parents

5star

The key to having a good relationship with others people (parents), is to have your foundation built on God. God is about to transition the commandments from a vertical (God) focus to a horizontal (man) focus. The relationship that God focuses on is the parent-child relationship. This foundation relationship affects most if not all your other relationships.

The Fifth Commandment: “Honor your parents.” (Exodus 20:12). In other words we are to respect them with out words and ways. We are to we honor them with our attitudes and actions. We are to behave in a way that would reflect on our love for God.

To understand this command we have to know what honor means. Honor means to take them seriously even though they are not perfect. To hold them up as the God-given authorities in your life.

To be honest, I had a difficult time honoring my parents as a child. I didn’t get too many golden stars or badges of honor for the way I acted or talked with them. I have since sought to reconcile this by putting on the 5 Badges for Honoring your Parents: (*****)

1. Love. Love is more than words, “I love you.” Love is active, I love you there for I will show you. Love is motivated to do something lovely. Imagine if Jesus saw our condition and just said, “I love you,” but didn’t do anything about it. Rather His love for you motivated Him to act as a Savior for your sins. Your relationship with your parents is just the same, you need to be actively loving. You cannot wait for them to take the first step, you are to initiate it (love is not conditional: I do love if you love me first).

2. Forgiveness. This is a tough one. Everyone has different issues at home, and even though I don’t know what you go through at home or what your parents are like (abused, abandoned, alcohol, anger, etc). The odds are against you to be a forgiver if your parents are not good or godly.

Truthfully, those who have godly parents have an easier time keeping this 5th Command. I didn’t have perfect godly Christians parents and I know how hard it is to honor parents when words fly, tempers flair, and the circumstances seem unreasonable or abnormal. Yet Jesus knows what we are going through. He has been there. His closest friends bailed on Him when He needed them the most. People beat Him, spit on Him, mocked Him, cursed Him, abused and tortured Him. Since He has been there too you can take your problems and pains to Him (God knows your parents and your situation very well, and they will get their just punishment; Lk.17:1-2).

If you harbor unforgiveness towards your parents you are giving a foothold to the devil (Eph.4:27). He is a little a skilled rock-climber. You give him one toehold, he’s hanging on and you cant shake him off. Does Satan own real-estate in your life because of unforgiveness you have towards your parents? If yes, then it’s time to apologize to your parents and not expect anything in return. Forgiveness releases the bonds of bitterness and frees you to love your parents.

3. Unity. God has a chain of command in our lives. Respect your authorities and live in peace with them. God put imperfect parents (employers, pastors, coaches, teachers) into your life for His purpose, to help you grow into the image of God. Unity begins with your heart (love and forgiveness). Unity doesn’t mean you allow authorities to walk all over you, but that you honor them as your authority.

There is a lack of respect for authority in our culture today. Negative dinner table talks about bad bosses, parents and political leaders teaches a child that it is okay to ‘dis’ authority. Help your parents to honor authorities in their lives too.

4. Value. You were born dependent upon your parents. You needed them to grow. They feed you, clothed you, changed all your dirty-stinky diapers, cleaned your messed and more. As we grow we become more independent. Yet as your parents grow them become more dependent upon you to care for them. We are to value them at every stage of our lives and theirs. To honor them is to value their place in their lives. Be careful of speaking negatively about them to others, joking about them or rejecting them. Value their insights on live and their experiences of ‘been there and done that.’

5. Encourage. Show and share with your parents you love, admiration and appreciation. Even though they may not be perfect or polluted with sin God has placed them in your life. Encourage them to love and follow after God. Appreciate them all the days of your life.

A day might come when you will get that dreaded call, “It’s your dad, he…” or “I’m sorry but your mom…” In this moment you have a choice: to hang your head in shame because you didn’t honor your parents or hold your head high with joy because you honored them.

Honoring your imperfect parents is just as honorable as honoring your perfect God. Wear your badges proudly to love, forgive, unify, value and appreciate your parents. These are the rock-solid foundations for godly relationships.

