How would you like to have a long and prosperous life? Did you know that GOD wants that for you? You may be surprised what is required to achieve it.
You can have a long and prosperous life by obeying the 5th Commandment which is -
Exodus 20: 12-“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you” (NIV)
The 5th commandment started off the second stone tablet. The first tablet began with our relationship to our heavenly father, the second tablet begins with our relationship to our earthly father and mother. Just as success with the first commandment was necessary for a healthy relationship with God, so is success with the fifth commandment necessary for a healthy relationship with others in society. Simply put, the way children relate to their parents will determine their success in how they relate to other human beings. Not only will it affect the relationship we have with other human beings, but it has a dramatic impact on our relationship with our heavenly father as well.
Why is honoring our parents so important?
Parental honor lays the foundation for our attitude toward all authority figures. If we don’t learn the fifth commandment, then we’re going to have no foundation for the rest of the authority relationships in our lives. From the fifth commandment we learn how to relate to our boss, to our teachers, to our government, and so forth. We often think an authority figure has to earn the right to be honored, and if we find an authority figure who’s imperfect or makes mistakes, we think we’re off the hook. But according to the Bible that’s not true; we’re still bound to honor authority in our lives even when that authority is imperfect.
This is the only command with a promise. God says in our passage today that if we obey this command, our days will be prolonged in the land which God gives you. God could be speaking of a long physical life or the quality of life. Think about how sad your life is if you cannot bring yourself to honor your parents? Bitterness and envy destroy you from within.
On the physical side we have at least a couple of places in the Old Testament where a disobedient child or a child who strikes their parent is to be put to death! (Exodus 21:15-17; Deuteronomy 21:18-21). On the practical side if a parent tells a child not to drink or do drugs and the kid ignores the parent, they could die from it.
Parents are God’s representative! They teach us all we need to make it in life. Jesus had parents. Parents, I hope you realize the responsibility you have to them and I hope you take it seriously! Your job is not to make your kids happy, but to prepare them to be God-fearing responsible adults.
What does it mean to honor your parents?
Defining Honor - The Hebrew word translated "honor" here means to "make heavy" or "weighty". The word picture is weighing down someone with esteem and respect. The opposite of "honor" is to take someone "lightly," by withholding honor and respect.
Honoring our parents means we will give then the proper attention and respect they deserve because of the fact they are our parents. To honor means to “to place a value on”. It is not enough to just do what they say out of fear of punishment, but we are to value them and respect their position.
What does it mean to HONOR your father and your mother?
I. "H" = Consider their words HEAVILY.
The word "honor" means "heavy". We must weigh the words of our parents heavily because they have power, they are significant.
II. "O" = OBEY your parents!
Ephesians 6:1 - "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right." (NIV)
Proverbs 6:20 –“My son, observe the commandment of your father And do not forsake the teaching of your mother”
Proverbs 23:22 –“Listen to your father who begot you, and do not despise your mother when she is old”
Children will always push against the limits placed by their parents to see if they move. If the limits move, the children’s security is gone! Set limits for your children for their security, not your satisfaction. If our limits are set according to the guidelines of the Word of God, our children will be stronger by obeying them. In turn they will honor you, their parents!
III. “N” = Be NICE to them.
Exodus 21:15,17 -“Anyone who attacks his father or his mother must be put to death. Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.” (NIV)
Proverbs 30:17 – “17 The eye that mocks his father, And scorns obedience to his mother,
The ravens of the valley will pick it out, And the young eagles will eat it.”
A man who disrespects his parents is put out to suffer from the elements. Judgment comes on him. He suffers in relation to his treatment of parents.
God puts high priority on the way we treat our parents! Kind words, remembering their special days, speaking lovingly to them and about them will go a long ways in showing honor to them.
IV. “O” = Tend to their needs as they get OLDER!
Stay alert to you parent’s needs as they get older. The greatest need parents have as they age is their children’s time! No better investment can be made.
Once there was a little old man. His hands trembled; when he ate he clattered the silverware distressingly, missed his mouth with the spoon more often than not, and dribbled a bit of his food on the tablecloth. Now he lived with his married son, having nowhere else to live, and this arrangement made his son & daughter-in-law miserable.
They took the old man, made him sit on a stool in the corner of the kitchen, and made him eat his food out of a bowl. One day his hands trembled more than usual and he dropped his bowl and broke it. His son yelled at his dad, “You are such a pig! You must now eat like one!” So the son made his dad a little wooden plate and he got his meals it that.
These people had a four-year old son. One evening the young man saw his son playing with some bits of wood and asked what he was doing. “I’m making a wooden plate, “he said, smiling up for approval, “to feed you and momma out of when I get big!” Honor your parents, lest your children dishonor you!
V. “R” = RESPECT them.
How we treat our parents not only IMPACTS them. It IMPACTS US! To respect our parents means that we hold them in High Esteem! We should treat them like kings and queens!
If you could give your Mother or Father a gift of Honor today, what would it be? The best gift you could give is to honor them by living a Godly life!
Just as the 1st commandment sets the stage for everything spiritually in our relationship to our heavenly father, this 1st commandment on the 2nd stone tablet sets the stage for every earthly relationship in our society. If we fail to honor authority in the position of earthly parents we will fail to be honorable as earthly parents! The commandment here promises long life to societies that both honor parents and that have honorable parents. Failure to submit to authority usually results in the inability to exercise it
Children, honor your fathers and mothers. Obey them. Respect them. Learn all you can from them. God promises that if you do, your life will be so much more joyful and successful.
Make your parents proud and glad. You will never regret it.
God Bless You.