Honor Within the Family

Scripture: Exodus 20:12, Proverbs 10:1, Proverbs 19:26
Date: 05/11/2013 
What does it mean to honor your father and mother? Do you have to do whatever they say even if it isn't in accordance with what the Bible says?

The Mystery of Mary Mother of Jesus - Paper or PDF Download

The Mystery of Mary Mother of Jesus - Paper or PDF Download
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Doug Batchelor: If you want your children to grow up and be honorable and serve God, you must be honorable and have family worship. The whole idea of honoring your father and mother is learned through the Word of God, and it's implying that you're teaching the Word of God in your family.

Doug: We're in the midst of a series, actually first time since I've been here, that is dedicated solely to the Ten Commandments. And so today, we're actually on the sixth presentation, but it's commandment number five. And we've just transferred from the first table of stones over to the second table of stones. The message title is dealing with honor in the family, Honor Within the Family.

Now, in the Ten Commandments, you've got--you know, I was gonna say something really silly, like the Lord is brilliant, but it's sort of obvious, isn't it? But it is brilliant the way that God designed the Ten Commandments. On the first table, you've got the relationship between man and God. It's the vertical relationship. The first commandment, if you get the first commandment right, "Thou shall not have any other Lord's before me," you will get all the other commandments on this table right because if God is first in your life, then you'll obey the way that you worship him, the day that you worship him, the time, the method, his name, that'll all be revered if you worship him supremely.

Now, when you go to the second table, what is the first commandment there? "Honor your father and mother." Now we're dealing with the horizontal relationships in the remaining six commandments here. If you get this one, right, if there--if things are right in the family, all the other commandments would be right. If you've got good parents and they're teaching their children good truth, you're not gonna find in society that there are problems with the lying, and adultery, and the coveting, and the killing, and all these other things. It's when you don't get the first one right that you have problem with all the rest.

This commandment, probably more than any other, is the foundation to the health and success of any culture because the family is the most basic unit of a society. And what we're talking about is not just children obeying parents, we're talking about parents living in an honorable way. And it's the relationship between the parents, it's a relationship of the children and the parents, and the parents and the children. It's really talking about honor within the family, reverence and respect. And so, that's our message today. It's based upon this commandment. You can find it in your Bible, of course, in Exodus 20, verse 12, "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land, which the Lord your God is giving you."

You know, in every culture, for there to be a strong society, one of the first things they need to do is they need to understand that the authority for the children is not the state, it's the parents. This idea that it takes a village and that we all raise each other's children, it sounds really nice but no. In order for a culture to be healthy, we need to understand that a family unit, the responsibility of those children, belongs, first and foremost, to those who brought them into the world, I'm talking about biologically. They are made in the image of their parents, just as we are in the image of God, that responsibility rests with the parents. That must be respected by the state, by the government. And to some extent, you know, when children are minors, they're under the authority under of their parents, there still is an element of that respect. But more and more, we're finding that the government's acting like we're the ones who are gonna tell you how to raise your children, instead of the parents having that decision.

Something else, I don't know if you caught it, it said, "Honor your father and your mother." There is an implied truth there that a family, according to God's design, is not a father and a father, or a mother and a mother, but it is a father and a mother. That's God's plan. And in the same way on the first table of stones, God is saying, "Look, I'm the one who saved you, I made you. And so, I want you to worship me." At the foundation of our relationships with each other, it begins with honoring your parents because parents are a child's first concept of God. They really represent God to the children. You think about it, God is the one who created us, he sustains us. He cares for us, he provides us, he forgives us, he cleanses us. And for a child, who is God to that child as they're growing up?

I need to issue a disclaimer here. I realized, as I talk about this subject, that, you know, we live with all kinds of strange circumstances. And some of you maybe have been adopted. This is an uncomfortable subject. Some of you maybe grew up in a home with just a single parent. Some of you maybe you are test two babies, and you're raised by some corporation. I don't know, we're all kinds of different people out there, and there's exceptions. So, what we're talking about here is the ideal, does everyone appreciate that? This is the ideal, and I know all of us have different deviations of that ideal in our families. And some of us, we were raised by our mother and our stepfather, or whatever. But so we're talking about the idea, and I understand that I just want you to wink at the areas where you realize it doesn't perfectly fit your situation. But for the normal child, their first concept of God is the parents.

