First, I wrote about a time much like today when people did what was right in their own eyes—the time of the Judges. Then, I wrote about how Jesus laid the foundation for submission. In my last post in this strain, I wrote about how we walk out the attitude of Christ in our lives and in our marriages based on Ephesians 5.  Today we look at the parent-child relationship.

The motivation continues to be our relationship with the Lord. We do not  treat others well just because we love them or they deserve it but because we belong to the Lord.

Ephesians 6:1-4

  • Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. (v.1)
  • “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: (v. 2)
    • If you honor your father and mother,
      • “things will go well for you,
      • and you will have a long life on the earth.”(v. 3)

A child obeys their parents because the child belongs to the Lord. Not because the parent deserves it. No one is required to obey any direction apart from the Lord—to do wrong. There is never a right to do wrong. In refusing to do what is ungodly, each person in each relationship must remain civil and respectful. This is a challenge in many relationships and situations but God’s Holy Spirit will help you learn how to respond and you will become wise in the process.

Now for us as adults, fathers and mothers, we come to a much ignored instruction. We need to model respectful behavior before our children and to our children.

  • Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them.
  • Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.

While a parent is not submitted to the child, the parent is to be submitted to the Lord in the way they teach, instruct, and discipline their child. Discipline is not punishment. Discipline is training. We not only teach our children what not to do but also what to do and how to do it. Telling a child to go clean their room without teaching them how, not once but over a period of time, giving them increased responsibility, leads to a frustrated child and a needlessly frustrated parent. Demonstrate and demonstrate and demonstrate until your child can do any task well. Praise the good and correct what is less than good. Zig Ziglar said, “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you can do it well.” Make learning, interesting, pleasant, and even fun.

Many of us were not taught by our parents. If this is true of you, and you were not taught or you were not taught well, ask the Lord to help you to learn and to teach your child godly living. My mom was not taught by her mom, so my mom did not teach me. I had to make a point of learning as an adult. I am still learning. If I can learn, you can learn.

Next—Employee- Boss and Boss-Employee


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