1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, because this is right. 2 Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise, 3 so that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life in the land. 4 Fathers, don’t stir up anger in your children, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. — Ephesians 6:1-4
by Michael Munson
Verses 1 and 2 are calling children to obey their parents and to honor their father and mother. There is a difference between obeying and honoring. To obey means to do as one is told. To honor means to respect and to love. Children are not commanded to disobey God in obeying their parents. If our faith in Christ is real, it will usually prove itself at home, in our relationships with those who know us best.
Children and parents have a responsibility to each other. Children should honor their parents even when they think the parent is being demanding and unfair. Parents should care gently for their children even if the children disobey and are unpleasant. The purpose of parental discipline is to help children grow, not to exasperate and provoke them to anger or discouragement.
Fifteen months ago my wife and I started the journey of trying to adopt our friend’s foster child and his newly born brother. Adding both of them to our lives has been both a blessing and a great journey. We currently have four kids. My faith as a Christian and as a parent is tested on a daily basis. Loving Christ first in our own life serves as the best way to put everything in perspective as the busyness and issues with our children come up every day.
- In what ways does being a parent test your faith in Christ?
- In what ways do you struggle with being a child and honoring your parents?
- How can we allow the Holy Spirit to help us with Christlike behaviors and actions?
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.