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Honor thy Parents

The Ten Commandments  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Children are to honor their parents

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Children are to honor their parents ()

Explanation: This is the first commandment that is formatted in a positive rather than a negative manner. Instead of do not do thus and so, the 5th commandments is a do this and you will be blessed. The heart of the command is respect - the children are to respect and obey their parents.
The command calls for the straight forward response of respect by children towards parents. While many are quick to point out this is the first commandment with a promise (that your days may be long), there are some who fail to realize this command has no age limits. Thus, there is no expiration date for adult children to no longer respect their parents. And there are no exception clauses for children who are born into families with sorry excuses for parents.
Argument: There is a difference between obedience and respect. It is possible to be obedient to a parent while having absolutely no respect for him or her. Biblically, children are called to do both, at least while under parental authority in the home. Adult children are not called to obey the parents in the same way as when children, but the honor and respect is to be maintained.
This is area filled with difficulties because the level of dysfunctional parents is on a very broad range. [All families are dysfunctional to some degree, but many are very DYSFUNCTIONAL] And the reality is that children who grow up in homes with very dysfunctional parents will continue to deal with those parents for many more years as adults. The moral command for believers is to continue to honor and respect parents, even when they are toxic and emotionally difficult to deal with.
Application: Children are to obey and respect their parents while they are in the home under the parents’ authority. Adult children are to continue to respect parents. The relationship will change with adult children, and it is sometimes necessary to love at a distance

Parents have a responsibility in helping their children achieve obedience to this commandment

Explanation: Respect does not happen automatically. Parents have a role in creating and fostering the atmosphere in the home so that the desired outcome will occur.
Illustrate: American society is allowing for upside-down families. Young children are making decisions and calling the shots for the entire family. Too much of the tail wagging the dog!
Argument: God’s design for the family was established in His creative decree, and human flourishing takes place best when the parents are in charge of the children. Parents are not to be tyrannical rulers, but they are not to abdicate their God-given responsibilities either! If children are going to honor and respect parents, the parents are going to have to live and parent accordingly.
A great place to begin this process is a reminder of biblical theology in the area of anthropology, which is that all humans are born with a sin nature. That rebellious nature shows up in toddlers, and it needs to be controlled and managed by loving discipline by the parents. When a child never learns to respect the authority of the parents, why in the world would we expect them to respect the authority of God when they are older.
Application: Parents are to instill the expectation of respect from children from the very beginning. If it is not done properly in the first few years, the table is set for showdowns during adolescence and the teen years. A parent who states out loud in the presence of a 3 year old, “I can’t do anything with him!” has already lost. The will of this child may be controlled through fear and punishment, but the respect will not be forthcoming.

Children are to respect their parents in the Lord (Ephesians 6:1-3)

Explanation: The Apostle Paul repeats the command for children to obey their parents, but he adds some clarifying material. The instruction is for children to obey their parents in the Lord. This addendum gives the child leeway to disobey the parents when the parents tell the children to do something sinful. Because the child is still under the authority of the parents, this sets up conflict in the home. This is the reason Paul includes verse 3 where the parents are instructed not to provoke the child to anger.
Example: A parent who tells a child to carry drugs because he is a minor. The child would not be held accountable by God for disobeying because the command is sinful
Argument: A child who is a believer but has parents who are not of the faith is in a difficult place. Parents who are unsaved will have a different value system and will not view events / activities in terms of wholesome vs. sinful. For example, they may not consider it wrong to tell the child to lie for them when convenient.
A more pressing issue is when Christian parents provoke their children with unrealistic expectations or unnecessary harshness. This is the main idea behind this particular command. It is possible to break a child’s spirit by excessive discipline or the wrong type of discipline.
Application: Parents have the responsibility of raising their children to honor and respect them and the authority they have as parents. We are to do so in a manner that is consistent & loving. And as parents, we should not settle for less than respect from our children
If a parent wants a child to get involved in carrying drugs because as minors they won’t get charged if they get arrested
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