Summary: What God’s Word has to say to children in respect of their duty to parents
Studies In The Christian Family
The Duty of Children
We come this evening to the third of our special series of studies that we have entitled God’s Blueprint for a Happy Family Life. We have been focusing our thoughts mainly on what Paul has to say about this subject in Ephesians chapter 5:22ff and the parallel passage in Colossians 3:18ff. In these two passages Paul addresses each of the members of the family in turn and gives them a keyword, a word that sums up their primary duty in the home in respect of their particular personal relationship to the other members of the family circle. In our first study two weeks ago we considered what Paul had to say to wives and noted that insofar as their relationship to their husbands go their keyword was “SUBMIT” “Wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord…” And we studied what Paul had to say about this and worked out the theological and practical implications of it. Last week we considered what Paul had to say to husbands and noted that their duty towards their wives was summed up in their keyword which was “LOVE” “Husbands love your wives just as Christ loved the Church” and again we looked at that in some detail. Well having dealt with the duty of the wife and the duty of the husband, Paul then moves on to the duty of the children to their parents and follows that up by dealing with the duty of the parents to the children. It is the former of these that we are going to be considering this evening - The duty of Children to their parents. So the spotlight this evening falls particularly on you children and young people who are present this evening and I am very pleased that there are a good number of you here tonight. Its interesting that Paul in this letter speaks directly to children. It shows us that he expected children to be part of the Church and to be part of the congregation when the Church met for worship and for instruction in the things of God. Paul took it for granted that when his letter was being read out, children and young people would be there to hear it, and so he made a point of putting something in this letter for them. Boys and girls, young people, God expects you to be present when the Church meets for worship and for instruction.
Before we begin to look at these verses together I want to remind all of you, but especially the young people who are here tonight that the things that you are going to hear from this pulpit this evening are not simply the ideas, the suggestions, the rules and regulations that this minister or this church has come up with, with regards to this subject. Nor are they the dated, culturally bound, personal views and ideas of the man who wrote this letter, Paul. Rather what you are going to hear this evening is what God has to say about this subject. The apostle Paul was one of the human instruments through whom God made His will known to us. The Holy Spirit inspired Paul in his writing of these letters and that being the case when you take them up and read them or when we study them together as we are doing this evening we are to realise that God is speaking to us. Now I want you to remember that and to realise that what you are going to hear this evening is what God both expects and requires of you in respect of your duty to your parents.
Well lets turn then to the first three verses of Eph 6 and to v20 of Colossians 3 to see what God has to say to us this evening. Thinking of the duty of Children to their parents notice with me in the first place this evening
1) The Nature of The Child’s Duty:
Look at v1. “Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right” OK now turn over a few pages in your Bibles to Colossians 3:20. Now what does it say there? “Children obey your parents…”
Now you remember that I said that Paul gave a keyword to wives – the word Submit; and that he also gave a keyword to husbands – the word Love. Well what is the keyword that he gives here to Children? Well you don’t need to have O levels and A levels to work out the answer to that question because it is so simple. Its not a trick question. It is there in front of you in plain English. What is the keyword for Children? Its OBEY. “Children obey your parents.”