Summary: 59th message from Ephesians discussing the responsibility of parents toward their children.

“Nurturing Parents”

Children obey your parents who are to bring them up 6:1-4


Last week we covered children’s responsibility before God toward their parents.

Obey them

Honor them

Treat them respectfully

Live wise and godly lives

That is also how we honor our heavenly Father.

Care for them compassionately

We honor our heavenly Father by caring for others.


Last week we mentioned the possibility of diverting tithe to the care of your parents.

Just to be clear, that is not the first approach but if there was no other way, God would have us honor Him by honoring our parents. “In that you give to the least of these you give to Me.”


Today we want to focus on what God has to say to fathers. Try as I would, I could not get the passage to include mothers. This is not addressed to parents but fathers. If he would have wanted to include mothers he would have used the same word he used in verse one “children obey your parents”. The following instruction is addressed primarily to FATHERS! The wife is the willing support in this responsibility but not the primary responsible party. It is the father’s responsibility and privilege to take the lead in the training of the children in the home. It is the opposite of the current trend. It is the opposite of what was practiced in Paul’s day. Men have abandoned their God-assigned role as trainer in the things of God. Today there are more and more single parent homes. New studies come out every day revealing the devastating effects of absent or abusive fathers. The father’s role in the home is vital to the healthy development of children.

Being and producing followers who genuinely love a obey God and effectively love and serve people begins in the home with the fathers. Children long for the approval of their fathers.

Mothers are wonderful and admired but there is some vital dynamic to the role of the father in the healthy development of a child both male and female. Some who are now adults continue to seek and pursue the approval and blessing of their father.

A 2009 study reported that there were 13.7 million single parent homes up from 9.8 million in 2000. 84% mothers and 16% fathers. The majority of those nearly 22 million children grew up without fathers.

The facts clearly reveal the negative effects on children who grow up without fathers.

Incarceration Rates. "Young men who grow up in homes without fathers are twice as likely to end up in jail as those who come from traditional two-parent families... (Cynthia Harper of the University of Pennsylvania and Sara S. McLanahan of Princeton University cited in "Father Absence and Youth Incarceration." Journal of Research on Adolescence 14 (September 2004): 369-397.)

Suicide. 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of the Census)

Behavioral Disorders. 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes (United States Center for Disease Control)

High School Dropouts. 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes (National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools.)

Educational Attainment. Kids living in single-parent homes or in step-families report lower educational expectations on the part of their parents, less parental monitoring of school work, and less overall social supervision than children from intact families. (N.M. Astore and S. McLanahan, American Sociological Review, No. 56 (1991)

Juvenile Detention Rates. 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes (U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report, Sept 1988)

Confused Identities. Boys who grow up in father-absent homes are more likely that those in father-present homes to have trouble establishing appropriate sex roles and gender identity.(P.L. Adams, J.R. Milner, and N.A. Schrepf, Fatherless Children, New York, Wiley Press, 1984).

Aggression. In a longitudinal study of 1,197 fourth-grade students, researchers observed "greater levels of aggression in boys from mother-only households than from boys in mother-father households." (N. Vaden-Kierman, N. Ialongo, J. Pearson, and S. Kellam, "Household Family Structure and Children's Aggressive Behavior: A Longitudinal Study of Urban Elementary School Children," Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 23, no. 5 (1995).

Achievement. Children from low-income, two-parent families outperform students from high-income, single-parent homes. Almost twice as many high achievers come from two-parent homes as one-parent homes. (One-Parent Families and Their Children, Charles F. Kettering Foundation, 1990).

Delinquency. Only 13 percent of juvenile delinquents come from families in which the biological mother and father are married to each other. By contrast, 33 percent have parents who are either divorced or separated and 44 percent have parents who were never married. (Wisconsin Dept. of Health and Social Services, April 1994).

Criminal Activity. The likelihood that a young male will engage in criminal activity doubles if he is raised without a father and triples if he lives in a neighborhood with a high concentration of single-parent families. Source: A. Anne Hill, June O'Neill, Underclass Behaviors in the United States, CUNY, Baruch College. 1993

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