Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, Obey Your Parents

by | Jun 21, 2023 | Ephesians, New Testament

Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
Obey- to listen attentively; to heed or conform to a command or authority:–hearken, be obedient to.

Children are to listen to their parents with the understanding that they are under authority.
They are instructed by God to recognize their position of being under the authority of their parents.
This is the design of family that exists by God’s plan.

Right-innocent, holy, righteous.

Ephesians 6:2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise:

honor– to prize, i.e. fix a valuation upon; to revere, honor, value.
Children ought to see their parents as valuable.
Children are to have a respect for their parents.
They are to have a reverence for their parents.

Respect and reverence are not simply external actions.
There ought to be a corresponding internal respect and reverence.

This means that obeying your parents and honoring them needs in the heart.
Obedience should not be mechanical or unwillingly carried out.
God seeks more than children just “putting up” with their parents.
Obedience and honor towards parents ought to be true in the heart.
Children are not to give a mechanical and grudging obedience.
That is observing the letter of the law, but not the spirit of the law.

Ungodly children are the exact opposite of what Christian children are called to do and be.
We have all seen the gross disrespect and disobedience that many children act out with their parents.
Christian children are supposed to be different.
Ephesians 6:3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”

I. Nature….”For This Is Right” V. 1

A. Children Obeying Their Parents Is Foundational To Humanity

1. We see it in every culture, whether Christian or not.
2. Even Non-Christian people understand the rightness of children obeying the parents.
3. What does that mean? Do not take that lightly.
4. This is not an issue of American culture, or generational preference.
5. It isn’t something that was right in the 1950’s but is now outdated.
6. It is a fundamental and basic law of life, created such by God.
7. Recognizing this brings blessings; refusing it will bring problems.

B. We See It In The Animal Kingdom

1. Adult mammals teaching and caring for their young.
2. Feeding the young, caring for them. Teaching them how to hunt, etc. Disciplining them.
3. We watch young animals at the zoo, and see the adult parent discipline them.
4. We are amused at the young animal and see the rightness of the parent’s response.

C. Christians Are Not Divorced From The Natural Order Of Creation

1. What is true in the animal kingdom & among unbelievers, is certainly true of Christians.
2. This is a most basic observation & truth that is universally accepted among most people.
3. It is fundamental, basic, part of the order of nature, and it is right.

II. The Law…The First Commandment With A Promise.

God gave these commandments to Israel after He led them out of slavery in Egypt. He gave them these commandments as they embarked on their journey to the Promised Land. Honor your father and mother is stated as a commandment here. It had always been the right thing to do, though never “officially” stated as a commandment. God was in a sense “re-stating” that which nature exhibited. God was underlining that which was already known to be true.
Honoring parents didn’t “suddenly” become true in Exodus 20.

A. A Commandment Given To Israel

1. Exodus 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
2. Deuteronomy 5:16 Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
3. Exodus 21:12 He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death.
4. Exodus 21:15 And he who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.
5. Exodus 21:17 And he who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.
6. Strikes should be taken in the context of verse 12: He who strikes a man so that he dies.
7. A child who murders, or attempts the murder of a parent, was to receive capital punishment.
8. Also, he who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death; the idea is of an adult child who threatens their parent.
9. Though this law is severe, it preserves a critical foundation for civilized society: generational respect.
10. The elder generation, as they grow older, is at the mercy of the younger generation – and if the younger generation is allowed to carry on open warfare with the older generation, the very foundations of society are shaken
11. Deuteronomy 21:18-21 “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and who, when they have chastened him, will not heed them, 19 then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city, to the gate of his city. 20 And they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ 21 “Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall put away the evil from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear.
12. Deuteronomy 27:16 Cursed is the one who treats his father or his mother with contempt.

B. A Standard For Us To Live By

1. Honor for our fathers and mothers is an essential building block for the stability and health of all society; if the young are constantly at war with the old, the foundations will be destroyed.
2. Rebellion is costly, and many have paid a high price personally for their rebellion against their parents
3. Proverbs 30:17 The eye that mocks his father, And scorns obedience to his mother, The ravens of the valley will pick it out, And the young eagles will eat it.
4. How many children have NOT followed the godly counsel of their parents and have had ruined lived because of their disobedience.
5. A child that is disobedient to parents, will probably disobey God.
6. So many young people suffer needlessly because they disobey and disregard the teaching and instruction of their parents.

C. Disobeying Parents Is A Mark Of Ungodliness

1. Romans 1:28-31
2. 2 Timothy 3:1-5

III. Grace… “ In The Lord,”

A. Jesus Obeyed His Earthly Parents-Luke 2:42-51

1. At age 12, Jesus had an understanding of his heavenly mission.
2. Though He understood that He was there to be about His heavenly Father’s work, He did not think that He would not need to obey Joseph and Mary.

B. Children Ought To Consider God’s Grace, And Be Motivated To Obey

1. The supreme reason for children to obey their parents is this:

a. It is pleasing to Jesus Christ.
b. It is honoring to Jesus Christ.
c. Our obedience is a sign of our love towards Jesus Christ.
d. Nature dictates it…
e. The Law commands it…
f. But children ought to obey their parents because God asks them to.

2. This is an important way for Christian children to honor God.
3. Notice, this is not a simple exhortation to children to obey, much as you might find in a pamphlet or booklet on parent-child relationships written from a secular point of view.

a. It is not simply “Children, obey your parents.”
b. It is “Children, obey your parents in the Lord.”
c. The key to the whole command is in the Lord.

4. As we saw in regard to the wife, who is to submit herself to her husband as unto the Lord, …

a. So it is with the child to the parent.
b. Children are to obey their parents, for Christ’s sake.

5. That is the point he makes.

a. They are to obey, not because this is what their parents want, so much as because this is what the Lord Jesus wants.
b. This is their responsibility to Christ.
c. They cannot possibly fulfill their desire to belong to Him, and to reflect his life, unless they are willing to obey their parents.
d. This is the ground upon which the apostle puts it.