Summary: Children obey your parents

Ephesians 6:1-4

John Shearhart

July 18, 2010


I remember the first time Lily (my oldest child) hit me. It’s easy to remember because it was also the last time. She was in trouble for something, so I planned to spank her, and I told her to put her hands on the bed. Instead she sat down crying, and when I went to pick her up she turned and intentionally slapped my face. I don’t need to go into what happened next, but I can say that I think she learned from it…it’s never happened again.

I start this way this morning because our text deals with the father’s role in the obedience and discipline of children. Obedient children don’t typically become that way by accident; they require a lot of training from loving parents.

Last week we saw that all of us are to submit to each other, and we saw that husbands and wives demonstrate this submission through their roles in marriage.

Our text this morning continues to give practical feet to what it means to submit as it addresses children with their parents.

Children and Fathers

1. Children must obey and honor their parents as a part of righteousness (:1-3)

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise), 3SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH.

Colossians three parallels this verse:

Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord. (Colossians 3:20)

Paul tells the children that obedience “is right” or “well-pleasing.” The Greek word for “right” is a word used to describe righteousness. It’s the same word Paul uses in Romans 3:10 when he says, “There is none righteous.” Paul says, “Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is righteousness.” All of us (regardless of age) have to walk in a manner worthy of our calling, and for children that includes obedience to their parents.

Not only are they to obey, but they’re to honor or revere or show respect for their parents. Remember the story of Noah’s son, Ham (Gen. 9:20-25)? Noah got off the ark and got drunk. He passed out while naked, and Ham saw it, but rather than cover him up, Ham dishonored his father by telling his two brothers. When Noah woke up and found out what had happened he cursed Ham and God honored the curse: Ham was Canaan.

Disobedient children is something God takes very seriously:

If any man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father or his mother, and when they chastise him, he will not even listen to them, 19then his father and mother shall seize him, and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gateway of his hometown. 20"They shall say to the elders of his city, 'This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey us, he is a glutton and a drunkard.' 21"Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death; so you shall remove the evil from your midst, and all Israel will hear of it and fear. (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)

He who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. 16"He who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death. 17"He who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. (Exodus 21:15-17)

Notice that striking a parent and cursing a parent sandwich kidnapping.

The eye that mocks a father and scorns a mother, the ravens of the valley will pick it out, and the young eagles will eat it. (Proverbs 30:17)

Then [Elisha] went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, young lads came out from the city and mocked him and said to him, "Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead!" 24When he looked behind him and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two female bears came out of the woods and tore up forty-two lads of their number. (II Kings 2:23-24)

In Romans Paul describes the wickedness of the Gentiles who have rejected God:

And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. (Romans 1:28-32)

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