Paul had just told the Ephesians how to walk through life in a loving way, in the light, and in wisdom. Now he prescribes how God wants things to work within a Christian family.
Read Ephesians 6:1-4.
In this section of Scripture, Paul addresses the whole family: dad, mom, and kids. Each member of the family is important but each has a different role. Remember what we learned about husbands and wives? The husband is the leader but he needs to love his wife. The wife is to submit to her husband's leadership. But what about the children? Children must obey both their parents in the Lord. But what does that mean? Does it mean that children should only obey Christian parents? No, that's not it. Take a quick look at Colossians 3:20. There Paul says that obedience to parents pleases the Lord. If you want to please the Lord, you should listen to and obey your parents because it is the right thing to do. But don't stop there. You should have a proper respect for them as well. Did you know that this is also one of the Ten Commandments? God promised there and here that, if you honor your parents, you will have a long life. Do you remember King David's son Absalom? He did not honor his father but fought against him so he could become the king. He was killed in the battle. Remember Eli's wicked sons, Hophni and Phinheas? They did not listen to their father's warnings and died early, too. These are only two examples. But they both show how not honoring your parents will lead to a shortened life. Fathers can help with this as well. God wants fathers to bring up their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord without provoking them to become angry. A good Christian father should teach his children how to know the Lord and how God wants them to live. But he must be careful how he does it. If he is unreasonable or unnecessarily rough with the kids, they will become exasperated and angry. In the end, if both the parents and children seek to please the Lord by doing their part, the Lord will bless that family.
- What two things are children commanded to do?
- What does it mean to obey "in the Lord?"
- What does God promise to children who honor their parents?
- Fathers should not exasperate their children. Look up the word "exasperate" in a dictionary and write the definition here.