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    The Fourth Commandment

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    The Fourth Commandment

    Post by PastorDan on Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:17 pm

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    The Fourth Commandment


    Honor your father and mother.


    Honor your father and your mother.

    What does this mean? We are to fear and love God so that we do not despise or anger our parents and other authorities, but honor them, serve and obey them, love and cherish them.

    What parent doesn’t love God for making the Fourth Commandment?

    Now can God please do something to make our kids keep it?

    Well the good news is that God is doing something to help your kids keep the fourth commandment. Remember that your kids are baptized and blessed with the Holy Spirit, so there is - residing in your children - the Holy Spirit motivating them to honor, serve, obey, love, and cherish you. The impetus for teaching it to our children is the hope that by doing so, God will expedite the positive effects of his presence in their lives.  Wink

    In other words, we should all be praying for our kids, that they learn to keep the fourth commandment.

    The commandment to “honor” father and mother is remarkable in the original Hebrew. The word for “honor” is closely related to the word for “glorify”, as in “glorify God”. In fact, that word is only ever really used to describe our behavior towards God - we are to glorify Him. But in giving us the Fourth Commandment, God is importing that idea of faithful trust and devotion that he wants us all to have for him, and He is making it the paradigm for our children trusting in us. Our kids are literally supposed to “glorify” us.

    What does “glorify” mean in this context? It means simply to lift or raise someone up. In more common terms, it means to “lift someone’s spirit”.

    Your children know exactly how to “glorify” you. That’s one of the things we talk about in class together, various ways we can glorify, or “honor” our parents. Each child always has a firm grasp on what mom and/or dad likes. “Thank you”, “I’m sorry”, “May I please ______”, and “I don’t understand you but I’ll do what you say anyway”. We talked about learning to speak in this way to mom and dad.

    By using that important word, “glorify”, God is also reminding us as parents that everything we give and do and sacrifice for our children is actually God’s gift to them. God places us in their lives just as much as He has placed them in ours. And since the parent-child relationship is something born of God, it makes sense that there are great blessings associated with living that relationship in the most Godly way. And this takes effort both from your child as well as from you.

    You’ve probably already figured out for yourself by experience that quoting this commandment to our children does not somehow immediately result in them beginning to keep it. As frustrating as this is, we mustn't get discouraged.

    Here’s a good time to introduce a simple shift in how we talk about obedience at home. Rather than constantly chiding our kids for what they do wrong (which seems to be the default for most parents, myself included), we should use expressions like this: “I’ll be happy to serve dinner at 6pm to all kids who’ve finished homework and cleaned their rooms.” In this way you issue a statement that you can easily enforce (by NOT serving dinner UNLESS…) and the child is given an opportunity to take responsibility for him or herself. No yelling about untidy rooms is necessary as long as your kids are hungry enough to want to eat! (Note: This strategy does not work well on nights when the dinner menu is particularly unfavorable for the kids’ palate.)  No

    As far as reminding children about the 4th commandment imperative to serve, obey, love, cherish, and honor their parents, we can use the same kind of language as in the above paragraph. Rather than “throwing the book” at kids who have failed to serve, obey, love, cherish and honor us, we can say something like this: “I will feel cherished by you if you’ve taken your shower before 7pm.” Or, “It honors me as your mom when you come and tell me what you did with your friends at school.

    In other words, if you as mom and dad will begin to communicate to your kids using the specific language of “I feel loved when…”, “I know I’m being obeyed when…”, and so on with the five key operative words being love, serve, obey, cherish, and honor, then you will be teaching them very intentionally how to keep the 4th commandment. Don’t expect any miraculously perfect children as a result, but do expect children who are more keenly aware of where they stand with respect to their Biblical duty to honor you.

    Random question: afro Does this look like Colin Kaepernick to you?
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    PastorDan
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