by Andrew McQuitty

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Making Peace with Your Parents (5 of 10)
Andrew McQuitty
Exodus 20:12

''A society that destroys the family destroys itself'' (Joy Davidman).

Introduction: What shall we do with imperfect parents? Honor them!

One of the bitterest pills grown children have to swallow is the realization is that their parents are not perfect. When you were born, your mom and dad were the center of your universe--the source of your security, the object of your love. But as you grew, that idyllic scenario cracked as you found the fault lines in their lives.

Maybe you first suspected your parents' imperfection by things they said. Did they ever tell you that if you played with matches, you'd wet the bed? Or that if you swallowed your gum, your insides would stick together? Or that if you put your hand outside the car window, it would blow off?

Maybe your disillusionment came more dramatically, more painfully. The parents who were supposed to encourage you criticized you. The parents who were supposed to nurture you neglected you. The parents who were supposed to protect you abused you. Maybe you feel like the little English girl who wrote: ''We get our parents so late in life that it is simply impossible to do anything with them!'' One thing is sure. The question is not, ''Are my parents perfect?'' but ''Will I make peace with them?''

The fifth commandment is God's response to that question. What are we to do with imperfect parents? Ex. 20.12: ''Honor your father and your mother. . . '' The word ''honor'' in Hebrew means to ''give weight to, show respect for, or prize highly.'' God is telling us to respect our parents the same way as we do a judge whom we don't know when we say ''Your honor''. You're not complimenting his personality, but recognizing his position. That's what God commands us to do with our parents.

I. Why God gave us this commandment

Honoring parents strengthens society.

''. . . that your days may be prolonged in the land. . . '' (Ex 2 ...

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