Summary: The Bible has a lot to say about families. This scripture in Ephesians reveals that parents and children both have responsibilities.
DUTIES OF CHILDREN AND PARENTS
Text: Ephesians 6:1 – 4
According to a survey by the Ladies Home Journal:
o About a third of all mothers spend ten or more hours per day with their children; another 47 percent devote four to nine hours daily. Eighty-two percent consider at least half of their parenting hours “quality time.”
o Almost every mother polled (98 percent) says she has a close relationship with her children.
o Ninety-nine percent say their fondest hope for their children is for them to be good people. They’d also like their kids to someday have happy marriages (97 percent), successful careers (79 percent) and children of their own (75 percent). Just 19 percent want their offspring to be rich.
o No mother feels she’s doing everything perfectly. Three quarters wish they could give their children more guidance and advice. Sixty-nine percent said they’d also like to give their kids more attention. And nearly 80 percent of moms with full-time jobs wish they could give more of both.
o Certainly, mothers have an important job to do, and today we take time to honor our mothers for their love and care.
o The Bible has a lot to say not only about mothers, but also the family in general. Today we are going to look at what it says about the duties of children and the duties of parents.
I. Duties of Children
A. Obey your parents (v. 1)
• Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary – to follow the commands or guidance of; to conform to or comply with (an order)
• Greek is in the imperative mood – a command to be followed with or without your approval
• Submit – to yield oneself to the authority or will of another; to permit oneself to be subjected to something
• Suggests that you decide to yield to someone else’s authority
• “In the Lord” – as you would obey the Lord
o If the Lord told you to clean your room, would you do it?
o If the Lord told you to be home at 11:00, would you do it?
o If the Lord told you to be nice to your little brother or sister, would you do it?
• Learning to obey your parents prepares you to obey others in your life – teachers, employers, government, law enforcement, God
• Rules are for your own protection and benefit
o Clean your room teaches you to be organized
o Be home at 11:00, keeps you out of dangerous situations
o Be nice to your brother teaches you to get along with other people, even when you disagree
• Contrary to what you think, you DON’T know everything, and your parents DO know what’s best for you
• Why should you obey your parents?
o “for this is right” – this is approved by and acceptable to God
o Colossians 3:20 “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.”
o This is what God expects a child to do
B. Honor your parents (vv. 2, 3)
• Greek word translated “honor” 19x, “value” 2x
• Implies showing the worth of something
• Other than God, your parents are your most valuable resource
• How do you “honor” or “show the value” of your parents?
o By treating them with respect
o By doing what they say
o By recognizing their sacrifice
o By speaking highly of them
o By doing things to please them
o By taking care of them
• Why should you honor your parents?
o “That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth”
o Not a guarantee that if you do what your parents say that you will live to be 100
o Generally speaking, if you follow good advice you will avoid trouble and danger in your life
o Mom telling me not to get in a car with others who were drinking
o Mom telling me not to play in the road
o Proverbs 6:20 – 23 “My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:”
II. Duties of Parents
• Word translated “fathers” can refer to both parents
A. Don’t exasperate your children (v. 4a)
• Exasperate – excite the anger of; to irritate or to annoy; to make more grievious
• Children should obey their parents
• Parents should not lay a heavy burden on their children