Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth. Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Children are instructed by the Apostle Paul to obey their parents. Younger children were obviously part of the early church’s worship. A letter such as Ephesians would have been read to the congregation. God’s saints (parents) are to pass down to their children the biblical instruction they have received. For this, parents are to be honored.
One of the practical ways we show honor to parents is to listen to them and obey their godly counsel. As God’s chosen caregivers to us, parents are especially worthy of being listened to, for they desire to help us grow in our relationship with Jesus. Parents are the people whom God has chosen to speak into our lives; we show them honor when we listen to their biblical counsel and heed their advice, acknowledging their many years of walking with the Lord. All believers are saints who have experience walking with the Lord, but parents are especially worthy of honor.
The promise of long life and blessing found in verse 3 is not a specific promise that is guaranteed to us. Instead, it is a general promise, much like the ones found in the Book of Proverbs. Generally, as we obey God’s Word, blessing will be experienced. But honoring parents is no guarantee of a worry-free life. We show honor to parents for one reason (found in v. 1): we honor them because it is right. We honor them because in so doing, we are submitting to our Lord and His command to honor our parents.
- What would you say to a son or daughter who has tried to honor his/her parents, but believes they have not experienced the blessings of God?
- How can you honor your parents in whatever stage of life?
- Pray for the parents and families of 121.