WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT RESPECTING YOUR PARENTS
A BIBLICAL LOOK AT RESPECT BETWEEN PARENT AND CHILD
1. Respect is vital to every successful relationship (cf. marriage, 1 Pet 3:5-7).
2. “You don’t respect me” is frequently said by both children and parents.
3. Goal: Showing proper respect to each other as children and parents.
I. WHAT IS RESPECT?
A. Respect is Not…
1. …merely treating the person the way they want to be treated (what if we want what is not worthy of respect?).
2. …born of resentment or fright.
3. …just being polite (although it will be polite in speech and conduct), cf. Lev 19:32.
4. …just tending to their physical needs (although it is shown by doing so), Matt 15:4-5 (1 Tim 5:8).
B. Respect is…
1. Giving due value, esteem or worth to another person. cf. Jesus, Lk 2:51
2. Having and showing proper regard for the other person, Matt 7:9-11.
3. Can be both inherent (built in) and, in some ways, earned over time.
II. A RESPECTFUL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PARENTS AND CHILDREN BEGINS WITH BEING RESPECTFUL TO GOD, Eccl 12:13.
-When respect for God is absent, neither the parent nor the child has yet learned the fundamental meaning of respect: Placing the right value on the object of our respect.
-Respect for God Means Giving Him His Rightful Place of Honor and Homage, cf. Exo 20:1-7; Psa 115:1-2, 9-13; Heb 12:5-6.
III. CHILDREN: HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER, Eph 6:2 (Exo 20:12).
A. Children are to so Respect their Parents that they willingly Honor and Obey Them, Eph 6:1-2 (Exo 20:12; Lev 19:3).
1. Jewish Talmud on Lev 19:3: “”Fear” is defined as not sitting or standing in a parent’s designated place and not contradicting a parent, while “honor” is defined as feeding parents, clothing parents, and helping them come in and out.” (Babylonian Talmud, Kiddushin 31b; cited in How to Show Respect for a Parent: A Jewish View, myjewishlearning.com)
* 2. To demean or diminish the dignity of your parents is to be disrespectful of them, cf. Deut 27:16.
3. Disobedience diminishes the dignity of the parent (cf. God) Lk 6:46.
B. Children Show Respect by Listening to, Learning from and Following the Teaching of their Parents, Eph 6:1-2; cf. Deut 21:18.
1. Parents have the God-given responsibility of training their children in the way of the Lord, Eph 6:4.
2. So, parental teaching ought to be heard and obeyed by the child:
a. Because it is for the child’s good, Prov 1:8-9 (Eph 6:3).
b. Because he/she values the parent who gives it and God, who is over both the parents and the child. cf. 1 Sam 2:22-25
3. The obedient child is learning to respect God by respecting his/her parents, Col 3:20.
4. Child who refuses to listen to his parents is not listening to God.
a. A child who accepts parental discipline is learning to accept God’s discipline, Heb 12:7-10.
b. The child who scoffs at his parents’ teaching hurts himself; the one who learns grows in wisdom, Prov 9:7-12.
IV. FATHERS: RESPECT YOUR CHILDREN AND DO NOT PROVOKE THEM, Eph 6:4; Col 3:21. (Matt 7:12)
A. Parents Show Respect for their Children when their Goal is the Child’s Spiritual Profit.
1. Do not provoke: to “exasperate”, whether by unrighteous, unreasonable or harsh demands, or by failing to fairly and faithfully nurture them in the Lord. cf. Heb 12:5-6
2. Parent who is domineering and demanding may be satisfying an uninformed (or even unrighteous) need to “be in control”, but is not properly considering and addressing the child’s physical, emotional and spiritual welfare. cf. God’s love for us.
3. Provocation invariably leads to either:
a. Wrath (being enraged against the parent), Eph 6:4, or
b. Discouragement (lose heart, feeling worthless and incapable of pleasing the parent), Col 3:21.
4. Children need consistency (they can rely on), boundaries (they can live by) and correction (they can be trained by), Heb 12:10-11.
5. In Psa 128:3, children are as olive plants – similar, yet unique – each needing to be fed, tended and trained to bear good fruit.
1. Parents and children will not improve their relationships by entrenching themselves in an “it’s your fault” mentality.
2. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom – for the parent and for the child, Prov 9:10.