THE DUTY OF CHILDREN TO THEIR PARENTS
v. 1 – “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right”. The first duty of
children is obedience, and “in the Lord,” i.e. in Christ, this duty is confirmed.
Even children can live in fellowship with Christ which makes such obedience
easier and more graceful. The duty itself rests on the first principles of morality —
“for this is right.” It is an obligation that rests on the very nature of things,
and cannot change with the spirit of the age; it is in no degree modified by what
is called the spirit of independence in children.
v. 2 – “Honor thy father and thy mother’ – Honor is higher than obedience and
is due to those who, by Divine appointment are above us. Fathers and
mothers are equal as objects of honor and obedience to their children.
Romans 13:2 – “Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance
of God” – though talking about government, we know it is an
ordinance of God, it being the Fifth Commandment and a part
of the revealed will of God – “Honor thy father and thy mother” –
It is assumed in scripture that the parents are godly and Christian.
It is the first commandment with a promise attached to it – “that thy days may be
long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee” – Exodus 20:12
It is a part of the nature which God has given us to expect virtue to be rewarded
and vice punished. In the case of children, it is difficult to look too far forward;
the rewards and the punishments to be influential, must be within the time frame
of a child’s vision.
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart
from it” - Proverbs 22:6
Not to teach about God is to teach impiety and infidelity; not to teach truth
is to teach error!
God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words,
which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them
diligently (literally, “exert thyself”) unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou
sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and
when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall
be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house
and on thy gates” - Deuteronomy 6:4-8
HOW ARE WE DOING ON THIS ONE – ARE WE WORN OUT FROM EXERTING
OURSELVES BY TEACHING GOD’S WILL TO OUR CHILDREN?
THIS IS THE KEY TO THE BREAK-UP OF THE AMERICAN FAMILY!
We should have our children’s eternal interests secured early in life! Jesus
said, “Suffer little
children and forbid them not for of such is the
By so doing, we shall thus restrain them from many follies and sinful habits
which would be a burden all this life and a curse in the next!
Dwight Moody said
“It is easier to lead your children into
CHILDREN ARE MENTIONED 1822 TIMES IN THE BIBLE
“Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive
it far from him” – Proverbs 22:15
“Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod,
he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shall deliver his soul
from hell” – Proverbs 23:13-14
“Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying” –
Parents who have neglected this form of discipline, as a matter of principle or of
temperament, fall usually into the contrary excess; chastisement is banished from their
household, and the lack of corporal punishment often leads to a hard heart or a base
All God’s commandments carry blessings in their bosoms - “in keeping of them
there is great reward” – Psalm 19:11
Also, “His commandments are not grievous” - I John 5:3b
“He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth
him betimes” – Proverbs 13:24
The old adage – “Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child” is no doubt an adaptation
from the above statements from proverbs. (Ponder: He that will not use the rod
on his child, his child shall be used as a rod on him).
If interested, I would recommend typing in “Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child”
in your search engine and you will find some interesting reading!
WHO CAN DENY THAT OUR CULTURE IS IN TROUBLE FOR A LACK OF
DISCIPLINE? GOD IS A WONDROUS AND JUST DISCIPLINARIAN AS WE
WILL FIND OUT, EITHER IN THIS WORLD OR THE NEXT!
And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children,
My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked
of him: For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He
receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is
he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are
partakers, then are ye bastards (an illegitimate child, one born out of wedlock), and not
sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave
them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits,
and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He
for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening for the
present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the
peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Hebrews 12:5-11
v. 3 – “That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth”
Long life among the Jews was a token of the Divine favor and it seems to have been
an emblem of the life to come.
special promise of long life in the
of prosperity and longevity. As before, we must not suppose that the apostle excludes exceptions.
The promise is not for each individual; many good and obedient children do not live long. But the
general tendency of obedience to parents is towards the results specified. Where obedience to
parents is found, there is usually found along with it temperance, self-control, industry, regular ways
of life, and other habits that tend towards prosperity and longevity. In Christian families there is
commonly affection, unity, prayer, mutual helpfulness, reliance on God, trust in Christ, and all that
makes life sweet and wholesome. The spirit of the promise is realized in such ways, and it may
be likewise in special mercies vouchsafed to each family.
