~Ephesians 6:1-2 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
Respect is a hard thing to come by these days. People have such a hard time accepting the fact that there are people who have authority over them. But the Scriptures are clear that respecting authority is commanded by God for ALL of us! Some of you are more disrespectful than others. But the challenge for all of us is the same—we need to respect those in authority over us.
Kids are not the only ones who need to honor authority. Adults need to also. We are commanded in the Bible:
~Luke 20:25 And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.
~Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
~1 Timothy 2:1-3 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, [and] giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and [for] all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
Jesus was teaching to give the taxes to Caesar but it didn’t stop there. Jesus was all about submitting to authority. He submitted to His Father and recognized that the Father had authority over Him. God set up authority from the very beginning. So everyone is under some kind of authority. Obeying, honoring and respecting authority is something that must be learned – it just doesn’t automatically happen.
The opposite of honoring authority is to go against them – speak evil of them to others – do the opposite of what they ask of you. May of us learn by example. If parents cheat on their taxes, speak negatively about their Pastor, or drive over the speed limit, they are teaching their children that they do not honor authority. Their children are not blind and will see the hypocrisy in it all. If this is the case in your home, teenager, it does not give you an excuse to do the same. To the true born-again Christian, we must live to a higher standard and our standard is the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice today’s Bible verse from Ephesians 6:1-2. Does it say to only obey your parents when they are good parents? No, it sure doesn’t. You may feel that your parents are not good parents but that doesn’t matter. The Bible still tells you to honor them (in verse 2).
Why is it so hard to honor parents? It is our “sinful nature” that causes us to disobey. Disobedience is compared to rebellion according to the Scriptures. God thinks so strongly against this that He says that it is as bad witchcraft and idolatry. If you are disobeying your parents, the Bible says that you are rejecting God’s Word.
~1 Samuel 15:23a For rebellion [is as] the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness [is as] iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD,
If you have been guilty of this sin, teenager, confess it before God. Go to your parents and ask their forgiveness for not giving them the honor they deserve according to God’s Word. If your parents aren’t saved, this will definitely be a testimony to them. Then continue to honor them, whether you agree with what they say or not. Of course I am not suggesting that you obey your parents if they tell you to do something contrary to what the Bible teaches! If they ask you to steal, you must say no. But what I am saying is to honor their “office” of authority over you. If they tell you to get off the phone and do your homework, then you should honor them by obeying.
What are some things which are disrespectful?
- Not doing as you are told – if your chore is to take out the trash, take it out. Not doing so is not honoring authority. Honoring their authority would be to take out the trash WITHOUT being told
- Talking back – yes, you may feel that you have something to say, but keep it to yourself. God may give you an opportunity to say something at a later time when things are calmer. Listen to what they say and think about it even though you didn’t like what they said.
- Standing up for those in authority when something bad is said about them – if your friends say mean things about your parents, stick up for them. You wouldn’t want your friends using the Lord’s name in vain, would you? They are slandering your parents by speaking badly of them. Take a stand for what is right!
- Body language – rolling your eyes, sighing when a comment is made that you don’t like, turning around and showing your back to someone is talking to you – all these show that you do not respect authority. It’s also rude to do these things. It’s more mature to face those in authority and listen quietly, and with a meek spirit.
Jesus is the perfect example of meekness – He obeyed His Heavenly Father – He taught His disciples to be a servant to each other by being a servant to them.
~Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Therefore, your meekness toward your parents will bring peace in your life. Your relationship with them will set the foundation for your life as an adult. They don’t set rules just for the sake of setting rules or dominating over you. Your parents’ job is to mold their children to become spiritually mature Christian adults. It is their duty before God just as much as it is your duty to obey them.
Some of you need to repent of your disrespectfulness, first and foremost. Only then will you be able to grow in this area. If you don’t repent, you are going to be facing some very difficult times as an adult. You may be anxious to get out of the house from under your parents’ rule but your problem won’t stop there. We all have those in authority over us – we all have to honor our bosses; we all have to honor police officers; we all have to honor our Country’s leaders. This is not just a child’s lesson – it is a Christian lesson.
~Isaiah 50:5 The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.