Oct
20

Obey Your Father and Mother

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Okay, so this past Tuesday was a very interesting night. I spent 15 years in student ministry but I don’t remember a time when I did an intentional series on what it means to obey/honor your parents. You would think that would be a given but most youth ministries are more concerned about how to share Jesus, how to abstain from sex, how to read your bible, etc… But, the ONE thing that is evident in both the Old Testament and New Testament is the requirement for those children who call themselves Christians to honor and obey their parents.

The interaction was great and everyone was so attentive. I want to give you some of the rundown of my notes so you’ll know what was covered in order to help you to help them to do the thing that pleases God the most (obey/honor parents).

Our evening started with me asking them what it means when I said that someone is Muslim. The students had great insight into that. They talked about headcoverings, not eating bacon, praying 5 times a day, etc… They also talked about certain things Muslims believe.

We then moved to what it means to be Christian. Their answers once again were fantastic and plentiful. We were able to take all their answers and put them into two categories. For someone to be Christian, there are certain things that mark their belief and their behavior. I stepped away from the board and looked at it and asked, “So, how many of you are Christian?” We all said we fall short of what our requirements were for those who would call themselves Christian. While everyone seemed really good on what the beliefs were for Christians, it was sobering to consider the behavioral aspects.

Then I asked, “What does it mean to be a Christian kid?” This is where it got interesting. We were able to narrow that down to two things… 1. Obey your parents. 2. Honor your parents.

I assured them that my goal was not to make them feel rotten or guilty. I really wanted them to learn what the bible meant by these terms so that they could obey God in the thing that pleased Him the most. I only got 2 pages into my 5 pages of notes so we’ll have to finish up next week but here’s where we got so far:

Honor:
– To be heavy
– To glorify
– to ascribe value, worth, and respect
– To hold in high regard
– Fear, awe, respect
– To give fame, to praise, to speak well of, to enhance the reputation of.
– To please this person over and above every other relationship

The passages I used for this were:
Ephesians 6:1-4
Exodus 20:12
Leviticus 19:3
Deuteronomy 26:19
1 Samuel 2:29-30

The summary:
God has placed parents “in the place of God” performing God-like functions (loving, providing, caring, protecting, etc.) When children disobey or dishonor their parents, they are rebelling against God. But, if they can learn to honor and obey their parents when they don’t always agree and they don’t always understand, they are building a foundation for being able to obey God when they don’t always agree and don’t always understand.

The bullet point that I really focused on last night was the one about giving fame, praise, etc… I hit this because to honor your parents means to enhance their reputation. I know it seems cool for kids to talk about how much of a jerk their mom/dad is but that’s not enhancing their reputation. A number of the students said, “Oh, I don’t do that very well.”

So, this week’s homework was, “Keep a daily journal of how you honored your parents each day this week. Bring in the journal with you and be ready to share with others.”

We talked a lot about the fact that parents don’t always do things right (and we know it) but that doesn’t mean they have any less responsibility to honor/obey them. I told them that next week we would talk about when we don’t have to obey. I wanted to wait to get to that so that we didn’t get a plethora of “what if my mom/dad…” type of questions.

One of the students asked the question, “Well, you’re hitting all of our responsibilities pretty hard. What’s our parent’s responsibilities?” I assured him that my parenting class was a lot longer and just as convicting as this class was.

So, there you have it. We’ll finish up next week…

The “C” Section…Keeping the C in YMCA by Mike DeGuzman

Mike DeGuzman is a certified biblical counselor, YMCA board member, and pastor of Community Bible Church of Ocala.

Mike can be reached at (352) 680-0056 or by email: mike@cbcocala.org. For more information go to www.cbcofocala.org.