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Making Parents Weighty

A close look at the fifth commandment
This sermon is part of the sermon series "The Good Life". See series.


We've been working through the Ten Commandments and today we come to the fifth one: "Honor 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 on the land which the Lord your God gives you."

How does this commandment speak to us today? We have broken homes. We have abusive homes. Unlike in the days that Moses first spoke these words, we have extended families that live in entirely different parts of the country. We have an entire culture that caters to youthism and marginalizes those who are older. It's easy to think of this command as coming from a bygone era that's totally out of touch with the reality if our lives.

One man complained, "Youth today have luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority, no respect for older people, and talk nonsense when they should work. Young people do not stand up any longer when adults enter the room. They contradict their parents, talk too much in company … and tyrannize their elders." This may surprise you, but do you know who wrote that? Socrates, who lived 400 years before Christ! It reminds us that every generation of young people have had issues with their parents.

Maybe that's why the first of the Ten Commandments that deals with family life addresses how we relate to our parents. Why not start with how parents relate to their kids? Why not start by telling parents they should love and care for their children? I wonder if it's because that half of the equation seems to come more naturally to us. A young mom fairly naturally cares for her newborn, but honoring our parents is not so easy. We're not the only generation who has felt that.

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Mark Mitchell is pastor of Central Peninsula Church in Foster City, California.

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Sermon Outline:


I. The fifth commandment is of critical importance.

II. What does the fifth commandment mean?

III. Why was this command given?

IV. How does this command apply to us?

V. To whom does the fifth commandment apply?