I shared this plan with a bunch of high school students, their parents and their teachers when I was invited to be the guest speaker at the opening of a senior school campus in Tasmania a few years ago.
The principal told me the kids were still talking about it months later. So are you ready? Without further ado – here it is:
Honour your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. (Exodus 20:12)
Yep, it’s right there in the ten commandments! In fact the first four commandments are about God and us. The very next one – number 5 – us about our parents and us.
That has to tell you something about how important this is to God. He puts it right before … don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie and don’t covet. (Maybe He figures we won’t be able to keep those commandments, unless first we learn to honour our parents).
And as the Apostle Paul points out to us (Ephesians 6:2,3) this is the first commandment with a promise and a blessing attached to it – do this, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
So – here’s God’s promise – honouring parents brings blessing. And when we think about it, that’s absolutely true.
We mothers and fathers are hardwired to bless our children. We love to bless our children. But when they disobey, the blessing automatically turns off. When they’re rude, disrespectful, ungrateful, selfish … grumpy – the tap of blessing turns off, because we’re also hardwired by God to teach them right from wrong.
And like God, we never bless wrong.
The sooner we as parents realise that, and the sooner we as parents start to teach our children that when the honour us, it bestows untold blessing on them – then the sooner we will be using God’s reward based plan to nurture our children into godly, effective, mature adults.
You know the old carrot and stick line right? Well, God’s plan is that He much, much, much prefers the carrot/incentive based approach to the sick/punishment approach.
Read more from Berni Dymet in his blog A Different Perspective.