Summary: Paul continues his expansion on the concept of submission he introduced in verse 21 by describing what it should look like in the parent / child relationship.

1. A Spirit-filled home requires submissive children (6:1-3)

a. Submissive children obey their parents (6:1)

b. Submissive children honor their parents (6:2)

c. Submissive children bless their parents (6:3)

2. A Spirit-filled home requires submissive parents (6:4)

a. Parents who are submissive to God’s order (And you, fathers)

b. Parents who are submissive to God’s design (do not provoke your children to wrath)

c. Parents who are submissive to God’s Word (bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord)


A young single preacher took his first part-time church while he was going to seminary. He preached a message one Sunday called, “10 Facts On How To Raise Perfect Children.” A few years later, he got married and they had their first child. He pulled out the old sermon to preach it again, but decided to retitle it, “10 Suggestions on How to Raise Healthy Children.” After the second child was born a couple of years later, it was time to preach it again. This time he titled it, “10 Possibilities for Parenting Children.” Well, the third child came. This time he revised the whole thing and called it “10 Prayers for Parents.” Several years later when they became teen-agers, he burned the message and wrote a new one simply titled, “Help Me Jesus.” By no stretch of the imagination is parenting an easy job. While parenting can be one of the biggest blessings God gives us, it can also be one of the most frustrating. When parents leave the hospital with their newborn babies, they aren’t given an instruction manual. At least we aren’t given one by the hospital. But God’s Word gives very specific instructions on how to raise our children the right way. That is what we’re looking at this morning. We’re looking at this very familiar passage that we love to pull out on our kids every time they mess up. But they aren’t the only ones this passage speaks to. Be careful mom’s and dad’s when you start to poke them with that elbow. Because this passage pokes an elbow in all our ribs. In it, Paul continues with the subject of submission that he started back in verse 21. Except here he does it in the context of the parent / child relationship. Some of you might think this message doesn’t apply to you. But, guess what? You’re wrong. Everyone here is either a parent or a child. All of us are in different stages of our lives, but so were the Ephesian Christians Paul was writing to. Remember that his teaching on parents and children is in the bigger context of verse 21 that we looked at a couple of weeks ago. All Christians should be filled with the Spirit. And in order to be filled with the Spirit, we must submit to one another. The first picture of submitting to one another he gave us was the marriage relationship. This morning we’re looking at the second picture—the parent/child relationship. The next time you find yourself complaining about the way kids act today, I want you to ask yourself a question—is that the way I act in the church? Do I act spoiled rotten and selfish? Do I throw a tantrum when things don’t go how I think they should? See, even though these verses talk specifically about parents and children, in reality they talk to each of us. We’re going to be looking at the two requirements for having a Spirit-filled home. Whether it’s the family that lives under the roof of your house or the family of God that lives under this roof—the same requirements apply. The first requirement of having a Spirit-filled home is that it requires having submissive children. It requires having submissive children and submissive children behave in three ways—they obey their parents, they honor their parents, and they bless their parents. First, submissive children obey their parents. Look with me at verse 1:


Submissive children obey their parents. We have no better example of this than the Lord Jesus Himself. Turn with me back to Luke 2. We won’t read this whole passage because you know the event. Starting in verse 41, we find the only Scriptural reference to Jesus’ behavior as a child. Because Mary and Joseph were good, God-fearing Jewish parents, they obeyed God’s Law. And part of God’s Law was for all Jews to go to the temple in Jerusalem once a year to celebrate the Passover. This time when they went, Jesus was 12 years old. And something happened to Mary and Joseph that scares most parents to death. They lost their child. They were traveling in a large caravan of people when they left to go back home. After they had been traveling for a day, they looked for Jesus and couldn’t find Him. I can hear them now. Mary looks at Joseph: “I thought He was with you.” Joseph looks back and says, “Well I thought He was with you.” Well, He wasn’t with either of them. It took them a full day to get back to Jerusalem and another day to find Him. And when they did, He was back in Jerusalem at the temple. He hadn’t been disobedient. He’d just gotten left behind. And when He got left behind, He stayed in His Father God’s house—the temple. Now, look what verse 51-52 says about Jesus:

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