Friday, September 23, 2016

Ephesians 6:1–4

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” 4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. 


Vs. 1 "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right."

Continuing on from his exhortations to wives and husbands, the Apostle Paul now directs his address towards their children. Now children refers to children from the age of their understanding through their teens, right up until they leave their parents home. All children then, especially believing children are commanded by God to obey their parents/guardians in the Lord, for this is right in the sight of the Lord (also see Col. 3:20). Now instilling this critical value in children begins best from an early age, (which may or may not require corporal punishment depending on the child and their temperament), for this not only helps establish the children in the home in a secure and safe environment where their boundaries and responsibilities are clearly known and laid out to them; but it also helps with establishing the home and even society itself, as parents who do so are preparing their children for their own maturing and growth and social integration and ultimately adulthood as they move from one phase of life to the next, all which starts when they first enter school where they will have to obey their teachers and principals, (which if they didn't learn to obey their parents at home then their going to have a difficult transition there), then later to the pressures and responsibilities that come with the teen years and choosing career paths and getting drivers licensees and first jobs etc., and finally as they move into full independence and adulthood, which still requires us all to follow societal rules and laws that are given for the protection and well being of us all. Therefore if there is one thing that all believing parents can do to give their children the best possible start in life, and lay the best possible ground work for them to succeed in life, it begins in the home with teaching them to respect and obey their parents, because it is on that basic ground work on which all other Godly and righteous character attributes are built upon and that mature and responsible adults are established.

Vs. 2-3 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”

To strengthen his exhortation the Apostle Paul now cites God's Law which carries within its commandment "to honor ones father and mother" a promise that God will be with all those who do so (see Exodus 20:12; Deut. 5:16, antithesis seen in Deut. 21:18-21; Matt 15:1-9). Thus the promise of God making ones ways well on the earth, and even the promise of long life is for all those who do so (consider Prov 3:1-2; 4:10).

Vs. 4 "And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord."

The Apostle Paul now addresses the fathers, since they are the heads of their families, and as such the duty and responsibility for their children's training and admonition (i.e preparation for adulthood) rests with him. Now the Apostle Paul to keep fathers from erring in this, now tells them not to provoke their children to wrath by being unfair, unjust, or heavy handed in how they exercise this God given duty, rather they are to bring up their children in the training and admonition of the Lord. Notice this God given responsibility does not rest with the church and their Sunday school programs, but with the father in his home where he must instill in them through the Word of God all Godly values and virtues, if it is going to take root and bear lasting fruits in the child's life anywhere else (consider Prov. 22:6; 2 Tim 3:15). Now to train ones children in the admonition of the Lord (and thus Jesus is the Lord of their household) begins by teaching and instructing them from God's Word, so that they are equipped to live and conduct themselves in a right and just and sound manner throughout their lives. And so they are taught how to respect and obey parents and elders, how to obey all authority and why, how to share and give, how to treat others, how to resolve conflicts, how to keep oneself from the perils of temptations and sin, how to honor God financially, and on it goes, there is nothing that a child cannot learn and prosper by if their parents, and specifically their father, takes the time to give and instill in them the life gifts and tools they will need to successfully navigate through their lives, all which are found in God's Word. Therefore let all fathers be about doing that, learning for themselves, and sharing what they learn with their children, in both word and deed, for nothing instructs and inspires a child more than to see their own father doing what is good and right and sound and just, amen.

Scripture Quotations
The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982.

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