Ephesians 6:1-4 - Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Many times when we read Ephesians 6, we blow right past this first part about children obeying their parents. Yep, children should obey their parents...got it...what’s next.
Consider some of these Old Testament fun facts to know and tell: In the Old Testament, honoring parents was absolutely critical, and it was considered so important that disobedience by your children was compared to disrespecting God himself. Also in the OT, child disobedience was considered to be on the same level as idol worship (Ex. 21:15, 17; Lev. 19:1-4). Have you ever noticed that the commandment of honoring your mother and father comes right after the first four commandments which have to do with God’s holiness? Coincidence? Ultimately, in early Jewish culture, the honor of the entire family was at stake based on the behavior of the children; however, obedience of your children is not just an OT phenomenon.
Scripture, in the OT and NT, calls for children to show honor, respect, and a healthy “fear” of their parents similar to a godly fear of Christ himself (Eph. 5:21). Do you get a sense that obedience of your children is really important? So, what’s a parent to do?
Children obeying their parents is an important part of discipleship. It is just as important as teaching them about prayer and bible study and the other spiritual disciplines.
• Why do you think Scripture places such a high value on child obedience?
• How does exercising obedience ultimately relate to their relationship with God?
• Action - Spend some time in prayer praising God for his ultimate example of parenting through love, grace, mercy, and obedience (in Jesus).