Ten Commandments - Honour your parents

Sermon Notes: Ten commandments. Exodus 20 verse 12.

How am I to honour my parents?

It depends on what stage of life you’re in; how you apply this command.

1: As a child I honour parents by obeying and respecting them.

Colossians 3:20: ‘Children, obey your parents in everything for this pleases the Lord.’

This command applies as long as you are under your parent’s roof. As long as they’re providing for you and you are dependent upon them. Jesus was a child, who knew more than His mother and He knew more than His stepfather Joseph, yet He obeyed them.

But this commandment works both ways – it says that children have a duty to honour their parents, but parents need to earn the right to be honoured.

2: Listen to what they have to say!

Proverbs 23:22, ‘Listen to your father who gave you your life and do not despise your mother when she is old.’

You can disagree with them without being disagreeable. Jesus’ own mother Mary didn’t always understand or approve of what He did, but He always honoured His mother when she disagreed with Him.

You can appreciate your parents regardless of all they got wrong as parents. You can appreciate their effort. Parenting is difficult, time is demanding, energy draining, it’s a full-time job. Children have no idea of the hours of effort, energy, time, thought, prayer, worry that parents poured into their children’s lives without their knowing it, realizing it, appreciating it.

3: As an adult I honour my parents by affirming them in their old age!

As parents grow older, they begin to feel a mixture of emotions and feelings, such as feeling worthless, useless, less cared for, so lonely, a nuisance, of less value. All of their friends who affirmed them and enjoyed them are perhaps ill themselves or have died. They are no longer feel needed or wanted or valued for their skills or wisdom in a work situation, etc. Older parents need to be affirmed and valued.

How do we affirm aging parents? By staying in touch with them, by writing a letter or a card, making a phone call, calling into see them. by touching them and close contact with them, because for some they might not have any contact from anyone else all day.

It’s amazing how the family cycle goes around and the rolls reverse! At one time your parents fed you, cared for you, took care of you, provided for you. As they become elderly the roles reverse. It may be that you will need to feed them, bathe them and care for them in a variety of ways.

4: How do I honour a parent / parents who are difficult, unreasonable, demanding? How do I honour a parent who neglected, mistreated me for so many years?

God is not asking you to gloss over the pain, deny the pain or repress the anger you feel. But He does want us to face the pain. If you cannot talk things out with your parents, and try and resolve some of the issues that remain unresolved in your life – then maybe sharing that pain with someone may give some practical relief. Only God knows the pain you feel. God does care. Romans 8, ‘And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him.’