy is a pronominal adjective which means belonging to you; possessive. The word honor carried with it the idea of respect or value; to show kindness. We are told to obey our parents in Ephesians 6:1-3. Let’s deal with our commandment. Respect your parents. When they instruct you “in the Lord” carry out that instruction.Submit to their rebukes, listen to their advice and comfort your parents. Did I say God said to take their abuse? No! Look at Mark 9:42-48. Making you stay home from a dope smoking, love making, raise cane party is not child abuse! Spanking you for doing wrong is not abuse! Listen kids! Contrary to your most informed source; your parents are not floating around in the dark. It’s such a sad fact that you so often feel some kid two years older than you has all the right answers about the life he’s yet to experience! Believe me, when your parents say they’ve been there; they have! Not only do we see the people of the commandment, but also:

II. The promises of the commandment, vs. 12.

A. The love God shows, vs. 12.

"…that thy days may be long upon the land…"

vs. 12. The term that thy days is defined more as a period of time within a lifetime, but progressing past that life. It’s used in the imperfect mood in the Hebrew and that’s interesting because it denotes not only a present action but a future action as well. Illustration: to say he is painting the room tells what he is doing now with the assumption that it will continue until the room is finished. God is saying, I love you and have given to you the keys to having a long and prosperous future. Now listen! Maybe not to one person, but to the whole generation! It just makes sense! If we had honored our mother and father from the beginning of time we wouldn’t be in our present situation in Iraq and Afghanistan. There would be fewer jails, little ignorance, less divorce and no snotty nosed little brats that want not only their every need met but also their every whim! Not only do we see the love God shows, but also:

B. The land God shares, vs. 12.

"…upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee..."

vs. 12. The Lord is speaking here of the environment which God has given you. Listen! Most of you have been given a loving and secure home. Dishonor will destroy the land God has shared with you! Dishonor brings God’s judgment on your family; it causes hatred and broken hearts. You suffer loss of joy and disgrace. But look at the joy you can bring to the land God has shared with you. You make your parents glad and you calm tension in the home, you’ll learn how to raise your own kids and you’ll gain wisdom and understanding. But the most important thing is you’ll bring God in on your situation. God will be your Companion, Guide and Protector. Listen! You’ll bring good things to the land God has shared with you. The decision is yours! What will you grow on the land God has given you?