Matter of fact, it's interesting the evolution that children go through. When they're real little, the parents can do everything. They look at their parents in wide-eyed wonder and they think they're God. They fear them, they respect them, they love them, they look to them, they don't want to be away from them. They get a little older, you know, and the kid'll say, "My dad's the strongest dad in the world." And then they get a little older, they get to be about 12 and they say, "Well, they know almost everything." And then they get to be about 14, they say, "They don't know very much." And then they graduate high school and start college and they think, "They don't know anything." And then they get to 25 and something changes. They call and ask for occasional advice. And then they get to be about 30, and they got kids of their own and their respect just begins to soar, and they start to understand. And then they get to be about 60 and they think, "You know, I wish I could talk to them again, and I would have asked them more questions."

But it's like it goes from this believing everything, to believing nothing, to believing everything again. It's kind of strange. Have you observed that? But they represent our first concept and that's why it's important for children to honor their parents. It's very important for children--for parents to live honorable lives because your child's concept of God is gonna largely come from your influence. Now, maybe I should take a moment and talk about, what does the word honor mean? When we say honor our father and our mother, to honor in the Hebrew, to honor means to make weighty, to give gravity and importance to their, their being, to promote, to glorify, to boast about, to revere, that's the Hebrew. In Greek it's the word timoreo and it means to prize, to honor, to value, also to revere. Honor your father and mother.

By the way, that commandment we read it clearly in Hebrew and clearly in Greek, there's no question about what it means because we've got it coming from the words of Jesus and from the Old Testament example. Proverbs 10:1, the Proverbs of Solomon, "A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is the grief of his mother." Proverbs 15:20, "A wise son makes a father glad, but a foolish man despises his mother." Proverbs 19:26, "He who mistreats his father and chases away his mother is a son who causes shame and brings reproach." All through the Bible, the principle about revering, and honoring, and respecting your father and mother is a pretty basic principle.

Doug: Mary, the mother of Jesus, is one of the most fascinating, yet misunderstood, characters in Bible history. A godly woman entrusted with one of the most awesome responsibilities of any mother, but how are we to understand that role and what does it mean to Christians today? Does the Bible say that Mary became a goddess that should be worshiped? Do the Scriptures encourage followers of Jesus to pray to Mary? To answer these questions, Amazing Facts would like to send you a special free resource called "The Mystery of Mary the Mother of Jesus." This easy-to-understand book delves into the biblical principles to explain, in a respectful and loving way, what her role was in her time, and in our time. Explore Mary's fascinating family tree, discover the nature of Mary and the miraculous conception, and understand something of her relationship and interaction with Jesus. To get your free copy, call the number on your screen, and ask for offer number 865 or visit the web address. And after you read this inspirational resource, make sure and share it with a friend. Well, let's get back to today's presentation and learn some more amazing facts from the Word of God.

Doug: Not only will parents represent God to your children, but their concept of marriage is gonna come from you. Not only is it important that children honor their parents and that parents live honorably, but parents must be very careful to honor each other. Because if a father does not honor his wife, your son probably will not honor his. If a mother does not respect her husband, your daughter will probably not respect her husband. And so, the model that the parents establish for those children, what goes around will come around, history will repeat itself.

Now, some of you might be thinking, "But pastor Doug, I grew up in a family that was so dysfunctional. My mother and father were not very honorable. They didn't honor each other, and now it's causing me problems." By God's grace, you need to break the cycle for the next generation, and it can happen. You know, one of the things I'm amazed at when I read the Bible is how some of these rotten kings had good kids, and how some of the good kings had rotten kids. And so, you can't always say, "Well, I'm a victim because of the way I grew up, I can't help it." You need to break the cycle. "Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren."

I don't have time to read you all the verses that talk about teaching the Word of God to your children, here a little, there a little. Put it on the doorpost. Put it in your house when you lay down, when you rise up. One of the most important things if you want your children to grow up and be honorable and serve God, you must be honorable and have family worship. The whole idea of honoring your father and mother is learned through the Word of God, and it's implying that you're teaching the Word of God in your family. The Bible says these words should be taught to the children and your children's children. Bible says grandparents and parents teach them to the children. Colossians 3:21, "Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged."

There's a balance between disciplining your children and nagging and badgering them so they're exasperated. You need to know how to guide them, tell them what's right, tell them what's wrong, and when they do something, right, tell them, encourage them, thank them. If you're not appreciative in the home, they won't be when they leave the home. And so, children will much more do what they see than what they hear. So, these things must be modeled. Heard about a young boy that was talking to his father and he said, "Dad, is it always true that parents know more than their children?" Said, "Yes, son, it's always true." He said, "Dads always know more than their sons?" Said, "Yes, son, dad, always--dad's always know more than their sons." It was quiet and he said, "Who invented the telephone?" He said, "Well, Alexander Graham Bell." "So, how come his father didn't invent it?" Evidently, he knew somebody more than his father is the implication.

