Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been looking at God’s Big Ten, the Ten Commandments, and why they still matter. So far, we’ve looked at the first four. They primarily deal with how we show our love for God.
Today we start looking at the final six. These primarily deal with how we love others. And according to God, loving others is a huge deal.
Jesus himself summed up its importance when he told us, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
That passage is now the Great Commandment. In it, Jesus summarizes everything we’ve been learning about loving him and are going to learn about loving others.
Today we’re going to look at the fifth commandment and why the Big Ten still matter.
5. Honor your father and your mother.
God told Moses to teach you to, “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12)
Did you know that God kind of likes your parents? In fact, he is the one who chose them for you. Have you ever stopped to consider that you have the parents God wanted you to have?
Now you might be rolling your eyes, saying, “But you don’t know my parents. I think God made a mistake.”
Before we get too far into this, let me remind you what God says about rolling our eyes at our parents. He says, “The eye that mocks a father and despises a mother’s instructions will be plucked out by ravens of the valley and eaten by vultures.” (Proverbs 30:17) Read that to your kids before bed.
Okay, we don’t have to take that literally, but it gets to the point. We should honor our parents even with our eyes.
I know, and God KNOWS, that parents aren’t perfect. For some of you, your parents have been very hurtful. And for others, your parents have been fantastic.
Either way, just like God loves us when we are dishonorable to him, we should honor and love our parents.
Did you know that how you treat your parents is directly correlated to how we treat God and how our life turns out?
Ephesians 6:1-3 tells us this when it says, “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.”
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want their life to go well and to be long. Honoring your parents helps with both.
No matter what age you are, loving your parents is a godly thing to do. On top of that, you will have a much more enjoyable life if you do. Win, win!
This distinguishes you as a child of God. It means you’re doing what pleases him. Colossians 3:20 says, “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.”
So, do what pleases him.
And a special note to parents…
Please be godly parents! The world needs strong, Jesus-loving parents. You don’t have to be perfect; be you. But make it easy for your kids to honor you. Set loving boundaries for them, tell them “no” when appropriate, and “yes” when it’s good for them. Shower them with affection and words of affirmation. Be the parent you always wanted. And for God’s sake, get your kids in a Bible-teaching church WITH a youth group so they can learn how to follow Jesus and obey his Great Commandments. You’ll be better parents if you do.
Think about it:
- What can you do to start showing love and honer to your parents?
Verse of the Day:
“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.” Ephesians 6:1-3