Big Idea: We can love God and others well by honoring our parents. Honoring our parents is a command that, when followed, brings many blessings. We can honor our parents best by honoring them through the dynamic phases of our lives, culminating in caring for them as they age.
I. Understanding the command
A. The call to honor
B. Why? Because God said so.
C. Why? Because life works better that way.
II. A dynamic application:
A. Honoring our parents in childhood through obedience (Ephesians 6:1-3)
B. Honoring our parents as partners in adulthood (Genesis 1:24)
C. Honoring our parents by meeting their needs as they age (II Corinthians 5:1-10)
III. Special focus: caring for aging parents
A. This is an increasing area of need – some demographic trends
B. Personal stories
C. Honoring our parents as they face reduced capacities
D. Honoring our parents by helping them die well
1) What kind of family did you grow up in (traditional, blended, foster, or adoption)? What was it like to obey your parents/guardians growing up? What drove your obedience? Fear of punishment? Desire to please or keep the peace?
2) Why do you suppose God included honoring your parents in the Ten Commandments? Why is this so important? How do you understand the statement “that it will go well for you”? Is this a descriptive statement? Is God describing a cause-and-effect reality, or is God making a promise to bless those who obey?
3) Can you think of a silly idea you had as a child that could have resulted in serious injury? If you are comfortable, will you share the story? How many times do you think your parents or guardians might have saved your life?
4) How is honoring your parents different after you become an adult? Is the command to honor your parents set aside once you are an adult? Why or why not? What is the difference between honoring and obeying?
5) If God commands that a new household be formed when a husband and wife come together, how does that affect the command to honor their parents? How integrated should this new family be with their families of origin? How connected to their old families can they be if they are going to leave their old families and cleave to one another?
6) What role does culture play in this question of honoring our parents? What does the American sense of honor mean as compared to an Asian definition of honor?
How do you maintain a balance between honoring your parents and also developing a new and separate household?
7) How do you honor your mother and father when they are not able to care for themselves? What kind of preparation might that require? Are your parents willing to receive such help? How do you help those who refuse help?