Text: Exodus 20:1-12; 23:12; Isaiah 58:13-14; Eph 6:1-3′ Col 3:20
KEY VERSE: Ephesians 6:2-3
“Honour your father and your mother”- which is the first commandment with a promise – “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” (NIV)
Recognizing the Sabbath and respecting our parents are both issues of honour. But these commands may also be a little more awkward to deal with, since many people tend to view them as irrelevant in contemporary society. After all, most people are too busy to give serious consideration to a whole day of rest. And defying parents is simply regarded as teens testing the boundaries of independence. But God’s commands never go out of style. And His benefits never diminish. If we will honour God in these areas of life, He will honour us as well.
As you prepare for this session, consider your own regard for these relevant instructions. Be open with students about your shortcomings – and what you’ve learned from experience. And be willing to adjust your lifestyle to enjoy the benefits of greater trust in God.
The Basic Message: Explain to students..
WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA?
Following God’s commands honours Him and benefits us.
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
We suffer unnecessary emotional, physical, and spiritual weariness by failing to honour God in our time and relationships.
HOW DO I LIVE IT?
Honour God by reserving a day for worship and refreshment and by demonstrating godly respect for your parents.
>>Study Overview: Explain that today’s study considers…
• How observing a weekly day of rest and worship provides an opportunity to honour God and be personally refreshed.
• That the way we treat our parents reflects our respect to God.
• How following God’s commands may not always seem realistic, but brings definite benefits.
Inform and Discuss
a). Remember the Sabbath
>>Teacher Hint: Explain that the Israelites Viewed the Sabbath reminder that God had set them apart (Exo 31:13) and that He had delivered them from the bondage of hard labour in Egypt (Deut 5:15) With the development of the synagogue during Jewish exile. The Sabbath became a day of rest, but also for worship and the study of His Law.
1. Read or have a volunteer read Exo 20:8-11. Why do you think God issued this command? [Hint: When we reserve a day for rest and worship, we honour God and His power. By following His command for rest, we demonstrate trust in God rather than in ourselves.
2. Read or have volunteers read Exo 23:12; Isa 58:13-14. What kinds of things might be regarded as “doing as you please” or “going your own way” rather than observing a day of rest and worship?
Guide: Explain that our bodies and minds are not designed for nonstop wear and tear. God created us with a need for physical and emotional rest as well as a need for fellowship with him. When we follow God’s pattern for weekly rest and refreshment we will usually work more productively and maintain a more positive attitude.
3. Do you think it is realistic for Christians today to try to set aside an entire day for God? Why or why not? [Guide: Explain that today’s hurried pace makes many people to think that they’ve got too much to do to give the Lord an entire day. But we should not forget that God gave this Command because He loves us and wants us to live fulfilled, healthy lives.
b. Respect Your Parents
1. Read or have a volunteer read Exod 20:12. What does it mean to honour your parents? Why does God require it? [Hint: God expects us to respond properly to parents and guardians, acting in kindness, support, and respect, even when it’s tough.
2. Read or have a volunteer read Col 3:20. How does this command apply in situations where parents have been irresponsible or ungodly? [Hint: By obeying our imperfect parents, we demonstrate honour, not because they are worthy – although most are – but because God commanded it. In honouring them, we honour God.]
3. How can a Christian teen’s actions affect his or her relationships with non-Christian parents? [Hint: Teens’ actions can set an example and influence their parents for Christ.
Guide: Explain that harbouring bitterness or resentment toward parents, regardless of their relationship with God, will ultimately harm us emotionally, physically, and spiritually. God calls us to respond graciously at all times, depending on Him to help us deal with negative emotions.
>>Teacher Hint: Be sensitive to students from difficult or dysfunctional family situations. If a teen feels there is no way to endure a family situation, he or she should talk to a trusted godly adult. Above all, encourage students to trust God, who offers the grace needed to give proper honour to the authorities in our lives.
4. What should teens do if the desires, advice, or instructions of their parents go against God’s will or instructions? [Hint: Unless a parents’ advice will cause undue harm or provoke us to defy God, we should give them the benefit of the doubt and obey. When the time comes to make decisions our parents don’t agree with, we must do so graciously, not in arrogance, defiance, or bitterness.]
5. Read or have a volunteer read Eph 6:1-3. Why do you think God gives this promise? What does it mean? (Guide: Explain that this doesn’t mean that if a person dies young it’s because he or she broke this command. This promise was both specific to individuals and general to all of Israel. If they honoured their God-given authorities, God would honour them with various physical and spiritual blessings.
Involve Them: PARENTAL POP QUIZ
Ask students to take a few moments to analyze their relationships with their parents/guardians in the following areas captured in the table below, using a scale from “almost never” to “almost always. “Then, have them prayerfully consider the questions regarding their relationship with their parents/guardians in the “Reflection” sections, and finally complete the “action” questions.
REFLECTION: 1. What are some of the areas of strength in your relationship with them? |2. What tare some of the areas in your relationship with them that you would like to improve? |3. What are some specific thing you could do to repair, rebuild, or strengthen your relationship with them?
ACTION: What would you like to do in the next week to express your love for your parents and your desire to strengthen your relationship with them?
Inspire Them: Remind students of “The Basic Message” of this study (pg 57), explain WHAT the Big Idea behind the study is; WHY it matters; and HOW we can live the lesson captured in the study.
Ministry Activity: PERKS FOR PARENTS
Ask students to suggest specific ways that we can honour – or dishonour- our parents. List their responses in two columns on the board. Then, challenge them to commit to at least one positive action that would bless their parents this week.
Invitation Option: If you have students who are yet to give their lives to Jesus, give them opportunity to respond to His offer of forgiveness and eternal life. Pray with them as they commit their lives to His leadership.
Teacher Hint: Ask yourself…
1. Do students understand the reasons and benefits of taking an entire day for worship and refreshment?
2. Do students see that honouring parents is a way of honouring God?
3. Have students determined specific ways to honour their parents this week?
Daily Dew Drop
Mon: Fear God – 1 Samuel 1:24
Tue: Instruments of Righteousness – Romans 6:13-14
Wed: Pleasing the Lord – Ephesians 5:8-10
Thu: What You Sow ls What You’ll Reap – Galatians 6:8
Fri: Rest Is Guaranteed – Isaiah 32:18
Sat: Choose the Better – Luke 10:41-42