Faithlife Sermons

Showing Honor

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings

We are commanded by God to honor our parents.

Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →


Good morning and welcome! In just a moment we will be reading from , specifically , if you would like to begin finding this in your Bible.
Today, as you already know we celebrate a special day.
Today is Mother’s Day, a day when we honor and show appreciation for all who have “mothered” us in our lives.
As part of my study for this morning, I wanted to look at the history of Mother’s Day and it is quite interesting.
There are records of celebrations of Mothers and motherhood dating all the way back to the Greek and Roman empires so the understanding that mothers hold a special place of honor is not something new.
However, in the United States, Mother’s Day did not become an official holiday until 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson declared that the second Sunday in May be officially Mother’s Day.
Even through President Wilson did not make Mother’s Day official until 1914, its unofficial observance was began several years prior.
In the years prior to the Civil War, Ann Reeves Jarvis created “Mother’s Work Clubs” to promote parenting and after the Civil War established a “Mother’s Friendship Day” to promote reconciliation between the North and the South.
Then several years later after her death in 1905, her daughter, Anna Jarvis organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration in a small Methodist Church located in Grafton, WVA in 1908 to honor the sacrifices that mothers make on behalf of their children.
The celebration continued to grow and spread across the country and in 1914, the U.S. government finally took notice and made Mother’s Day an official holiday.
What is it though that makes this day so special?
I believe it relates directly back to God’s original design.
God created man and woman to be husband and wife, and subsequently mother and father.
In this creative power, God gave both man and woman distinctive characteristics and instincts to compliment one another when it comes to raising children.
And when people respect God’s authority and they also follow these instincts God calls for honor to be given to these parents.
Which brings us to our Scripture for this morning, taken directly from the 10 Commandments.

Scripture Focus

Exodus 20:12 NIV - Anglicised
12 “Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

Honoring our Parents

One of the most interesting and significant parts of this verse is the command to “honor.”
I wonder if we really have a good understanding of what it means here to “show honor,” to others.
To honor means to “prize highly” about something or someone. I
To honor means to “care for” something or someone.
To honor means “to show respect for” someone or something.
And we need to ask ourselves this morning, do we do this for our parent’s; our mothers?
Do we prize them highly?
Do we care for them when they are in need?
Do we show respect for them in all situations, even when we disagree with them?
These three lessons are lessons that many people have a hard time with.
Let’s look at the first one: To “prize highly.”
In , we find a discussion about wisdom that talks to us about “prizing” something “highly” or “esteeming it.”
Proverbs 4:
Proverbs 4:5–9 NIV - Anglicised
5 Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. 6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. 7 Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. 8 Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honour you. 9 She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendour.”
If we highly prize something, or esteem it then we will embrace it, we will love it, we will honor it, we will respect it, we will lift it up above everything else.
This morning can we say we do this?
And I will be honest, a lot of times we want to look back and point blame on teenagers for failing to do this.
But like an old Sunday School teacher I had as a young man once said, “when you are pointing one finger at somebody else, there are three pointing back at you.”
Before we start pointing fingers and blaming our kids and teenagers for how they act toward us, where did they learn that behavior?
Yes, some of it definitely comes from the influence their friends have on them and the overall lack of respect there is in society, but what to they see from us?
Do we demonstrate respect for others to them?
Do we “esteem” our elders?
Do we “embrace” others?
Do we “honor” others?
Let’s take it a step further, do we “esteem” God?
Do we “embrace” God?
Do we “honor God?
Or do we act like the Israelites who Jesus, quoting Isaiah says . . .
Matthew 15:8 NIV - Anglicised
8 “ ‘These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
The key to remember is our actions speak louder than our words ever could. We may say we love others and we love God, but do our actions demonstrate this?
What are our children witnessing from us?
The second part of honoring something or someone is “caring for” them.
Jesus commands us to “love our neighbors as ourselves.”
He also tells us in . . .
Matthew 25:34–36 NIV - Anglicised
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
Matthew 25:40 NIV - Anglicised
40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
We honor God by helping others, by caring for others.
And if God expects us to do this for strangers, how much more are we expected to care for those who have cared for us?
Finally, the third part of “honoring” is “showing respect for” someone or something.
, echos our text from Exodus and says . . .
Leviticus 19:3 NIV - Anglicised
3 “ ‘Each of you must respect his mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the Lord your God.
In our society we are taught to only respect people if they have shown you respect. We are never taught to respect other people because they are people.
We are not taught to respect our elders, our peers, or our parents.
This is an affront to God and is disobedient to God.
We think that if we like something or we want to do something, it doesn’t matter who it offends or who it hurts, we are going to do it.
Children of all ages, and again we want to blame teenagers, but they are not the worst at this, it is actually when we are “grown” and out doing our own thing that we are the worst at this.
Here is how it works: All our childhood our parents have taught us what they believe is right and wrong, good and bad, what we should and shouldn’t do.
We become adults, and suddenly we can make our own choices and do whatever we want. Whatever that thing is that our parents have told us not to do, we weigh it out and decide our parents were “wrong.”
So we go on and do it anyway. Not only do we do it, but we have so little respect for our parents that we do it right in front of them, knowing that they can’t really do anything about it at this point.
Here is a newsflash: That is not showing our independence, maturity, and adulthood.
That is showing a complete disrespect and disregard for our parents and is in COMPLETE DISOBEDIENCE TO GOD.
And if we are doing any of these things, then the best thing we can do today on Mother’s Day is to apologize to our parents and STOP IT.
Because that behavior is not impressing anyone.
So, then the question begs, why do we show honor?

