This week's Small Group Guide is composed of questions from this week's GPS Guide. The questions relate to the Scripture for that particular day. You can download the full week's GPS as a printable document for the context of each question below (in the printable version, the recommended small group questions are marked with a special bullet point.)
Are there dimensions to “honoring” your father and mother that go beyond the one idea of “obeying” them? How do increasing levels of maturity and independence affect both “honoring” and “obeying”? Do parents ever make demands their child cannot obey “in the Lord”? How important, at various ages, is it to obey your parent(s) when what they ask goes against your wishes, but not against God’s teachings?
The fifth commandment specifically mentioned “father” and “mother.” Do you believe the principle behind the commandment extended to grandparents as well? Our culture delivers a steady stream of messages about the awfulness of growing older. Are there ways that signs of age lead you to think less, even subtly, of yourself or other people? In practical terms, what might it mean to honor your grandfather(s) and grandmother(s)?
“Jewish people could vow and dedicate property to the temple (corban means “consecrated to God”). One could thus render property forbidden for others’ use. Some exploited the loophole that this practice created; one could dedicate for sacred use what instead should be used to care for aged parents.”* Jesus clearly took the fifth commandment seriously, even providing for his mother’s care from the cross (cf. John 19:25-27). Are you aware of “loopholes” that people today may use to avoid caring for aging parents?
It is easy to overlook one significance of the fifth commandment’s call to “honor your father and your mother.” In patriarchal societies (and at times in today’s divided families), children may want to honor one parent while ignoring or even trying to tear down the other one. How, when parents do not agree, can children still seek to creatively and honestly honor both parents, even when they may disagree with one (or both) of them?
* Zondervan, NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, eBook (Kindle Locations 226557-226559). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
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