Saturday in the Fifth Week of Ordinary Time

Ephesians 6:1-4

Children Obey Your Parents

Of the Ten Commandments which have taken the most beatings in the past several decades, I would say number five tops the list: Honor your father and your mother, which Paul rewrites here in a much simpler form: Children obey your parents.  I say this because this is the one which has been most under attack either by shaming certain forms of punishment (especially corporal) or through the contemporary cult of self-esteem in which it is urged that children be ever coddled and affirmed in their behaviors but rarely if ever disciplined.  Respect is owed to children just as much as elders to the point that I have seen adults groveling before children.  And now a child is allowed even to choose his or her own gender.  Children must be much wiser than they used to be.

But they’re not wiser.  Indeed, Proverbs teaches us that children are natively foolish and so need guidance and correction from their elders.  And to refuse to guide and correct one’s son or daughter is to truly abuse one’s child.  And because children are naturally ignorant and foolish, the Scripture commands that they respect, honor, and obey their parents.  So serious a matter for the Lord is this that Exodus 21:17 tells us: “Whoever curses his father or his mother shall be put to death.”  In contrast, children are to inherit a wonderful promise through such obedience: “That it may go well with [them] and that [they] may live long in the land.”

But the passage also puts the other foot down: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”  Here we see that ultimate responsibility for the rearing of godly children is with the father; he is the one who is to see to the godly instruction of his children and cannot pawn that off to his local church, school, or even his wife.  And such instruction is taught verbally and lived before the child as is referenced in Deuteronomy 6:7 concerning the Lord’s commandments: “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”  A child cannot be blamed for ignorance of the Lord’s ways, but his father can and will be.  The father who models gospel living, being slow to anger with his children but quick to discipline (understanding that “discipline” is as much the way a household is run as anything else), gentle and patient, correcting with love and understanding—such a father will be blessed in his children as will his wife.  Let your child see that you submit to the Lord, then shall he do the same.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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