You are on page 1of 6

”Children, Obey Your Parents!


(Ephesians 6:1-3)

Introduction: Children, in the many sermons that have been given


in this church, it may seem to you as though not many of them are
directed at you. This is both true and false. Actually, most
every command the Lord gives to your parents, He gives to you as
well. You are to be godly, to turn from sin and wickedness, to
grow in grace and knowledge of your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
to fight the good fight of faith, and prepare yourself for the day
of God’s judgment, as well as anyone else. There are really few
times the Bible specifically centers in on any one group. But, as
you have probably already noticed, this part of Ephesians is one of
those places. After commanding special duties to the husbands and
wives as to their place in God’s authority structure, He then turns
to the part that children are to play in the family. And what the
Spirit of God is saying to you this morning is,

Children, you are to obey and honor your parents for the
Lord’s sake, and you will have a long and fruitful life on this
earth. (And don’t forget, everyone here is a child of parents,
so this is for all of you).

I. Children, You Are to Obey and Honor Your Parents.


A. You Are to Obey Them Because of Their God-Given Office.
1 . The Lord has given to your parents the right of rule in
your house.
a. The Lord has established this authority from the
creation.
b. He has given to your parents an office which gives
them authority over you as their children.
(il Remember, that does not mean that you are a
second class citizen.
(iil You are equally valuable in the sight of God.
(iiil But even as the President of the United States
has more authority than you, because of his
office, so your parents have authority over
you.

2. Your parents have authority over you because this is


right.
a. You have derived your life from them.
(il Your physical life is derived from their life.
(iil The spiritual aspect of your life is derived
from God, a special act of creation.
(iiil But apart from their love and covenant
together as man and wife, humanly speaking,
you would not be.
(ivl You came from them.

b. They have also supplied all your needs.


(il They have met all of your needs out of their
own personal means.
(iil You don’t realize all that they’ve done for
2

you.
You won’t fully realize it until you are
(iiil
grown, married and have children of your own.
c. They are greater in knowledge and wisdom.
(il They have already faced many of the problems
that you are facing and have gained a lot of
experience.
(iil Because of this, they are qualified to help
you learn how to deal with life’s situations.

d. But most importantly, this is the Lord’s will.


(il He says, ”This is right.”
(iil Col. 3 : 20 says, ”Children, be obedient to your
parents in all things, for this is
well-pleasing to the Lord’’ [Bruce 1211.
(iiil The main reason why you should obey your
parents is because this is the way He has
established the authority structure.
(ivl It is right because God has made it so.

3. On account of this, you are to obey your parents.


a. Disobedience to your parents is a very serious
violation of God’s law.
(il In the OT, a rebellious child would be brought
to the elders of Israel and would be stoned to
death for dishonoring his or her parents.
(iil I don’t believe the Lord requires this penalty
today, but it should be a strong warning to
you that it is a serious offense.
(iiil The NT tells us that it is a very evil sin.
(a1 <Romans 1: 28-32>.
(bl <2 Tim. 3 : 1-5>.

b. If you as a child lay claim to godliness, your duty


is to obey your parents.
(il If your parents are Christians, realize that
they have only the best in mind for you.
(a1 They want to see you live for Christ’s
glory.
(bl They don’t want to see you go the way of
the world: into drugs, alcohol, gangs,
and sexual immorality.
(cl These are the paths of the dead who are
walking straight into hell.
(dl Their concern is to establish your
footsteps in the paths of life.

(iil And even if your parents are not Christians,


you still owe them that obedience.
(a) By God’s common grace of restraint your
parents can still desire the best for
you.
(bl Many unbelieving parents send their
children to Sunday school even if they
don’t attend church themselves.
(cl This is inconsistent, but shows God’s
3

mercy to the unbeliever.

4. You must also realize that they cannot compel you to do


anything which is against God’s will.
a. In some countries, parents compel their children to
prostitute themselves.
b. But this is forbidden by Scripture.
c. You children have a responsibility to God first.
d. You must obey God first, and then your parents.

B. You Are to Honor Them Because This is What God Commands.


1 . This is the 5th Commandment.
a. It is one of the 10 Commandments.
(il It was written by the finger of God on the
tablets of stone [Hodge 263).
(iil It is part of God’s unchanging standard of
morality.

b. It is binding on all men, Christians and


non-Christians, through all ages.
(il The 10 Commandments are part of the covenant
of works, which binds all men in all times.
(iil For this reason, all children everywhere are
to observe this commandment.

2. In it, the Lord commands you to show honor and respect


to your parents.
a. You are to honor them.
(il Honor is a broader term which includes obedience,
but respect, reverence and love as well.
(iil You are to reverence them in your hearts, as
well as by your actions [Hodge 2631.

b. For as long as they are alive.


(il A s long as your parents are alive, you owe
them honor.
(iil This does not mean that once you are an adult
that you have the same relationship.
(iiil Persistent parents have ruined more than one
marriage.
(ivl But you must always honor them and show them
respect.
(a1 Listen to their counsel.
(bl They know more than you and can be more
objective.
(cl Never quickly dismiss their advice and
you will do well.

c. And after they are gone.


