Success in Parenting (01) - Authority and Faithfulness (Eph. 6:1-4)
Success in Parenting (01): Authority and Faithfulness
Exodus 20:12 - “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.”
Ephesians 6:1–4 - “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise), 3 SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH. 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
1) Little Children, Honor Your Parents - Children, the way to honor your parents is to obey what they tell you to do with a smile. You should smile because you are thankful for them. Why should you do this? Eph. 6:1 says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” They love you and provide for you. If you learn to do this when you are young, God promises that you will have great blessings such as an abundant life (Eph. 6:3) because you will learn how to please God. God gives you parents so that you can practice obeying them, before He lets you grow up so that you can learn to obey Him. Leviticus 19:3-4 says, “Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and keep My Sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.”
2) Big Children, Honor Your Parents - Youth, the way to honor your parents is to gain their trust by faithfulness with a good attitude. The key word is trust. Show your parents by trustworthy actions that your intentions, plans, dreams and motivations are set on good things. Therefore they can trust you. As they trust you with more responsibility, do not be irresponsible. Luke 16:10 says, “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.”
3) Parents, Disciple and Cultivate Your Children - Parents, you must understand the covenantal structure to your family’s future. Your faithfulness matters. You must believe and be confident in the promises of God. Such faith issues forth in faithfulness. Eph. 6:4 says, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” How can you fail?
By not requiring obedience.
By not discipling (corrective and formative).
By not cultivating (with love, nurture, accepting giftings and individuality)
By being unfair, harsh and explosive.
By showing favoritism.
By being hypocritical.
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more