“MAY YOUR LIFE GO WELL WITH YOU” By Pastor YAU
Ephesians 6:1-3; Deut. Parents’ Day,
INTRODUCTION: A few months ago I was at a Christian bookstore browsing through books. One particular book got my attention because the writer asked the following questions in the opening page:
1) Do you really believe that God truly loves you everyday and wants to give you His blessings?
2) Do you really believe that your parents truly love you, all unselfish, honest and will never change?
3) If you are married, do you have a very smooth relationship with your spouse and trust him/her without question? Do you also believe that it is really a blessing to your life to marry him/her?
4) If you have children, do you have a smooth relationship with them? Do they respect you as they should? Do they obey you, trust you and share with you things in their lives?
5) If you work outside of your home, are you happy with your job? Do you have a good relationship with your boss, coworkers? Do you find it meaningful in what you do and your future is bright?
6) If you are a Christian, are you happy with your church, people at the church, especially the leaders? Are you a blessing to the church you go?
7) Are you happy with your life, your career, your family, goals of life, your health condition and material possessions, etc?
The author was a popular Christian counselor. He wanted to find out how well were things in the lives of his readers. The result of his survey was that great majority of people, including some self-proclaimed Christians, are not happy with their lives. Things in their lives were not going well at all.
But the Bible presents to us a different picture. God has promised His people that their lives and all things around them will go well. (Eph. 6:3) He has given us a blueprint for a happy, satisfactory and long life if we start out right, follow His guidelines: honor and obey our parents. (6:1-2) The blueprint contains some important points we may follow to achieve the intended results:
BASIC QUESTIONS ON THE BLUEPRINT:
1) What is in the blueprint? This is a Commandment of God, not of man. There are two parts in the Ten Commandments: The first part contains the Commandments between man and God and the second part is about Commandments between man and man. God cares not just how man relates to Him. He also cares how man treats his fellow man. In the man-to-man part, God placed how children should relate to their parents as the first important Commandment. Many counselors and psychiatrists agree with this commandment that relationships between children and their parents play a major role in the development and happiness of the children. Our God is a God of wisdom. He knows the best of our needs. That’s why He puts this Commandment as the foundation of all human relationships.
2) Who need this blueprint? This Commandment is for children, all children, regardless of age, wealth, education, status, power or anything else. If you are a person, you are a child of your parents regardless of who you are and what you have now. In the original text children means “all who are under the authority of parents.” Too many children, especially teens, think they have grown up enough and therefore they are no longer under the authority of their parents. They think they do not need to listen to their parents much less to obey them. This kind of attitude is a direct violation to the commandment of God. It doesn’t matter how old or how smart you think you are or how well you may do with your school or job, you are always a child to your parents and this commandment is for you.
3) Why is there a blueprint anyway? Because God sees it “right” or good for children to honor and obey their parents. The Greek word “right” means “in good order”. It is God who sets orders for everything to run well in His creation. The order He set for parents and children in families is for children to honor and obey their parents. Many dysfunctional and broken families are the results of disobedient children. Anyone who seeks meaningful and productive life need to heed this Commandment: honor and obey your parents. There is NO other way.
4) Why is it so special? This Commandment is so special because it is the FIRST and ONLY Commandment with a promise. (v.2)While it is our duty to obey all Commandments of God, He gave special promise to those who follow this one: obey and honor parents. God sees honoring and obeying parents as foundational in social orders and in the building up of character and personality in children to obey and honor parents. This also is the foundation of all human relationships. That’s why God sees it fit to pronounce His blessings on those who obey His Command.
THE BASIS OF THE BLUEPRINT: The basis of this Commandment is: “IN THE LORD”---It is because of the LORD.
1) We need to honor and obey our parents as we obey and honor the Lord. They are His representatives in the family. If you cannot honor and obey your parent whom you can see, how can you honor and obey God whom you cannot see? Your parents are the authority God places in your life. If you obey God, obey parents.
2) We need to believe in the Lord, to become believers, to know the truth of the Lord and obey them. Only believers of God know the truth and teaching of God. Believing in God will receive clear guidelines and wisdom from God to obey parents.
3) If we have non-believer parents, it is our first duty to lead them to the Lord. This will not just connect them with God for salvatio0n and eternal life. It also provides the common ground for values and approach in daily life.
WHAT IS REQUIRED OF ME? This Commandment requires us to:
1) Obey: It means “listen under” as soldiers to commanders or servants to masters. This is about position and attitude: being humble. Too many children are not willing to keep their position as children and be humble enough to their parents and therefore seldom listen and obey them.
2) Honor: It means “to treasure” or “to hold high”. This means to respect. We respect our parents not just because of their wisdom, experiences, position, achievements, education or anything else. We respect them simply because they ARE parents. We are to hold them high, feel proud, treasure them and we are to do things to bring them joy and honor instead of shame and sadness.
WHAT ARE THE BLESSINGS? God promised many blessings to those who follow His commandment.
1) Your life may go well: Going well means smooth ride, successful, satisfaction and many others related to what you do. Isn’t this what most people are looking for? Think of it why your life is not going as you want it to be? Does it have to do with your attitude toward your parents? Your life could go well if you honor your parents.
2) You may enjoy long life: Long life in the Bible represents God’s blessings in your heart and your body: good health, inner peace and joy, keen mental condition, feeling good and carefree. This is about how you feel. It is not just long life but happy life.
WHAT HAPPEN IF I DON’T FOLLOW? If you do not honor or obey your parents, the least is that God will not bestow on you His blessings: long and healthy life and things go well in what you do. But that is not the worst. Many children who do not obey nor honor their parents are people who have defective personalities:
1) They take things for granted. They don’t appreciate things parents do for them or provide them. They feel that the whole world owes them everything and it begins with their parents. When they bring this bad attitude to other relationships: marriage, workplace and friendship, they will have constant conflict with people around them because they never feel enough.
2) They don’t trust parents’ love, wisdom, good will, life experience and motives. When they bring this attitude to others in their life, their self-centeredness and pride will ruin other people. They will have suspicion and mistrust on people around them: family, friends and anyone who may relate to them. Life is always in fear to them.
3) They won’t respect authority: they will have hard time to follow orders from their teachers, supervisors or anyone who is in higher position than theirs. They will not obey laws and orders. They are going to get tangled up in legal trouble or personal conflicts. They just can’t function as team-workers.
1) Rebuild the system: This country is being ruined by dysfunctional families, broken marriages and rebellious children. The way to come back begins from us, Christians who believe and obey the Commandments of God and therefore obey and honor our parents. It is our responsibility to rebuild the system God had instituted for this world.
2) Begin at your own home: Go back to your own homes and show your respect and love to your parents. Help them anyway you can to make your family and home more admirable, warm and cheerful. Then wait and see how God is going to bless you as He has promised: things in your life will go well with you.
3) When parents are not with you: If your parents are not here today, make that decision in your heart to honor and obey them. Write and call to demonstrate your commitment. Do all you can while you still have the opportunity. You will honor God and receive blessing of His promises when you honor and obey your dad and mom.