Introduction to Ephesians 6:1-4
Childen Obey Your Parents
“1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), 3 that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth. 4 And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:1-4).
- Introduction to Ephesians 6:1-4
The way one command can affect our lives is tremendous. In China’s old Chin dynasty, a law that required everyone to have the same width cart tracks brought vast improvement to China’s roads. God’s commands bring incomparably greater help as they reveal God’s hidden truths such as this one in Ephesians 6:1, “Children, obey your parents.”
The command seems rather straightforward in that it calls children to obey their parents, but the more the family unit is attacked and its base weakened, we begin to see the real power embedded in this one command. In a few words, we get a glimpse of how God meant society to be structured through defined relationships.
We talk a lot about politics and what is good for a country, but this is hardly as important as this more basic structure that affects everyone one’s life. As the family goes, so goes the nation. You might think I am exaggerating, but I am not. Let me give you one example. This observation is partially shaped from my own poor family background.
I am involved in following up those who are interested in missions in a large mission’s conference. Our job is to help these individuals to move on into full-time mission work. The more we get involved in this training, however, the need for godly living becomes more apparent. Many people think those who graduate from seminary live godly lives. They think seminary trains them in these areas. Seminaries however, do not train them in these areas. Perhaps, from a historical stance, they never needed to. I am not sure. But in any case, many of those interested in ministry have not been trained how to live godly lives. My guess is that not too many years ago, these things were all developed in the home. Children learned the basic things about responsibility, sacrifice, maintaining relationships, submission, the importance of acting kind and helpful right in the context of the family. But what if that child does not gain that learning there? Where are they to learn it?
My conclusion is that those things not learned at home are hard-learned elsewhere. It is not that they cannot be learned, thanks to God for His grace, but we must be much more deliberate in our training and with regards to our lives in our learning.
Parents, never look down on your responsibility to train godly children. Mothers never despair that your work with your children is unessential. Fathers, train those scriptures into your children. Parents, live out God’s truth before your children. When we are faithfully carrying out our duties, our children will be trained in their persons and be readied for God’s work for them. Gaining a prestigious position, good-paying job, having a great education all run far second to living out a godly life. God never told us to have these things. He has, however, put these commands in Ephesians 6:1-4 before us to shape our lives. These we need to pay heed to. On these we will be judged.
If parents do not bring this obedience into the lives of their children, then those children, who will tomorrow be adults, will not gain the needed foundational principles for life that develop good individuals and strong societies. This is precisely the problem of our crumbling society right now. Why is it that fifty years ago no one locked their doors, but today, probably no one does not lock their doors?
Shaping influences of our modern society upon the family
Here are a number of false concepts that the modern society has produced. Each goes counter to what God’s Word teaches here in Ephesians 6:1-4. Later on, each wrong concept will be revealed as we dangle it before the truth of God’s Word here.
- My main responsibility as a parent is to give my children the best education possible.
- Children know what they should do. I do not need to interfere with their lives.
- I can’t understand my children so I don’t get involved.
- Physical discipline is unfair and can be abusive. I don’t use it.
- Parents and children should be able to make the best decisions together.
- Parents have a right to get real angry at how their child disregards their wishes.
- Children need to learn independence early in life. We need to give them that freedom.
- If you make children do what they don’t want, they will be emotionally scarred.
- I like to give my child his own choice so I don’t tell him what he should believe.
- We know what he watches is not best, but what can we do about it?
- That is the way children are nowadays. (sigh).
We have one chance, parents. We need to hold up God’s commands even if it goes counter to what you believe or think is best. God knows better. If you do well, then your children will live godly lives, be blessed and be enabled to help others in this valuable process. If you refuse, for love of wealth or lack of belief, then you and your children will suffer. God’s promise remains with us.
“Train up a child in the way he should go,
even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
Lord, unless you come and revive the home, our generation will be a very unhappy place to be. We need You to change us parents and children so that we can live by your ways. Help us, O Lord, less we perish from the earth.
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