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We are not to love our parents more than the Lord – rather, we are to love them
in the Lord – neither are parents to love their children more than God.
Jesus said “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me:
and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me”
“Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when
she is old” – Proverbs 23:22
“Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the
Lord” – Colossians 3:20
If children are right with their parents, chances are other good things will follow!
Honor to our parents tends to make our earthly lot better and brighter!
Parents know more than their children; therefore “a wise son heareth his father’s
instruction” (Proverbs 13:1). The child must take much of his knowledge for granted
on the mere authority of his father. The habit of obedience is good as a discipline. It is
even good for the health of a child, as a desultory and dawdling obedience breaks its
temper and injures its health. Children are not able to guide themselves; for “folly is
bound up in the heart of a child” (Proverbs 22:15). Society is benefited by the due
subordination of family life.
Beware of the day when men shall “call evil good and good evil, that put darkness
for light, and light for darkness, that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” –
Isaiah 5:20 - Beware of the day when children are the people’s oppressors and
women rule over them…causing us to err and destroying the pathway – Isaiah
The Lord will get involved “and judge the people” – Isaiah 3:13
Are these signs that His coming judgment is imminent?
THE DUTY OF PARENTS TO THEIR CHILDREN
The Lord’s command is, “Bring up this child for me, and I will pay thee thy wages.”
What infinitely precious results depend on the execution of these two precepts! Every
well-trained Christian household is a nursery of all that tends to bless the world; while
disorderly and unchristian families are hotbeds of vice and evil. The prayer of the
hundred and forty-fourth psalm is never out of date: “That our sons
may be as plants grown up in their youth; our daughters as cornerstones,
polished after the similitude of a palace.... Happy is that people that is in
such a case; yea, happy is that people whose God is the Lord.” (Psalm 144:12,15)
v. 4 – “And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath” –
“Fathers” is inclusive of mothers, to whom the practical administration of
the household and training of the children so much belong. In the pagan
world, and all too often in ours, irritation of children was common, through loss of
temper and violence in reproving them, through capricious and unsteady treatment
and unreasonable commands; but more especially by the parents being violently angry
when the children, inconsiderately, perhaps, disturbed or annoyed them, rather than
when they deliberately did wrong. All this the apostle deprecates.
We are all to familiar with CHILD ABUSE of which the ABORTION INDUSTRY
IS ITS WORST FORM!
“but bring them up in the nurture (training) paidei>a, — pahee-di’-ah; from
(paideu>w); tutorage,i.e. education or training; by implication disciplinary correction:
— chastening, chastisement, instruction, nurture – Christian discipline that regulates
character) and admonition (nouqesi>a, — noo-thes-ee’-ah; from (nou~v) and a
derivative of ti>qhmi; calling attention to, i.e. by implication mild rebuke or warning: —
admonition) of the Lord”
The words paidei>a and nouqesi>a are not easily defined in this connection; the
ormer is thought to denote the discipline of training, with its appropriate rewards and
punishments; the latter, instruction. Both are to be “of the Lord,” such as he inspires
and approves. Instilling sound principles of life, training to good habits, cautioning and
protecting against moral dangers, encouraging prayer, Bible-reading, church-going,
sabbath-keeping; taking pains to let them have good associates, and especially dealing
with them prayerfully and earnestly, in order that they may accept Christ as their
Savior and follow Him, — are among the matters included in this counsel.
If the Christian father keep Christ before him as his Great Ideal, then the
Divine Father regulates his conscience and he will be guided in the
proper nurturing of the children.
In times of trial and temptation, the Lord will “do His part” and help the child to
know what to do!
THE DUTIES OF SERVANTS AND MASTERS
Servants are to do their service as to the Lord and with good will and God
will repay them.