You honor your mother and father by not staying a child forever. The responsibility of parents is to basically train your children for independence. From the time they're born, they are utterly dependent and your responsibility is to teach them to be independent, responsible, good, honest, respectful. And you know, there needs to be respect in the family. You know, when kids grow up and they see mom and dad yelling at each other, but they go out in public and they're nice, they'll grow up thinking that yelling is the way that you handle things in your families and in your personal relationships, just whatever they see in the family ends up being reproduced. That's why it's so important to have this model.

We're to train them for independence. You're not honoring your parents by staying at home when you're 25, not going to school, and you don't have a job. Parents, you are not honoring God or helping your children by letting them do that. There comes a time where the best thing in the world you can do for your kids is to practice some tough love and say, "Praise the Lord, you're healthy, you're educated, there's the door, seize the day. You're gonna have an exciting life. Send me a postcard when you get a job. Keep in touch."

But you all know what I'm talking about. Sometimes people don't understand--you know, the Bible says in Genesis, "A man will leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife." And some of you are thinking, "Well, I don't have a wife or a husband yet, so I'm just staying at home." No, no, you're probably not gonna get one either if you're 45, and still living with mom and dad. And you gotta--folks are thinking, "You know, I can't compete, he's still bragging about mom's cooking, and he's 30 years old, and he's living at home. How could I ever compete with that?" And if you want to be on the market and have your own home, there comes a time when you gotta leave the nest.

And, you know, you even see this in nature. When the little eagle is young, eagles are interesting because, you know, they mate for life, they're very devoted companions. The mother and the father both care for the chick, they work together. And they make their nests real fluffy when they're babies, keeps the eggs from cracking. The nest is made out of sticks, and rocks, and all kinds of things, and bones and--but they get a lot of down, and fluff. And as the chicks get older, pretty soon they get big and they're crowding each other in their little nest and they're stretching their wings, and they're flapping. They get where the parents know, you know, they can fly, but they're comfortable 'cause we're bringing them food every day.

You know what the parents start doing? They start bringing less food, and they start getting hungry. And then the parents start to scratch up all the down and they throw all that soft stuff out of the nest, so they're not only hungry, they're uncomfortable. They have all these bones, and sharp sticks, and rocks in there and they go, "What's happened, don't you love me anymore?" And they're basically saying, "You got wings, you gotta learn to fly." The time comes when you gotta take the leap and yes, there's risk and danger out there but, you know, you just can't stay at home.

So, part of that honor relationship of parent and child is that you know you're supposed to ultimately prepare them for the time when they launch. There needs to be a launch time. Should children honor a dishonorable parent? Now, whenever you talk about the subject about honoring mother and father, someone will invariably say, "Well, that's easy for you to say. You don't know my father, you don't know my mother. They are impossible. They--the way they treated me growing up. I was mistreated." How do you deal with those situations? Well, there may be areas where you say, "You know, I do try to honor but there are the days when I just, you know, I can't speak peaceably to them because they're so unreasonable. And even after I'm an adult, they keep meddling in my life and telling me what to do, or I can't talk to them. Every time we talk, we fight." And what do you do? And you can fill in the blank, whatever your situation is, are you, no doubt, in those situations?

You should always be honorable to their position as your mother and your father. You need to respect them for that. If you cannot communicate peaceably, maybe you're a Christian and they're not. If they do not ask you to violate some command or principle, respect them. And if you have problems getting along, write letters if you can't talk peacefully. Write a note. It's hard to argue with a note. Write a note and say, "You know--" I've got a lot of people I counsel with and they say, "You know, I just--I want to honor my parents, but whenever I talk to them, it just--they start to badger me and put me down, and it's just painful." I say, "All right, well, then say--write them a note, tell them you love them, you respect them, and just do it through the mail. It just creates one little layer of separation where you can show, 'I respect you, I want to communicate with you but when we talk, it just isn't--'" You know, and there may come a time--there are cases where you need to cut off communication because it is so toxic, but it doesn't mean you do it in a disrespectful way. You hear what I'm saying?

There is one of the kings in the Bible that had to make his mother, he had to basically fire her from being Queen because she was worshiping pagan idols in the temple. And so, you know, sometimes you have to break that off. But as far as possible, even the parents who are sometimes difficult, respect them, honor them. They're your parents, amen? That doesn't mean that you need to, once you become an adult, it's nice to listen to their advice, you don't always have to follow it. They don't have to meddle in your lives, but be respectful. Remember them, write them an occasional note, make a phone call.