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i swear

no-swearing

Do you remember when you first learned a swear word? I must have been 6 or 7 years old, and I was left alone watching the TV. I recollect there being a Steven Seagal fight’em, shoot’em flick on the tube. There were lots of fist and words flying. I was glued. Dad came into the room and I asked him, “What does, !@#4%&* mean?” I quickly found out that it meant something bad as I got a good dose of fist to my hindquarters.

I am ashamed at how many derogatory words I know. I made a list of all those I know that just begin with the letter D. I came up with: dork, do-do, dufus, dingleberry, dumbo, dinkledorf, dwarf, dirtbag, dweeb, deadhead, dunce, doosh, and the list goes on (and these are the semi-tame ones).

Why is our society is so profane? Does my mouth really matter? Yes, enough so that God includes it in His list of commands. The Third Commandment: “You shall not take the Lord’s name in vain.” (Exodus 20:7) In other words, we are not to use Gods name as a swear word. We are to protect the integrity of His name. We are not to misuse His name. We are not to “dis” God with weak-sauce language. We are not devalue or make His name irrelevant (empty). Gods name is different than any other name. God is God and we are not. He tells us over and over in the Bible to hold up His name.

Last night I asked out student ministry how many of you hear cussing daily at school? Over 75% of them raised their hands. Cussing among teens seems like a second language or at the least second-hand language. I read that the average teen uses 80-90 swear words a day []

I am not proud to say but in middle school I had a bleepin’ little-sailor potty-mouth. And yes, I did kiss my mom with that mouth? I found myself to be in one of these 4 Groups of swearer’s, maybe you find yourself in one of these too:

picture-11. The Blond-Moment Swearer—This person is clueless they are even swearing. He swears so much that it is a habit. He doesn’t even know he uses Gods name as a swear word. God is just a fill word: “God, I’m tired”, “What the hell,” “Jeeze, it’s been a long day.” This person is not calling on God, they are unaware of God.

picture-22. The Stuck-in-Traffic Swearer—This person knows swearing is wrong, but when in the right situation they “can’t help but swear.” You know you are stuck-in-traffic swearer when you respond cussing in these scenarios: a hammer hits your finger instead of a nail, the foul isn’t called, someone cuts you off, your favorite sports team makes a mistake, you lost your homework, or your friend tells you off.

picture-33. I-can-say-what-I-want-to-when-I-want–to Swearer—This person knows what they say is wrong, but couldn’t care less. Like a pirate. These people are either angry at God or shake their word-fist in God’s face. They swear to God with outright rebellion.

picture-54. The Walk-Your-Talk Swear—This person doesn’t ‘dis’ God with his words, but his walk. Even though you may not swear, you may have an empty walk. This person says they are a Christian, but their lifestyle doesn’t match their words. If you wear Christ’s name you better show it. “Walk your talk!” As followers of Christ you are a walking billboard to the world of Him to everyone who sees you. God has pasted His label on you, what do you represent?

The Bible says that the name of Jesus is above every other name, and one day we will all bow our knees to the name of Jesus (Phil.2:9-11). In fact, Jews had such respect for God that they would not use His real name (Yahweh). Never would they speak His real name. They would use “Adonai” instead. They recognized His name as holy. When Jesus prayed, He taught His disciples by saying “Father, hallowed (holy) be your name.” (Luke 11:2)

We must careful what you say. When you say, “God” followed by the word “damn” you are putting two words together that do not fit. God doesn’t damn anybody by our demand; people damn themselves to hell by their sinfulness without repentance and forgiveness. We cannot tell God what to do. We make Him so small, when He is really BIG. You are the creation; God is the Creator. Do not take what you say too lightly.

Matt.15:18 says, that the things that come out of your mouth, come out of your heart. In other words, dirty words = dirty heart. So how can I tame my tongue? First, talk it up. If you are a swearer get help, sometimes it takes a buddy system to help you to stop it! The Christians life wasn’t meant to be lived alone; there is no such thing as a Lone Ranger Christian. Second, critique your talk—evaluate the words you use. Do you honor the name of God? Third, talk about God—when you know Him you wont empty His name out.