Masters are to do the same thing and for the same reasons, they have a
v. 5 – “Servants be obedient to them that are your masters according to
There were many slaves in the early Church, but, however unjust their
position, the apostle could not but counsel them to obedience, this course
being the best for ultimately working out their emancipation. The words of
Christ were peculiarly welcome to them “that labor and are heavy laden” –
“with fear and trembling” - It does not denote slavish dread, but great moral
anxiety lest one should fail in duty.
“in the singleness of your heart, as to Christ” - with inward sincerity, knowing
that it is your duty; and even if it be irksome, doing it pleasantly, as though
Christ required it, and you were doing it to Him.
v. 6 – “Not with eye-service as men-pleasers; but as the servants of Christ,
doing the will of God from the heart”
“man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart”
(1 Samuel 16:7). The will of God is our great standard, and our daily prayer is,
“Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” In heaven it is done “from the
v. 7 – “With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men”
If you do the will of God at all, it must be done from the heart!
Jesus is the Overlord of every earthly lord, and His follower has but to substitute
Him by faith for his earthly master to enable him to do service with good will.
THE DAY OF THE LORD WILL REVEAL THE MANY MYRIADS OF
UNKNOWN PEOPLE WHO HAVE DONE THIS!
“for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able
to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day”
II Timothy 1:12
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always
abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your
labor is not in vain in the Lord” - I Corinthians 15:58
“Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea,
saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works
do follow them.” - Revelation 14:13
v. 8 – “Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same
shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free”
For the slave the hope of reward is future.
v. 9 – “And, ye masters, do the same things to them, forbearing
threatening” - Act correspondingly toward your slaves, as if the eye of
Christ were on you, which indeed it is; if you are ever tempted to grind
them down, or defraud, or scold unreasonably and make their life bitter,
remember that there is a Master above you, into whose ears their cry will
come (See Exodus 3:7-9). If they are to do service to you as to the Lord,
you are to require service of them as if you were the Lord. Therefore forbear
threatening; influence them by love more than by fear. “knowing that both their and
your Master is in heaven; and there is no respect of persons with Him”.
Both of you stand in the same relation to the great Lord, who is in heaven
and over all (ch. 1:20-21). Your being higher in earthly station than they will
not procure for you any indulgence or consideration. You will be judged simply
and solely according to your deeds. Your responsibility to the Judge and your
obligations to the Savior alike bind you to just and merciful treatment. If such
principles were applicable to the relations of enforced labor, they are certainly
not less so to the relations of labor when free.
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One of the great problems of the day is how to impregnate the relations of master
and servant with the Christian spirit, and carry into effect the aim of such passages
as this. The difficulty lies mainly with the case of large bodies of men working under
a single employer. The problem is too intricate to be discussed here. But both masters
and men need to beware of offending Christ by a bitter and unreasonable spirit.
Occasions for glorifying God by the manifestation of a noble Christian spirit may
become occasions for letting out the selfishness of the carnal heart. Yet,
complicated though the question is, it is probable that the true solution
would be reached by all Christian men if the spirit of this text were carried
out, if both masters and men tried to do all as to the Lord and not to men,
and to esteem His approval the very highest reward to which they could
Finally, this is for children, young and old, youth, adults and senior citizens,
YOU WILL NEVER HAVE A BETTER EARTHLY FRIEND, OR A GREATER
BENEFACTOR, THAN CHRIST HAS GIVEN YOU IN YOUR PARENTS!
You or I have never been in a position to know all the sacrifices our parents have
made for us, the amount of thought, care, prayers and concern for our welfare, or
what they have been through for us.
The best thing that we can do to requite their love is to obey!
NOT TO HONOR OUR PARENTS IS TO DISHONOR GOD!
SECULAR EDUCATION is a contradiction in terms; it is as great a solecism as
a SUNLESS VEGETATION. Let parents look well to the minds of their children.
The farmer who neglects the culture of his fields will soon have his acres overrun
with thorns and briars and noxious weeds; and the parent who neglects the culture
of his child will soon discover evils far more hideous and disastrous.
As we are finding out in American schools and American culture – “He that will
not use the rod on his child, his child shall be used as a rod on him!”