Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another (1 John 4:7-11).
God commands us to love one another. In verse 8, He tells us that if we don’t love each other, we don’t know God, because God is love.
We all know how the world tends to define love; the warm fuzzy feeling you get when you’re with a friend you like, or the affection you feel towards your siblings, family, and friends.
But what is real love? How does our Creator define it?
1 Corinthians 13:4-8–Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
So here we can see that real love isn’t just some mysterious, undefined feeling like the world thinks it is. Real love is an action, something that we do. In fact, God says that in 1 John 3:16-18.
We all know that as Christians, we have God as our heavenly Father. How does He say we are to love him?
1 John 2:3-5 (Remember that, in chapter 4, He says that we know God if we love Him. Knowing God is rather essential to our salvation, don’t you think? **Author note: Find the scripture about needing to know God**)
- John 15:10—If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
- If ye love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15).
- 1 John 5:2-3 specifically says that the love of God is to keep His commandments.
We also learn that if we are to love other Christians, we must keep God’s commandments. So how are we to love our earthly parents? One way is by obedience.
- Ephesians 6:1-3—Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
- Colossians 3:20—Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
When God repeats Himself, He’s usually trying to make a point.
- In Romans 1:30, He lists disobedience to parents as one of the sinful qualities of those who didn’t like to retain God in their knowledge.
- In Proverbs 1:8-9, He says that the law and instruction of our parents will be like ornaments of gold to us if we listen.
Jacob was obedient to his mother by lying to his father Isaac. Should we obey our parents if they tell us to do something sinful? What does God say (Matt 10:37)?
What reward do we get for obeying God’s laws above all others (Matt 19:29)?
What does God say about lying? If we are truthful to our parents, does it show that we love them and our Heavenly Father too?
What is an abomination? How about roaches in your milk and fly guts on your bread toast? How does God feel about lying then (Pro. 12:22)?
How else can we love our parents? What about by being wise?
So how can we be wise?
We can also love our parents by giving them honor. What is honor? The Greek word is tama’o, means “To value or honor.” It has a strong connotation of support or taking care of needs.
Mark 7:10 (God thought that cursing your parents was worthy of death)
God thought that honor was very important, so much so, that He included it in the Ten Commandments (Ex 20:12).
So how do we value/honor our parents? What about by taking care of them when they are old?
- 1 Tim 5:3-4, 8
- Matt 15:1-9
- The Pharisees were condemned for not taking care of their parents and giving the money to the temple instead. Is it right to do good works? Yes. What about if we do them instead of something else God has commanded us?
- How do all of these things fit with God’s definition of love in 1 Cor. 13:4-8?
What are some examples we have of people who didn’t love their parents? What were the consequences of their not loving their parents?
- Absalom – 1Sam 15:23 (What God thinks of rebellion)
- What happened as a result of his rebellion?
- Joseph’s brothers – 1 Gen 37:18-35
- What did we learn about lying in Pro 26:28?
- Eli’s sons – 1 Sam 2:22-25
How should we respond to chastening and rebuke?
- Proverbs 15:5—A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.
- Proverbs 13:1—A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner hea
reth not rebuke.
- Proverbs 13:24—He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
- Proverbs 3:11-12—My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction:
- 12 For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
So what are some examples of people who did love their parents?
- Esther obeyed Mordecai in Esther 2:11, 20,
- In 1 Sam 3:2-18 Samuel cared for Eli when he could not see. He also obeyed Eli when Eli told him how to answer God. He was truthful when Eli asked him what God had said.
- Ruth cared for Naomi when Naomi became a widow. Ruth 1:8-7; 2:2, 17-18
- Joseph obeyed his father when Jacob sent him to find his brothers ( 37:13-17). He also honored his father by taking care of him when he ruled Egypt (Gen. 45:9-13; 47:11-12).
- David obeyed Jesse when he sent him to take food to his brothers (1 Sam. 17:12-22).
Christ was subject to his parents when he was a child (Luke 2:40-51). He also honored his mother by making sure she was provided for before she died (John 19:25-27). (See Galatians 1:19 and 2:9 also consider the brother of Jesus