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

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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

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