I heard about a woman that called her rabbi and she turned 60. She thought it was time to make out her will. She says, "There's two things I want you to help me with." She said, "I want to make sure that I'm cremated. It's more affordable." And she said, "Then I'd like you to take my ashes, and could you sprinkle them all around Macy's?" He said, "Well, I got the first part, but help me understand the second part." She said, "Yeah, I just want to be sure my daughters will come and see me at least twice a week."

"Honor your father and mother that your days will be long upon the land." This is a commandment that actually has a promise in it, did you notice that? It tells us that your days will be long upon the land. It says it a couple of different ways. You look in Deuteronomy 5 where the Ten Commandments are given there, it's different than you find in Exodus chapter 20. "Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, that it may be well with you in the land where the Lord your God is giving you." Why does God promise a blessing?

By the way, that was in our Scripture reading also, Ephesians 6:1, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, that is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment, with promise that it may be will with you that you may live long upon the earth." Long life is promised in this commandment, why? Couple reasons. One, is God will bless you for it. The other is, your parents have learned the things they help you stay out of trouble. Your parents, when your mother and your father say, "Here are the car keys, do not drive fast," you honor them, your days will be long upon the land. You dishonor them, they may not be as long.

When you disobey, they're giving you advice all the time to try and keep you alive. And it's interesting that in the countries that have the longest life expectancy, they have the best regard for their elders. You know, what country has the longest life expectancy? Japanese. Do they honor their elders there? It was amazing when they had that tremendous earthquake a few years ago to see the wonderful tender care that people took for the elders that were displaced by all of this. And they were so conscientious, and so careful to because they have--they're trained from infancy to have high regard for their elders. They even take it too far in some cultures, they got ancestor worship, but they're very careful to respect their elders. Honor your father and mother that your days might be long.

You know, there's sin in the world today and the reason there's sin in the world today is because our first parents did not honor their father. Adam and Eve, when they disobeyed God, they disobeyed their Heavenly Father, look at all the trouble that it caused. Death enter the world from disobeying a parent. And people's lives are often shortened, one, by the curses that God sends, the other through practically not listening to the good information and advice our parents give us. But he promised your days will be long in the land. He was bringing them into the Promised Land. He said, "If you want to live and have a long life and a peaceful life, honor your parents, and I'll do that for you."

You know, this is a wonderful commandment that has a promise in it. The children of Israel learn to be faithful. There's a story in the Bible, I don't have time to read the whole thing. But you look in your Bibles in the Book of Jeremiah chapter 35, it talks about the Babylonians had surrounded Jerusalem. They were about to destroy the city, judgment was coming. Jeremiah was told by the Lord, "I want you to call the Rechabites, bring them into the temple." So this family, this tribe of rehab, who is the son of Jehonadab, who is a friend of Jehu, that's another history, they were brought into the temple. And Jeremiah had some wine poured into pitchers and set cups down in front of the leaders of the Rechabites who were there in the city, he said, "Have a drink." And they said, "No, we'll not drink." And he said, "Why not? Have something to drink, thus saith the Lord." And they said, "No, because our father Rahab," Rahab, that's how you say it, "he commanded us never to build a house, never to drink anything from the vine, and to live in tents and he said we'd have long lives if we followed his advice,' and for several generations, they had followed their father's advice, and none of the Rechabites ever drank wine.

And Jeremiah said, "Thus says the Lord, because the Rechabites have not disobeyed the Lord, that when Jerusalem is destroyed, I am gonna preserve them because they obeyed their father and their mother." And he said, "They will never fail to have a person to stand before me because they've shown respect for their elders this way." And so, before Jerusalem was destroyed, God made Jeremiah act out this whole scenario and basically test them, and they would not drink wine, even though their father was long dead. They said, "Because he commanded us and we've not done it for generations. And he said don't build a house and only reason we're in the city now is 'cause Nebuchadnezzar surrounded the city." And said, "But we live in tents as our father commanded." And God said, "Because you obey your father, I'm gonna bless you. I wish my people would obey their Father."

And so, honor your father and mother, first and foremost, it's talking about God. You know, God is portrayed as our Father in heaven, and he also sometimes uses the verbiage of a mother. Says, "As a hen protects its chicken under its wing, so I've loved you. Can a woman forget her nursing child? How can I forget you?" So, God loves us with the love of a father and a mother. And if you want your days to be long, I don't mean just long in this world, if you want your days to be long and the earth made new, we need to learn to honor our Father in heaven, amen.

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male: Alexander the Great becomes king when he's only 18, but he's a military prodigy.

male: A hundred and fifty years in advance, Cyrus had been named."

male: Nebuchadnezzar built this city as a showcase to the entire world.

male: Rome was violent, they were ruthless, they were determined.

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