by Pastor Terry Gurno
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12)
This commandment is so important because it lists the value of your family. The family is the birthplace of a lot of things, and we are going to talk about five of those things in this study.
1) FAMILY IS THE BIRTHPLACE OF YOUR VALUES
Your family is the birthplace of your values. It teaches us those things that you hold to be important, those things that you would literally give your life for. We know that values are caught much more than they are taught.
By the time that your child is a teen, they identify with their parents values, not by what they said, but by what they lived. The same is true for you. When you were a teen, you could identify with your parents values, not by what they said, but by how they lived.
One of the biggest frustrations, one of the biggest internal battles people face is balancing the things they say are valuable with the way they live their lives. Although we say we value something, unless our behavior matches that, it is incongruent values and it creates this tension inside of us. Values are really taught in the home.
2) FAMILY IS A RELATIONSHIP TRAINING CENTER
The second thing about a family is that it’s a relationship training center. We learn how to interact with one another, how to treat each other, we learn how or how not to express affection for one another
I am very affectionate towards my family, not only verbally, but with touch, and with other people, I am not. Some of us have what they call public space and private space and intimate space. I will admit, as much as I love people, there was a time in my life where I did not appreciate anyone getting into my intimate space by reaching out to simply pat my shoulder or hug me.
It was not uncommon for someone to get close to me and be talking and I would be backing up and tuning them out, trying to reate a comfortable distance between us, not even knowing I was doing that. Some of you do the same thing.
You know why? Because there was no verbal or physical demonstration of love in our family. None. I was so uncomfortable telling my mother I loved her, because I never had. I felt it, but it was a struggle to say those words.
In the past three years, preaching here among this church of huggers, I have been transformed. I have learned that backing away from friendly affection is not someone I am or want to be again. Your relationships at home were the birthplace of how you handle spoken and unspoken conflict and affection..
3) FAMILY IS WHERE WE LEARN ABOUT AUTHORITY
What a person learns about authority in the home will result in how they relate to authority once they leave home. There are many authority figures in our lives: coaches, teachers, government officials, pastors, and ultimately God.
A child learns to obey God by first learning to obey his or her parents. Family is literally the boot camp for life. If we don’t learn respect for authority figures in the home, God will teach us in other places.
There once was a young man who said, “You know what? I am fed up with the rules. I want to do what I want to do. Nobody is going to tell me what to do, where to go, when to come back, when to get up, when to go to bed, I am joining the Marines!” And what’s the first thing the Marines are going to teach him? Respect for authority.
The sad thing is there are some parents who would rather be their children’s friend, than the authority figure in their child’s life. I heard it as a youth pastor, and I have heard it as a Pastor, from teens who think it is so cool that their dad is willing to crack open a cold beer with them and sit down and just talk. They think that is so cool.
Here’s what I believe: I don’t think that child thinks its cool, not really, because we all want values to be modeled for us. We just don’t want someone to be like us, or to act like us, we want someone we can be like. We want models.
4) FAMILY IS WHERE WE LEARN OUR VALUE AS A HUMAN
We first learn our value as a human being in the home. We literally see ourselves through the eyes of our parents, brothers and our sisters. So the way we are treated in the home, good or bad, shapes us. It shapes the way we see ourselves.
If we were accepted, encouraged, praised, if we were ignored, criticized, belittled, all of that shapes us and we determine our worth and value as a human being.
5) FAMILY IS WHERE WE LEARN ABOUT FAITH
Most children leave home with a very similar faith of that of their parents. I know that is true of me. So if our parents modeled a genuine faith in God in the home, there is a good chance by the time the child leaves, or shortly after they leave, they have a genuine faith in their lives.
Not always, not 100%, but at some point, they are going to come back to that. Home is literally a training ground for relationships, not only with one another, but with God.
And so, are we modeling faith? Are we praying together as a family for our needs? Do we believe our needs are needs that only God can meet? Do we allow our children to see the miracles? And does God work miracles? Absolutely!
In fact, a nurse down at the hospital on the oncology floor recently shared a story about a young lady who has had leukemia since September and who has been blind for the past 60 to 90 days. Last night she went into remission and can now see, just like that. I would like to call that a miracle of God. But if we are not praying for those kind of miracles, how can we identify them as miracles?