Summary: In good families, children have a responsibility to parents, and parents have a responsibility to children.


Text: Ephesians 6:1 – 4


· How many of us feel that we live in the model family?

· Parenting isn’t easy by any means, and for the most part, the best you get is on the job training.

· The Bible makes it clear that good families don’t happen by accident, but by diligence and determination.

· We are going to look at Paul’s advice to the Ephesians about families; we’ll find that in good families, children have a responsibility to parents, parents have a responsibility to children, and then we’ll briefly look at the influence of two sets of parents upon their offspring

I. Children have a responsibility to parents

· Greek for “Children” = anyone of any age living under his parent’s roof

· Paul describes…

A. an Action (v. 1)

· Greek for “Obey” = soldier about to engage in battle listening carefully to orders and instructions of commanding officer – if he doesn’t listen carefully, he may be in the wrong place at the wrong time and lose his life

· Implies carefully listening and carrying out the command

· Not “yeah, yeah, yeah,” but as if life depends upon it

· Clean your room; don’t watch that TV program; mow the grass; don’t stay out too late; don’t hang around with that person; don’t drink that; don’t try that

· Why should you do it? Because it is right (it is what God wants you to do)

· “In the Lord” = implies that they claimed to be Christians

· Part of your witness

· Jesus – stays behind at temple, answering questions and asking questions; knew more than teachers and parents, but Luke writes “he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them; And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” (Luke 2:51, 52)

B. an Attitude (v. 2)

· “Honour” = to treat with respect and value

· Make decisions they would approve of; tell them that you love and appreciate them; obey them; don’t embarrass them by your words or actions; do special things for them without being told; speak highly of them to your friends; don’t argue with them

· Why should you do it? Because God will bless you with a good and long life (v. 3)

· Not a promise…just a general principle

· Follow good instruction = make wise decisions = stay out of trouble and danger

II. Parents have a responsibility to children

· Greek for “Fathers” is sometimes used for both fathers and mothers

· Paul provides…

A. a Caution (v. 4a)

· If we expect our children to be obedient, we should make sure that our rules are reasonable and able to be kept

· We should behave in such a way that they would want to honor us

· Don’t discipline in anger, but because it is the right thing to do; explain why

· Don’t put down, humiliate, say hurtful things

· Don’t lord over the child like a dictator

· Don’t be abusive

· Be consistent and fair; show no favoritism

B. a Command (v. 4b)

· “Nurture” = discipline with love and patience like God disciplines us

· God’s reason for discipline is to instruct us and to restore us to fellowship; it is for our own good, and His goal is that we will be better for it; Parents should discipline like this

· Kids need and want discipline

· One study of juvenile delinquency came to this conclusion: Every baby starts life as a little savage. He is completely selfish and totally self-centered. He wants what he wants when he wants it: his bottle, his mother’s attention, his playmate’s toys, his uncle’s watch. Deny him these things and he seethes with a rage and aggressiveness that would be murderous were he not so helpless. He’s dirty. He has no morals, no knowledge, no developed skills. This means that all children, not just certain children, are born delinquent. If permitted to continue on in their self-centered world of infancy, every child would grow to be a criminal, a thief, a rapist, a killer.

· He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. (Proverbs 13:24)

· “Admonition” = teaching about God, His commandments, and His expectations; instruction in how to become and live like a true Christian

· No guarantees = children have free will, but are more likely to become Christians and live righteously if that is what they have been taught

· Teach them the difference between right and wrong; go to church; pray; read their Bibles; help other people; serve the Lord; pray for them; spend time with them

· Best way to teach is by example

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