“THE FOUNDATION OF THE FAMILY” Ex. 20:12
INTRO – Starting new sermon series today – “On the Home Front.” Feb. is month we usually think about love & relationships. So this month, we are going to spend 4 weeks looking at the most important earthly relationships w/ have – those that are in the home.
Don’t think we need to spend much time belaboring the point of the attacks that Satan is leveling against the home & the family. See it everywhere.
- From the attack on the most vulnerable people on the face of the earth – the unborn – to the open attack against the biblical foundational definition of marriage (one man, one woman for life) – to the frequency of cohabitation in our society now which lead to the widespread sin of fornication (sex between those who are not yet married) & adultery (sex between those who are married, but not to each other) – to abuse of all kinds on different members of the family – to broken, unreconciled family relationships that have been that way for years & years – &, unfortunately, the list goes on & on.
- Satan has declared open war against our families & our homes. And in many cases, he is winning, & winning big time!
As the foundation of our homes & families cracks, the foundation of our nation has cracked along w/ it. We are a long way from the “Leave It to Beaver” & “Mayberry” days when the dads always seemed to have the right answers, all w/in a 30-minute time slot.
- Families are busier than I’ve ever seen them.
- Families are more barren than I’ve ever seen them.
- Families are more anxious than I’ve ever seen them.
- Families are more addled than I’ve ever seen them.
Yesterday, I sat in atrium of Banner Hall just outside Broad Street Bakery, drinking coffee & working on my sermon. It was interesting to watch the myriad of different family things that passed in front of me.
- Kids in shorts & soccer cleats w/ well-dressed mom & dad
- Moms & daughters (& probably maids of honor) going into The Bridal Path store. Watched a dad walk up later, look in, & turn around. His daughter was in store & called him back to come look at her dress.
- Elderly couples who probably had been married for 50-60 yrs.
- A widow & her grown son eating lunch together.
- And I’m sure there were other family situations in front of me that I knew nothing about:
- May have been a same-sex couple there
- May have been a man & woman there having a secret rendezvous as their affair begins or continues
- May have seen a newly wed couple there
- May have seen a single mom w/ her kids there
- May have seen a girl there who was being abused by a relative
- May have seen a man there who was going through a nasty divorce
- May have seen a husband & wife there who were about to lose their house due to foreclosure
- May have seen a teenage boy there who rebelling against his parents & flunking out of school
- May have seen a man or woman addicted to drugs, or pornography, or gambling
We’ve got to get back to the foundation of the family. Not saying we need to get back to Mayberry. Not going to happen. But we’ve got to get back to the foundation of the family. And that foundation is the Word of God.
Today, our Scripture verse comes out of a very familiar & important passage in the Bible, the 10 Commandments. Been reading in Exodus for last several days in the DailyWay plan. 10 C are foundational moral truths for our lives. They aren’t our ticket into heaven. Some folks think that doing your best to keep the 10 C is the way to heaven. Truth is that the opposite is true. The more you try to keep the 10 C as your way of salvation, the more you realize that you can’t do it, & the more you realize that you need God’s grace & mercy. The 10 C show us that “all have sinned” & need Jesus to save us!
The 10 C are all about relationships. 4 directly speak to our rel w/ God. The other 6 speak to our rel w/ other people, esp the people in our families. And the one thing that characterizes all of these relationships is the word that this 5th C begins with: HONOR. This is the foundation to our family relationships. We must honor one another, & in so doing, we honor God.
HONOR – Heb. “to weigh heavily upon, to be heavy, to be weighty.” Several verses speak to this:
- 1 Chron. 16:27 – “The gods of other nations are mere idols, but the Lord made the heavens! Honor and majesty surround him; strength and joy fill his dwelling.”
- 66:2 – “Sing out the honor of His name; Make His praise glorious.”
- 15:33 – “Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord, and humility comes before honor.”
- John 5:23 – “…that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.”
- 12:10 – “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
- 1 Pet. 2:17 – “Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.”
- 5:13 – “And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!’”
Honor is a critical aspect of our relationship w/ God. We are to give Him honor w/ every part of our lives. That includes ALL of our family relationships – spouse, parents, kids, siblings. All of those relationships reflect our relationship w/ the Lord. And giving honor in all of those relationships is an important aspect of our giving honor to God.
Let’s get back to our definition of “honor” – “to weigh heavily upon; to be heavy, to be weighty.” When we honor someone, we show that that relationship is a weighty relationship to us, not in a negative way – like it’s a burdensome relationship that we have to grit our teeth & endure. But it’s weighty in that we understand the critical importance of that person in our lives. Their presence in our lives is heavy w/ importance, influence, inspiration & impact.
WE MUST HONOR OUR PARENTS – Ex. 20:12 – We must honor our parents. Their authority over our lives should carry a lot of weight, especially in our formative childhood & adolescent years. The NT supports this teaching. Eph. 6:1 – “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” This command was so important that if a person cursed his parents, he was to be put to death – Ex. 21:17 – “Whoever curses his father or his mother shall be put to death.” Big difference between these teachings of Scripture & much of the parent/child relationships we see in our world today. Permissive parenting, parents abdicating their biblical responsibilities, little or no discipline in the home, children rebelling against their parents’ authority – all of these contribute to the breakdown of the family in our society.
WE MUST HONOR OUR SPOUSES – Heb. 13:4 – “Marriage should be honored by all, & the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer & the sexually immoral.” The Gk word for “honor” – “noble, of high price, costly, precious, dear, of great value.” Marriage is definitely under attack all across our land today. Gov’t has attempted to redefine it. Makes us all upset & angry, & rightfully so. God has established FOREVER IN HIS WORD that marriage is between one man & one woman for life. That’s His perfect plan. That is the only plan that honors Him.
But, we’ve sure messed that one up. Such a sad thing to see. So many husbands & wives fall so short in truly honoring one another. Whether you’ve been married for 1 month or 50 yrs, you must understand that your spouse is the most important earthly relationship you will ever have.
- Your buddies at the deer camp or at the sports bar are not the most important relationship in the world.
- Your BFF’s & your girlfriends that you shop with & go on your beach trips with are not the most important relationship in the world.
- Your coworkers & business partners are not the most important relationship in the world.
- That guy at work who keeps complimenting you is not the most important relationship in the world. That woman at work who thinks you’re hot is not the most important relationship in the world.
- Your kids & grandkids are not the most important relationship in the world.
If any of these have taken a most prominent place of value in your life than your spouse, you are in trouble at the very foundation of your family’s life, nothing is going to go right in your family, & you need to go into overdrive to get things back in the right order – the order GOD intended.
Eph. 5:22-33 – These verses are all about HONOR.
- You submit to one another
- You love one another
- You care for one another
- You cling to one another
- You respect one another
- AND YOU NEVER STOP!!!
WE MUST HONOR THE LORD – Ex. 20:3 – “You shall have no other gods before me.” Doesn’t have the exact word “honor” in it, but the implication is clearly there. He is GOD & there is no other. He is worthy of honor, & no other is.