How would you describe your relationship with your parents? Do you get along well?
Or do you find yourself frequently involved in misunderstandings, hurt feelings and arguments - maybe even shouting matches?
A good relationship with our parents is vital to success and happiness in life. In this study, we'll learn just how important it is to honor our parents, and about the benefits that result.
But before you begin, be sure to get a Bible, a pen or pencil and some paper. Reading and writing out the Bible verses that answer the questions asked in this study will help you remember the important principles you will be learning.
1. What instruction does God give us about our relationship with our parents? Exodus 20:12. Did Jesus Christ up hold the Fifth Commandment? Matthew 15:4, Luke 18:20.
God wants human family life to be happy, pleasant and fulfilling. To help ensure strong, stable families, He commands all people to honor their parents. To honor means to esteem or to hold in high regard, to prize or to reverence. Included in its meaning is respect mingled with love and devotion.
Though many of us do not live in an ideal family situation, we should still try our best to honor and respect our parents (or guardians), considering the many things they have likely done for us over the years. God wants us to honor them despite their faults or whether we feel they deserve it, and, as we'll see, promises to bless us if we do.
Most parents truly care for their children. They want to see them do well, be happy and have a better life than they had. We can be grateful for this.
2. Was Christ, who set an example for us to follow (I Peter 2:21), an obedient child? Luke 2:51. How did He honor His real Father - God in heaven? John 8:28-29, 49, 15:10. Did Christ honor His mother by making sure she would be provided for after His death? John 19:26-27.
Jesus set us an example by being in subjection to His parents. He also had loving concern for them that lasted throughout His life.
And through obedience to His heavenly Father, and to His human mother and human guardian (Joseph) as well, Jesus grew in wisdom and maturity even as a youth (Luke 2:40, 52).
3. What responsibility has God given our parents? Proverbs 22:6. Does this include discipline and correction? Proverbs 3:12, 29:15, 17.
When we were born, we knew absolutely nothing. It is the God-given duty of parents to teach and guide their children, as well as discipline them, while they are growing up.
4. Will a wise child heed his or her parents' advice and instruction? Proverbs 1:8-9, 6:20, 13:1, 19:20. Just how valuable is following our parents' teaching? Proverbs 3:1-2. What does the Bible call the person who hates correction - who despises his parents' instruction? Proverbs 15:5.
Our parents have had valuable experiences and learned lessons from their mistakes. They desire to pass this information on to us so we will not make the same mistakes. Their instruction will give us a solid foundation on which to build a happy and successful life!
5. Is God highly pleased with young people who obey their parents? Colossians 3:20.
Honoring your parents also means to obey them to the best of your ability with in the circumstances you find yourself. It means respecting their wishes and doing what they say, even though you may think your way is better.
Enthusiastically comply with their requests, and do what they ask you right away. Volunteer to do more than asked of you. Think of additional ways to please your parents. And be sure to observe family rules cheerfully.
By doing what your parents want with a good attitude, you will be helping to build positive and strong family ties. And your cooperative spirit will tend to spread to other family members as well.
6. Just how important is it for families to live together in unity and harmony? Psalm 133:1, Matthew 12:25.
Cooperation and teamwork are vital to any organization - including the family. We honor our parents as we strive to help the family work together. So when you see an opportunity to help out, go ahead and do it willingly and cheerfully. And support your parents' plans by doing your part to make them succeed.
Doing everything you can to make your home as pleasant a place as possible will payoff in many ways. Not only will home be a more enjoyable place to live, you'll find that all of your outside relationships will be more peaceful and rewarding when you know everything is fine at home.
God wants human family life to be happy, pleasant and fulfilling. In the Bible, He shows how! 7. What other vital principles, if put into practice, will help contribute to peace and harmony in the home? Matthew 7:12, Romans 12:10, I Thessalonians 5:15, I Peter 3:8-9.
Being a parent is a demanding and difficult job. Therefore, our parents may not always be able to act the way they would like.
They get tired, experience pressures at work and have many things on their minds. We should be willing to overlook their shortcomings and faults, and forgive them when they fall short. Realizing that none of us is perfect, we can be more kind and loving toward our parents.
8. What reward do parents receive from a wise son or daughter? Proverbs 10:1, 23:24-25.
Parents are pleased with children who follow their instruction and strive to be successful. They receive happiness and great satisfaction from a son or daughter who diligently applies himself or herself in school, at work and in other facets of life.
9. What warning is there to those who break the Fifth Commandment by disrespecting their parents? Proverbs 19:26, 20:20,30:17. But what is God's promise to those who honor and obey their parents? Deuteronomy 5:16, Ephesians 6:1-3.
God assures us that keeping the Fifth Commandment will result in long life! Respecting and heeding the wisdom of your parents makes it possible to avoid many mistakes, thus promoting a longer and happier life. It helps you to avoid the recklessness, violence, wrong associations and rebellion against authority that can end in untimely death.
But even more important, being subject to your parents shows an attitude and willingness to be subject to your greater Parent in heaven. Since God is our spiritual Father, we should always honor Him. Honoring your parents, as well as your Father in heaven, carries with it the fantastic prospect of living happily forever!
10. Is God willing to give us the help we need to honor our parents? Matthew 21:22, Philippians 4:13.
No matter what your relationship with your parents may be, you can improve it. It might be hard to do, requiring considerable effort in some cases, but go ahead and try!
Begin to practice the principles you've learned from the Bible. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. And by all means ask God for the help you need. He has promised to give you that help if you will ask Him.
Keeping the Fifth Commandment will help you develop a close, loving relationship with your parents. It will add to peace and harmony at home. And your life will be more interesting, happier and exciting!