Thursday, April 23

10 Commands: Honor Parents

We live in a society that accepts rebellion in the teen years as “normal”. I do not accept that. I do not believe that that has to be the case and I am concerned that we might actually encourage rebellion by embracing this type of thinking.

Much of the “grunge” music of the 90’s mirrored the anger of teens. Kurt Cobain captured this in his song, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. The music reflects the spirit of some kids toward their parents. The anger is seen not just in the words but in the music.

Some might ask, “well isn’t it ok for these kids to express themselves? Isn’t this normal?” Again, I say no. It is bad for the parent’s marriage and it is bad for the family and it is bad for the child.

Just how important is the role of dad and mom?

Read: Deuteronomy 5:6-7, 16-21; Ephesians 6:1-4
6 “I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.
7 “You must not have any other god but me.
16 “Honor your father and mother, as the LORD your God commanded you. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
17 “You must not murder.
18 “You must not commit adultery.
19 “You must not steal.
20 “You must not testify falsely against your neighbor.
21 “You must not covet your neighbor’s wife. You must not covet your neighbor’s house or land, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.

Ephesians 6:1-4
1 Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. 2 “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: 3 If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”

Just how important is the role of dad and mom? The importance of and respect due to parents is seen in several ways in this passage. It is seen in:
*It’s Placement: God placed this command as the first of the “horizontal” commands. This is significant and not to be missed. Right after God tells Israel how they are to relate to him he tells them how to relate to parents.

*It’s Power: parents occupy a very special place in God’s economy. He tells the children to “honor” (kavod) their parents. Kavod means weighty presence, importance, greatness, glory. It is not the word I expected to find as I studied for today’s DevoLink. This special Hebrew word is often used of God’s glory. God is said to have kavod. He has a weight to him that demands respect. It stands for that reputation for greatness that God alone deserves. Yet he uses that word to convey the role parents have with their children. Parents have kavod with their kids. Kids are commanded to respect the weightiness and glory of the role of parent. That’s heavy!

*It’s Promise: that the kids may do well. Literally that they would be filled with blessing, well-being, joy, good feelings and more. Interesting that these feelings do not come from demanding rights and being free but from honoring parents! That’s backwards to how many rebelling teens think!

Final note: the requirement to honor parents is NOT related to how good the parents are but related to their role. God does not qualify his statement. It does not say, “Honor your father and mother if they are good parents and you like them. Honor them because they provide well for you”. This is important as you think about your role with your children and their need to honor you in the process.

Were you aware of the significant role you play as a parent?

Do you expect your children to obey you? Do you expect “first time obedience” from your kids? Are you willing to embrace God’s word regarding discipling children? Are you willing to spank them if necessary? Never spank them in anger. Your kids will hardly ever respect you if you do not spank them. Foolishness is bound up in the hears of a child but the rod will drive it far from them.

Do you embrace the “rebellion is normal” philosophy? If so, can you see from the above passage that that is NOT an acceptable way to think? What can you do to change your thinking?

As a grown child, how do you continue to show honor to your parents? Do you have a plan in place to help take care of them in their elder years?

DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.