Eph 6:1-3 GW Children, obey your parents because you are Christians. This is the right thing to do. (2) "Honor your father and mother (3) that everything may go well for you, and you may have a long life on earth." This is an important commandment with a promise.
We’ve all been a kid. Some of us are small kids some of us are kids who are 40 years old and I've known a few 80 year old kids as well. And because we’ve been a kid, we’ve been someone’s child. Some of our families may be different but someone is watching out for us - maybe mom or dad, a grandparent or a guardian. Those who care for us help us, teach us, and they set rules for us.
Some of those rules may be important rules to keep us safe like not playing with matches. Some rules may not seem so important to us, like cleaning up our room. For some you it may feel like the 11th Commandment: THOU SHALT CLEAN UP THY ROOM!
There are different reasons for cleaning up your room:
1. FOR YOUR HEALTH - if you can’t get in your room to vaccum or dust, there are allergies that can develop that will effect your health.
2. ASHAMED - What if you had family stop by and you wanted them to see something in your room but all they saw was all your dirty clothes?
3. FEAR - Yep, you know some punishment will come if your room isn’t cleaned up!
4. GREED - Probably not the best reason either, your parents having to bribe you with a reward like ice cream.
No, there is a better reason. LOVE.
In one of his letters, the one to the Ephesian Church, the Apostle Paul wrote a special note just to the children in the church. Did you know that? Paul wrote to the children to obey their parents, using one of the commandments: “Honor your father and mother.”
The word HONOR is a word that has a hint of LOVE in it because for Paul, LOVE isn’t what we feel, but what we DO. John Wesley said about HONORING God, “That is, love, reverence, obey, assist, in all things (Notes on the New Testament).” Love is an ACTION.
But this rule for relationships as children isn’t just about you as younger kids. It is important to us older kids too! Many of us are still children. And it made Jesus very upset when grown-up children stopped caring and honoring their older parents. Jesus said to them...
Mark 7:8-12 GW "You abandon the commandments of God to follow human traditions." (9) He added, "You have no trouble rejecting the commandments of God in order to keep your own traditions! (10) For example, Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother' and 'Whoever curses father or mother must be put to death.' (11) But you say, 'If a person tells his father or mother that whatever he might have used to help them is corban (that is, an offering to God), (12) he no longer has to do anything for his father or mother.'
You see, the idea of being obedient to our parents or guardians applies to us all, no matter what our age. It is practice for us being obedient to God. It isn’t always easy but it is something that makes God happy. It is like the game, “Mother May I.” A lot of us grown-up kids played it when we were young, have some of you played it? The way it is played is someone is the “Mother” and gives an instruction. All of the “kids” must ask “Mother May I?” Then “Mother” says, “Yes you may.” But if you don’t say “Mother May I,” you’re out!
We’ve got time - let’s play! I’ll be the “Mother.” Everyone of you are the kids. (Yes, we did play "Mother May I" in our service)!
The faster it goes the harder the game gets. Jesus once gave a very simple rule that sums up all the other rules. He said, “Love each other. You must love each other as I have loved you (John 13:34).” It sound simple but it can be very hard sometimes. This is why there are other rules for relationships so we can know how to follow that one rule.
Jesus asked us to HONOR our parents or guardians, because of LOVE. If we do that, Jesus said, then we’ll be showing others that we love God because all LOVE comes from God. God sent Jesus to our world to show us just how much he loves us. We don’t always obey and honor because we sin - we make mistakes. But if we ask Jesus into our hearts and to forgive us, he will. And Jesus will be there to help us HONOR our parents.
Hands of the Catechist (This was where I got the Children's Creed and Prayer we used for Sunday)