Why Do We Show Honor?

And the obvious answer to this question is because God says so.
Remember 1 Samuel . . .
1 Samuel 15:22 NIV - Anglicised
22 But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
Just simply being obedient to God is the very best reason for showing honor to our parents.
God commands it and we should do it.
And the reason God commands us to honor our parents is because that is the order and structure that God has established for humanity.
The family is the central structure to all humanity and society.
It is the glue that holds societal order in place.
And one of the big reasons we are witnessing a breakdown in society like we are today is because there is a fundamental breakdown in the structure and order of the family.
We read this last week . . .
2 Timothy 3:1–5 NIV - Anglicised
1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
2 Timothy 3:1
This is all as a result of the breakdown in the family unit.
Men and women are not being married any longer.
Children do not know their fathers and sometimes their mothers.
Children are being abused by their parents.
Children are being rebellious and disobedient.
Parents are not being parents, they are being “best friends.”
Love, honor, and respect are not being taught.
And the result is exactly what Paul tells Timothy, but it begins when the family unit is broken down.
When God’s determined structure for society is completely disregarded and disrespected by society.
What we see going on around us is the result of that.
And before we move forward, I do want to say this.
A question that always comes up and it is a valid question, how do I respect someone who has abused me?
And I say this to anyone here who has been abused as a child. If the person or people who have abused you does not repent and turn to God, God’s full and complete wrath will fall on them.
But do not let their bad behavior and their sin destroy you.
Satan often uses other people to try to destroy us.
You have a Parent that loves you unconditionally and will NEVER do anything to harm you.
That parent is God.
And if your earthly parents are overcome by sin and have done things that go against God, then they will be held accountable.
Don’t let that destroy your relationship with God.
You do not have to be around your earthly parents.
God is not telling you to excuse their behavior.
All you are required to do is show them the basic respect you would to anyone else.
Don’t lower yourself to their standards.
You are not responsible for their behavior.
You cannot change their behavior.
Just don’t allow them that level of control over you that causes you to fall into sin.
With that said, going back to why we honor our parents.
Like I said #1 is because God commands it.
#2 is because there is a promise attached to it.
Look at our focal verse again . . .
Exodus 20:12 NIV - Anglicised
12 “Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
Paul says it this way in . . .
Ephesians 6:1–3 NIV - Anglicised
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honour 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.”
Here it is again, children obey your parents, but Paul adds something else in the Lord, in other words when what they are telling you is not contrary to God, it is right, that we obey them.
Then in verse two Paul quotes our text, honor your father and mother, and says that this commandment is the first commandment with a promise.
Honoring our parents comes with a promise from God attached, and God keeps God’s promises.
And that promise is that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.
We do not know how long that life will actually be, but we are told that if we honor our parents we will have a longer and more enjoyable life.
Why? Because we are in God’s will.
We are being obedient to God.

Altar Call

So, it comes down to this, are we following God’s commandment?
Are we honoring our parents this morning?
Do we esteem them, prize them?
Do we care for them?
Do we show them respect?
Most of us have probably asked our mothers at one time or another what they would like to have for Mother’s Day.
Truth be told most of them do not care if you get them flowers, gifts, candy, or take them out to eat.
What they are really after is your love, your honor, your respect.
And the first and most important thing you can do to honor them is to come into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Every Christian mother’s prayer is for her children to come to know Jesus.
They understand that eternal life is so much more important than anything here.
And they pray for you more than you will ever know.
What is your relationship with God this morning?
Do you have a relationship with God?
Is it a healthy relationship?
You are the only one that knows the answer to that question.
And you are the only one that can accept the solution to the question.
This morning, what will you choose?
Related Media
Related Sermons