“Mom is so demanding! She always tells me to clean my room, to wash dinner dishes, and to do my homework,” Kristen exclaimed to her friends around the lunch table. “Yeah, my dad makes me cut the lawn while he watches football,” Dan added. “Parents are such slave-drivers!” Kristen nodded in agreement. Both then turned their attention to the silent girl next to them. “Don’t your parents drive you crazy too, Janet?” Kristen rhetorically asked the silent girl. Janet remembered instances where her parents were ‘driving her crazy,’ but for some reason she didn’t reply right away.
1. How common is such a conversation? Have you ever heard your friends talking about their parents like Kristen and Dan? Do they usually say good things or bad things?
2. How does what we say about others show how we feel about them?
In this issue we’ll discover how God expects us to act towards our parents.
The Fifth Commandment
EXODUS 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”
DEUTERONOMY 5:16 “Honor your Father and mother as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”
1. Name a blessing God gives those who honor their parents? (HINT: Read Deuteronomy 5:16 Deuteronomy 5:16Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you; that your days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with you, in the land which the LORD your God gives you.
American King James Version×again!) What other blessings can you think of?
2. What does it mean to honor someone?
3. How does respect relate to honor?
4. How does making good decisions show honor to parents? Consider Proverbs 10:1 Proverbs 10:1The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son makes a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.
American King James Version×.
5. Would you show your parents more honor by following God’s way or a worldly way?
6. Is loving our parents included in this fifth commandment?
7. As do all of the Ten Commandments, this commandment applies throughout life. List ways adults honor their parents.
8. Explain the common practice to which Jesus applied the 5th commandment in Mark 7:9-13 Mark 7:9-13 9 And he said to them, Full well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition.
10 For Moses said, Honor your father and your mother; and, Whoever curses father or mother, let him die the death:
11 But you say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatever you might be profited by me; he shall be free.
12 And you suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;
13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which you have delivered: and many such like things do you.
American King James Version×. Would you have thought the 5th commandment applied to that situation?
9. How does the 5th commandment apply to Christ’s words and example in John 19:26-27 John 19:26-27 26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he said to his mother, Woman, behold your son!
27 Then said he to the disciple, Behold your mother! And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.
American King James Version×?
10. Do you think children of parents who are not honorable are freed from obeying this commandment? Why or why not?
II TIMOTHY 3:2 “For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful and unholy.”
1. Why does God think it’s serious when we don’t obey our parents?
2. Can you give examples of movies or TV shows in which children are disobedient to their parents? Do you think children imitate the example set by children in these movies or TV shows?
3. What does God say about talking badly about our parents? Is it a light thing in His eyes? Read Matthew 15:4 Matthew 15:4For God commanded, saying, Honor your father and mother: and, He that curses father or mother, let him die the death.
American King James Version×and answer. Why do you think the penalty is so severe?
EPHESIANS 6:1-4 Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. Honor your father and mother which is the first commandment with promise. That it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth. And you, fathers do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
4. Clearly God wants us to obey our parents, but what limits does God put on our obedience?
COMMENT: We should follow our parents as they follow God.
5. How should we respond if they tell us to do something contrary to God’s Law?
6. How should parents teach their children? (HINT: look again at Ephesians)
7. How can a parent cultivate honor in his children?
8. When you become a parent, how will you teach the 5th commandment to your children?
Our Spiritual Father
MALACHI 2:10 Do we not all have one Father? Has not one created us?
EPHESIANS 4:6 One God and one Father of all, who is above all, and through all and in you all….
1. Since God is our spiritual Father, doesn’t this commandment also apply to our relationship with Him? List some ways we honor God?
I SAMUEL 2:30 “… for those who honor Me, I will honor, and those who despise me I will lightly esteem.”
HEBREWS 2:7 “You made him [man] a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor.”
2. How does the fact that God gives us honor make you feel? How does it make you want to respond to God?
1. How are the ways we honor our physical parents and the way we honor our spiritual Father similar?
2. How are they different? (HINT: God is perfect.)
3. What could Janet reply to her friends and still keep the Fifth commandment?
4. Is this commandment difficult to keep?
5. What changes in society do you think would occur if everyone obeyed the 5th commandment?