(il When your parents are gone from this world,
that is not a time to begin to slander them.
(iil You must continue to honor your parent’s name
and not to defame their character, ever.

11. If You Do, the Lord Promises to Prolong Your Days on This
Earth.
4

A. By Being Obedient to this Command, the Lord Expressly Gives


to You a Promise of Longer Life.
1 . It is called the first commandment with a promise.
a. It does not mean the first in order, for it is the
fifth.
b. It refers to its prominence, but it is not the greatest
commandment of all.
(il Jesus was asked by a scribe what was the
greatest commandment.
(iil His reply was, ”THE FOREMOST IS, ’HEAR, 0
ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; AND YOU
SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR
HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL
YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’ AND
THE SECOND IS THIS, ’YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR
NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ THERE IS NO OTHER
COMMANDMENT GREATER THAN THESE ” [Mark
12:29-31 1.

c. What it means is that it is of the greatest importance,


and that there is a promise attached to it (BAG 733).

2. You are promised a better quality of life: ”That it


might be well with you.”
a. To live life with God’s blessing for a day is
better than without it for a year.
b. The general blessing of God will accompany your
life all your days when you honor your parents.

3. You are promised a greater quantity of life.


a. That you might be ”long-lived”, or that you may
have a long life.
(il This is the general rule. It is the usual
situation that if you do this you will live long.
(iil It does not mean that there aren’t any exceptions.
(iiil The Lord will extend your lives, in as much as
it serves for His glory and for your good
(Hodge 2631.
(ivl EXAMPLE: THE HAND OF THE DILIGENT SHALL MAKE
HIMSELF RICH. BUT IF RICHES ARE A STUMBLING
BLOCK TO YOU, YOU WILL NOT BE RICH.

b. This is further defined by ”on this earth.”


(il It does not refer to salvation, for that is
life which never ends.
(iil It is in this life, ”on the earth”.
(a) For the OT saints, the promise meant a
long life IN THE LAND OF ISRAEL.
(bl In the NT, the same promise occurs, but
now it is fulfilled ON THE EARTH.

(iiil A long life is a sign of covenantal blessing.


(a) It is a good thing, a blessing from God.
(bl It is given as a reward to those who keep
the covenant of the Lord.
”SO YOU SHALL KEEP HIS STATUTES AND HIS
5

COMMANDMENTS WHICH I AM GIVING YOU TODAY,


THAT IT MAY GO WELL WITH YOU AND WITH
YOU CHILDREN AFTER YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY
LIVE LONG ON THE LAND WHICH THE LORD YOUR
GOD IS GIVING YOU FOR ALL TIME” [Deu.
4:40).
”YOU SHALL WALK IN ALL THE WAY WHICH THE
LORD YOUR GOD HAS COMMANDED YOU, THAT YOU
MAY LIVE, AND THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH
YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY PROLONG YOUR DAYS IN
THE LAND WHICH YOU SHALL POSSESS” [DEU.
5:3 3 ) .
(cl The fact that it is here mentioned in
conjunction with New Testament children
indicates that children are yet included
as a part of the New Covenant community.

B. A Longer Life Gives You More Time to Complete Your Course


and Bear More Fruit for the Lord’s Glory.
1 . Each one of you has been created by the Lord for a
specific task which He has called you to.
a. No one of you lives for yourself or dies for
yourself. Whether you live or die you are the
Lord’s (Rom. 14:7-8).
b. God has brought you into the world with a
particular calling and task to do.

2. The longer you have to live, the more fully you will
be able to complete that task.
a. There is an advantage to living longer and not being
cut off in the midst of your years.
b. Yes, God has planned all that will take place in your
1if e.
c. Yes, your very days are ordained and fixed and cannot
be changed in their number.
d. But His determination of their length included every
decision that you have made and will yet make.
e. The things that you do make a difference.
(il It is the difference between obediently serving
the Lord and patiently bearing fruit with
perseverance.
(iil Or being lazy and indifferent, wasting your
precious time on things which do not profit
the Lord, you, or your neighbor.
(iiil The things which you decide to do are truly
your decisions, and yet God has established them
and their effects by His eternal decree.
(iv) What you decide, and do, does make a difference.

3. And of course, the Lord’s reward to you will be fuller


if you use your days conscientiously to serve Him.
a. Each of you will stand before the Lord one day to
receive a reward for what you have done with your
years on this earth.
b. Those who have served faithfully will receive a
fuller reward for their faithfulness.
6

c. Those who have squandered their time in useless


activity will receive little or no reward, but
shall be saved yet so as through fire, if you are
truly H i s .
d. And of course, if your years are multiplied and
blessed by the Lord because of your obedience, you
will have more time on earth to glorify God, and
will reap an even bigger harvest in heaven.
e. CHILDREN OF THE COVENANT, OBEY AND HONOR YOUR
PARENTS, HEED THEIR DISCIPLINE, RECEIVE THEIR
INSTRUCTION, AND THINGS WILL GO WELL FOR YOU ON
THIS EARTH, AND YOU WILL OBTAIN FOR YOURSELVES A
GREATER REWARD IN HEAVEN FOR YOUR FAITHFULNESS.
AMEN!