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Summary: Who we are meant to be as shown by the book of Ephesians.

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Living Out Mutual Honor as Children and Parents

Series: Becoming Who We Are (Engaging Ephesians)

Brad Bailey - March 16, 2014

Intro

Continuing in our series “Becoming Who We Are”…based on the Biblical Book of Ephesians. God did not just do something…He is doing it… by His Spirit…. And it’s about becoming who we are.

So be filled with that Spirit… give yourself to that influence….and this leads into a powerful change from the separation and competition between lives…a submitting to one another…or to state it another way… an ability to live in mutual honor.

Now Paul unpacks that by what it implies for core relationships. Last week….husband and wife.

Today…How God calls forth the mutual honor of child and parent.

This is one of the most sacred and sensitive relationships. [Could play: perhaps Harry Chapin song: Cats in the Cradle]

It’s to that powerful break that God said he would pour out his Spirit and that this would bring a turning back of the heart of father’s to their children…and children to their fathers. That is the work Paul captures in todays text.

Ephesians 6:1-4 (NIV)

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 "Honor your father and mother"--which is the first commandment with a promise-- 3 "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." 4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Some of you might think this topic doesn’t apply to you…because you are not a parent…you don’t have children. You may feel detached from these words. They are relevant for every one of us, because

Every one of us is a child… and

Every one of us has been shaped…and in different by parents and may still be in process.

Every one of us lives in a community of parents and a culture that is raising up the future.

At the heart of life we are fighting for control…and that is played out most dynamically in the relationship between child and parent.

There are lots of major issues involved in parenting… school choices… sports and other activities… but I believe there is one underlying dynamic / issue that is most defining of the whole nature… individuation.

A human life is both separate and connected… and must navigate into the world as such.

We are bound together with a third party…God… out of which mutual honor flows.

We are not two sovereign creatures…if we are restored in relationship with God... that actual center and orbit of life....it defines who we are in relationship to one another.

These words were deemed subversive to Rome and much of the world. In the first century nearly all teaching focused only on the roles and responsibilities of the more powerful and privileged - ¬ husbands, parents, and masters…and Paul resets reality with God as the only ultimate ruler and speaks of wives, children, and servants. They were full participants in the community

Notice he speaks to each…not of what they should impose upon the other….because you can’t impose these things. Rather….to what each should grasp.

Begins with

A Word to Children: “Obey and Honor Your Parents”

Children are to obey and honor their parents.

Before we unpack those terms a little…it’s important to see how this is all centered in God.

• Notice he says… “in the Lord”

Ideally a home is supposed to be IN THE LORD. [1]

That’s the environment, the atmosphere, the climate …under the love and leadership of Christ.

But also it could rightfully reflect that obedience flows from God…and if any authority demands we act in direct opposition to God… one can certainly disobey. This is not a call to obey any command of a parent…to hide abuse or hurt others.

• He says… “it is right”

Obedience is right (v. 1b).

There is a natural order built into the universe…from which order flows. In this sense it is only natural that God would command children to obey their parents. Since the parents brought the child into the world, and since they have more knowledge and wisdom than the child, it is right that the child obey his parents.

Colossians 3:20 (NIV)

Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

Notice that ultimately children are not told to obey parents because it pleases the parent, but because it pleases the Lord. Pleasing one's parents is, of course, a reason for obeying them. But the first reason for obeying parents is that it pleases the Lord. The child is to know the Lord to such a degree that he is continually thinking about the Lord and about pleasing Him.

God is the center around which life flows.

And as such, life generally goes better.

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