Ephesians 6. Children obey! Paul completes the family picture with these verses which are addressed to children.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
Ephesians 6:1-3, NKJV
In Ephesians 5 we learned that wives are to submit to their husbands and husbands are to love their wives. Paul completes the family picture with these verses which are addressed to children. "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right." This is the extension of the commandment, "Honor your father and mother."
The commandment to honor our father and mother comes with a promise from God. "That it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth."
How well have we, as a society, done with this commandment in our 21st century culture? Not very well! Are we to lay the blame of this right at the feet of professing believers? Not necessarily. What is being taught in our schools? What examples do we see on television and in the movies--even the Disney movies?
Children are often portrayed as the only ones in the family who have any sense. The parents are often the foolish ones who need to learn from the example of their wise children. In Disney movies, the hero or heroine is usually quite rebellious and filled with self-love. Is this truly the Biblical example that we want to give to our children? Are we surprised, then, by the rebellious attitude seen in our children today?
From an early age, it is the duty of parents to teach children the Word of God. We should teach them, by our examples and by our words, to love the Lord God above all. Our wills must continually be submitted to God's will. We must teach our children to pray to God for the strength to live their lives according to God's will and not their own. And, we must teach our children the Gospel. Christ came to this world to save sinners.
Our children are not excused from obeying God's Word just because they are still children at home. Proverbs 20:11 tell us, "Even a child is known by his deeds, Whether what he does is pure and right."
As an added thought, here is a question for you. When do we cease to become our parents' children? In other words, when we leave home are we still required to honor our father and mother? Yes! Could it be that our children do not show honor to us because they see the lack of love we show to our own parents? Do they see our own rebellion toward our aging parents?
The commandment is to love and honor our parents in the Lord. Therefore, God's Word always comes first. We, as parents, must be careful that we do not require our children to be disobedient to God's Word. In that circumstance, they should obey God and not us.
Can you imagine what our culture would be like if we truly followed God's Word? What kind of a culture would we have if husbands loved their wives, wives submitted to their husbands, and children obeyed their parents, all within the confines of obedience to God's Word?
Let us, by the grace of God, begin with our own families. Let us seek the strength and power of God to live our lives in a manner which is pleasing to God. Truly, these things are impossible apart from Christ, but in Christ we can do all things!
More Devotions on the 6th Chapter of Ephesians