Joke: There are three ways to get something done: do it yourself, hire someone to do it, or forbid your children to do it.
Text: Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:1; Genesis 2:24
Summary: Children are instructed by God to obey their parents.
Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. – Exodus 20:12
This is the first of God’s commandments with a promise. If we honor our parents, God says we will have a long life and it will be well with us. But how do we honor our parents? One way is to obey them.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. – Ephesians 6:1
This is another time in the Bible when God instructs us to obey our parents. Notice that it is plural, saying parents, not just the father or the mother. Whew! What a job! We have to obey not just one parent, but both of them.
Have you ever wondered why God gave children such an impossible task? It is because he knows that it is hard for children to do it without asking Jesus to help them. Jesus wants us to pray and talk to him all the time, and this is one of the ways he gets us to do that. And what about the parents? In all the organizations in the world, especially the military, they never give anyone two bosses. They only have one commander, one chain of command. It would be hard for a soldier to follow orders if he had two people telling him what to do.
But Jesus, in his infinite wisdom, put two parents in charge of the kids. He knew they would have to be talking to each other all the time to keep things straight. For example, have you ever asked Mom to let you do something, and she said no. So then you went and asked Dad, hoping he would say yes without talking it over with Mom first? Hmmm? Well, the answer is because Jesus sees parents as if they are one person, not two. When your parents got married, Jesus stopped seeing them as two people, and he sees them as one. He knows the only way that they can keep up with the kids is to pray to him for help!
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh. – Genesis 2:24
Wow! Jesus thought of everything! He knew that children would have a hard time obeying their parents without asking Jesus to help them, and that parents would never be able to rear children without praying for help. So a long time ago when he gave Moses the Ten Commandments, he made this the fifth rule. And the wonderful thing is, he made a promise when he gave it.
He said to honor our parents so we would live long on the earth. Have you ever wondered about that? I have. Now how does God keep that promise? I am not totally sure about that, but I think I know one thing. Who loves you more than anyone else? God. Who loves you more than anyone else on earth? Your parents. God knows that if we obey our parents, our parents will always be watching out for us here on the earth. They will tell us things like ‘look both ways before you cross the street’ and ‘brush your teeth so they will not rot out.’ You see, our parents are telling us these things because they love us, just like Jesus does. And if we do these things, we will likely live a long and healthy life.
Adapted from a “Christian Home Seminar” as told by Rev. Lewis Shaffer of Son Shine Ministries International Inc. Used by permission.