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Date: September 20, 2020
The Point: Honor for parents is seen in our words and actions.
Get Into the Study
Use the following story as an alternate introduction to today’s session. Follow up by asking Question #1.
When COVID-19 was first making its way through the United States earlier this year, many people had to get creative with how they could visit their loved ones. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities across the country stopped welcoming visitors in order to protect their at-risk residents, leaving many elderly people completely isolated from their loved ones. Charlie Johnson, of Anoka, Minnesota, found a way to keep visiting his father—he talks to him on the phone while sitting in a lawn chair outside his nursing home window. Before COVID-19 forced nursing homes to temporarily adjust visitor policies, Charlie visited his father most days after work. He has continued that practice even during a global pandemic.
Honoring our parents doesn’t always look the way it did when we were young. As parents age, God’s call to honor them can also look like being present for them, and protecting them from the loneliness and isolation that often afflicts the elderly. Consistently being present in our parents’ lives is one of the best ways we can honor our parents as adults. Right now, consider picking up the phone and checking in with them, even for a few minutes, on a daily basis.
Ashley Emmert is a freelance writer and full-time mama from Chicago, where she lives with her husband and two busy little boys.
Get Into the Study [Additional Option for Adult Leader Guide]
In advance, play a video clip of a famous person reminiscing about a favorite memory with his or her parents. Then ask Question #1.
Study the Bible
Use the following story in your study of Exodus 20:12.
Take 3-5 minutes and don’t think about your parents as your parents. Simply see them as people who have various interests, just like your friends and colleagues have. This could include hobbies or other activities they do when they have some free time. Now list as many of those interests as you can think of. (If you can’t think of any, see the note at the end.)
Now that you have a list, pick one interest you could support in some way. You could show your support with a gift, or by asking them about a recent experience around it, or another way. Be creative. What’s one thing you could do to show your awareness of their interests?
Exodus 20:12 is God’s clear command for us to honor our parents. One way we honor them is invest in our relationship with them. What do they enjoy? How can you support this interest? Consider what steps you can take this week to honor your mom and dad by supporting them as they pursue interests, activities, and hobbies.
Note: If you can’t think of any interests, activities, or hobbies that your parents have, consider making it a point to ask them. Sometimes we are surprised to find the people close to us are strangers in some way. Take some time to honor your parents by asking them what their interests are.
Study the Bible [Additional Option for Advanced Teacher Guide]
Download a family tree template for use with the Optional Idea (p. 18).
- Who are some of your favorite TV parents?
- As people grow older, how do their attitudes about their parents change?
- What are some of the best lessons parents can teach?
- Why are God’s blessings linked to the way we honor our parents?
- Why do people assume it’s acceptable to stop honoring parents?
- How do we honor our parents without endorsing previous sinful behavior?
2 Samuel 15:7-12
- When have you seen loving honesty help honor parents and improve relationships?
- What does it look like when a person is living a life of integrity?
- How could Absalom have sought the kingship of Israel with integrity?
2 Samuel 15:13-14
- What are some ways you empathize with David in this passage?
- What can adult children do to aid their parents’ well-being?
- How can our group help promote the welfare of parents?
For Those in Your Group
Send one of the following links to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.