Thursday, June 30, 2016

Ten Commandments: Parents and Children

Chuckle: "In all my experience in the ministry, I've discovered that I never preached a bad short sermon!"
Quote: "A heart free from bitterness, full of forgiveness, is a great place for the Lord to begin His work." --Ron Mehl
"Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you" (Exodus 20:12 NIV).
We should honor our parents so we might live; so we won't be taken captive by bitterness; so we might not suffer guilt; to enjoy God's good gifts to us. However, God warns us violation of this command will effect the quality and length of our lives. "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" (Ephesians 6:2-3 NIV).
To some, thoughts of parents are warm and pleasant because of their love and nurturing. Others have memories of abusive, uncaring, neglectful parents. Notice that this Command applies to those who have good, godly, loving parents, and those who don't. However, God does not close His eyes to pain parents inflict upon their children. "Fathers (parents), do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). Those who are not good parents must answer to God, but we should honor them as God commands. You will be a better person and parent if you honor your parents by:
Showing them love: Someone has said, "love is spelled T-I-M-E. You may say, "I don't like spending time with my parents because of the way they treat me. It goes without saying, our parents aren't perfect and they know it. However, there are no more potent words in the world to a parent's ears than the four words, "I love you mom," or, "I love you dad." Nothing even comes close. If you, as a parent, receive such love, cherish it, cultivate it, guard it, and return it with all your heart. How long has it been since you expressed your love and appreciation to your parents?
Being obedient to them: For children, God says you should honor your parents by obeying them while in their home and then by carry those teachings into later life. "My son, keep your father's commands and do not forsake your mother's teachings". (Proverbs 6:20 NIV). "Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord" (Colossians 3:20 NIV). ". . . for this is right" (Ephesians 6:1 NIV)
Forgiving them: If you have been hurt, abused, or neglected by your parents, how do you honor them in obedience to the fifth command? In a word, "Forgiveness." To forgive means "to let go," or "to send away." But you say, "Jerry, there's no way you could know what I've been through. How can you say "just let all that hurt go?" You're right, I don't know what you've been through, but I know what Jesus went through and he still loved, forgave, forgot, and laid down his life for me. When it comes to forgiveness, the innocent party always pays the price, but it is a price worth paying. Jesus looked down from the cross at his tormentors and said, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." "I forgive you" is a powerful ointment in a strained relationship that can change your life and touch the hearts of your parents.
Caring for them: Today, parents are living longer and often need extended periods of care. This can become a difficult time in our lives. We must ask God for strength and return to our aging parents the same love, concern, time, and support they gave us during our growing up years. We can avoid a terrible and haunting sense of guilt after their gone by showing them love, forgiveness, and care while they are living.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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