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Honor your father and mother

February 15, 2015 Speaker: Dan Davis Series: the TEN

Topic: Sunday Message Verse: Exodus 20:12

Exodus 20:12 NIV

"Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the lord your God is giving you.


While many have handled authority poorly, that doesn't automatically make it a bad concept. Authority didn’t originate with evil tyrants or egotistical bosses. It came from God and He intended it for our good—both for our provision and for our protection. And yet we struggle with authority. Going all the back to Adam and Eve, we don’t like taking orders. We don’t like to be told “no.” We’d rather be in control and decide for ourselves. And so Adam and Eve, deceived by Satan, ate from that one, forbidden tree, and ever since then, we’ve had a problem with respecting authority.

Luke 22:42 NIV

"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."

A Tale of Two Gardens

Adam dishonored the will of his father in the Garden of Eden by choosing his own way and thus bringing sin and death into this world. Jesus redeemed that rebellion by honoring the will of His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. In doing so, He turned sin into forgiveness, separation into reconciliation, and death into life. That’s why Scripture calls Jesus “the second Adam,” because what the first Adam failed to do, Jesus fulfilled completely.

God-Given Parental Authority

The fifth commandment is more about the position than the person. A parent may not have "earned" the right to be honored through their performance and how well they’ve done their job. Even still, the main reason children should honor their parents is that in doing so, they’re ultimately honoring God.

Limits to the Fifth Commandment

This command does have its limits. Obeying parents should never supersede obeying God. When the choice is crystal clear (especially with something illegal or immoral) a Christian’s loyalty is always to God. Also the ultimate abuse of parental authority is violence toward children—physically, verbally, emotionally, sexually. That kind of behavior should never be tolerated under any circumstances whatsoever. Nor can it be justified in the name of the fifth commandment. With this or any of the commandments, the call to preserve life always takes precedence over the duty to obey human authority, parental or otherwise.

Honoring Parents in All Seasons

While the command to “honor your father and your mother” is timeless in principle, how we apply it is going to change over time. It's going to look different if you’re three, thirteen, or thirty. Different life stages include: younger children; teenagers; young adults; later in life.

Parents, Live Honorably

"Honor your father and your mother" is only half of the equation. Parents have an obligation to live honorably as a way to help their children honor them. Inspire, don't embitter. Encourage, don't exasperate.

Ephesians 6:1-4 NIV

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother"—which is the first commandment with a promise— "so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Colossians 3:20-21 NIV

Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

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