Spirit-Filled Family (Ephesians 6:1-4)
Ephesians 6:1-4, Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
The word children refers to children still living at home. It is worth noting that love that is balanced with submission and a serving spirit brings about blessing. There are two places where Spirit-filled living shows up most—home and work. Children were made by God to glorify God. This great purpose is partly lived out by honoring and obeying their parents in the Lord. Obey means "to submit, to listen, to respond.” Children are to listen to and obey their parents (Proverbs 1:8; 6:20; 13:1; 15:5; 23:22).
A common complaint from teenagers is "My parents don't understand me. They just don’t get it". Teenagers especially need to remember who chose their parents. Who did? God! God chose your parents and in your mother's womb. He took 23 chromosomes from each parent, to give you exactly the traits you need to fulfill His will for your life (Psalm 139:19). So, when you put down your parents, you are putting down God. You didn't choose your parents, but remember your parents didn't choose you either. A Spirit-filled child respectfully obeys his or her parents.
The word honor means "to hold worthy; to value; to respect." Respect and honor for parents is of such grave importance to God that Moses commanded it: (Exodus 21:15, 17; Leviticus 20:9). Honor and obedience are very different. Obedience has to do with action, honor has to do with attitude. Not only are young people to obey their parents, they are to think right and have a good attitude about it. You may not always understand your parent's decisions and directions, but you are to honor and respect them.
Children are observing their parents'. They are witnessing their parents’ relationships with the Lord. The first picture of God children receive is from their parents. Children are watching how their parents obey God. They are watching them pray, study the Bible and worship. Children are observing how their parents value the church. They are watching how their parents are speaking truth lovingly, working honestly, giving generously, encouraging others properly, putting away bitterness and anger repentantly, and forgiving one another (Ephesians 4:25-32). They will get a sense of authority, love and protection from their parents. As they see and treasure this example, it will inevitably point them to the ultimate Father. Behavior flows from the heart (Proverbs 4:23; 20:5; 23:26). Speak to the hearts of your children as you teach them about Christ.
A PRAYER FOR YOUR CHILDREN: Father in Heaven, help me to be the example You would have me to be before my child. I ask that You stir my child’s heart towards obedience. I pray they would be inspired to love You and to serve You faithfully. In Jesus name AMEN!
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