Dr. Donald J. Ralston

Blessing Your Parents

(Eph. 6:1-3)

I. We have spoken of the need to bless our children

A. But that blessing must make a full circle and encompass the children blessing their parents

1. Joseph is the perfect example of a son blessing a parent

2. Genesis 45:9-11

3. Notice his concern for his families future welfare

4. Genesis 45:23 says he sent 20 animals bearing gifts to his father

5. He also gave thought to the provision for his dads return

6. Notice the effect it had on Jacob in 45:27 - it revived his spirit, what a joy it is to be able to revive your parents spirit

7. Those gifts blessed that father and was a great source of encouragement to him

8. Joseph took care of his family the rest of their natural lives (Gen. 47:11)

B. It isn't only Biblical characters who should bless their parents, but each of us should as well

1. Our text is very clear on that matter

2. Honor your father and mother - that you may live long on the earth

3. What does it mean to honor your parents?

I. Consider this word "honor" as used in the Old and New Testaments

A. In Hebrew, the word "honor" is KABED - it means to weigh heavy, to be heavy, to honor

1. Even today we link the idea of being heavy with honoring a person

2. When a person of great prominence speaks, people speak of his words "Carrying a lot of weight"

3. We speak of significant people in a company as carrying a lot of weight

4. We mean others have great respect and people honor their words and desires

5. We can also discover the meaning of honor by considering it opposite

B. If we want to dishonor a person - we say that their words don't carry any weight around here

1. To honor a person, we consider them important and we respect their wisdom and experience

2. Some children treat their parents like dust, really don=t consider them very important

C. As believers we should never carry this attitude

1. If you fail to honor your parents you not only dishonor God

2. We also drain ourselves of live

II. A promise is given to those who keep this commandment

A. The first thing to remember about God's promises is that He keeps them

1. The second thing about His promises is that they are conditional

2. If you honor your parents, the promise will be kept. Claim this promise and honor you parents and you will live long on the earth

3. If you dishonor your parents you will have to live life apart from God's promise

B. There is an interesting phrase that is worth considering

1. This entire phrase, "That it may go well with you" captured in one tiny Greek word AEU.

2. In ancient Greece, the word was used to salute someone - Well Done! Excellent!

3. When you honor your parent the first thing you can know for sure is that God is saying to you - Well done - excellent

4. If you are rebellious toward your parents you are following the lead of our times and not the Word of God

C. Jesus was very clear about His feelings on this matter of honoring our parents (Matt. 15:3-8)

1. "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying - Honor your father and your mother... - but you say, - whoever says to his father or mother, - whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God - then he need not honor his father or mother ... Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: "these people draw near to me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me."

2. Anyone who encourages you to go against your parents is not of God

3. Keep in mind you not only honor God when you honor parents, but your own life is affected in a positive way

III. You will live long on the earth

A. You actually receive longevity of life as you obey this command

1. Each of you has only so much emotional and physical energy

2. Positive attitudes are linked with positive health benefits while negative attitudes open the door to illness and disease

3. When people chose to hate or dishonor their parents because of anger, bitterness or resentment, they pay an emotional and physical price

B. Scriptures point to a relationship between pleasant words and physical health

1. Prov. 16:24, "Pleasant words are sweetness to the soul and health to the bones"

2. Another passages says, "A merry heart does good like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones" Prov. 17:22

3. When you honor your parents, you are attaching high value to them and god says such actions will increase your span of life on earth

C. At the same time, you can dry up the well-spring of life by holding bitterness or resentment toward your parents

IV. How do you honor your parents?

A. First of all, parents need a meaningful touch they need hugs and kisses

1. You say they are uncomfortable with this - it is only because no one ever gave them a hug or kiss. Deep down we all want to be loved and to be held

2. They also need Spoken Words of Kindness - tell them how much they mean to you how special they are

3. Did you know Mother's Day is the heaviest day for interstate phone calls?

4. Unfortunately, that is the only time some of them hear encouraging words

5. Sadly, fathers hear fewer words of praise

6. Your parents need to hear your spoken words of blessing

B. Your parents may not have given you the blessing but usually it was because they were ignorant s to how to do it

1. You can forgive them of their failures - you can decide to honor them because of their great worth to you and to God

2. You don't have to pretend that they didn't fail you - they probably feel that even more than you do

3. I have often looked back and realized where I failed as a parent if not, my kids will remind me

C. Draw upon their wisdom, seek their counsel. It will allow them to be a part of your life

VI. Finally, you need to honor them by being there as their life comes to a close

F. Be there for them - hold their hand, cradle their head, whisper words of love and encouragement

1. When one parent goes to meet the Lord, the one left behind will need an extra measure of love

2. They will need you to lean on - just as you needed them when you were young

3. Mom and Dad stood with you then - be sure you stand with them now

A. Let's read our text again -Ephesians 6:2-3