Blog: What Does the Bible Say About Children Obeying Their Parents? (7/9/21)
By Kurt Trucksess – CrossWinds Church
Children obeying their parents is a direct command from God. Ephesians 6: 1 says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for it is righteous. In this verse, obeying one’s parents cannot be separated from honoring one’s parents. Ephesians 6 continues, “Honor your father and your mother – which is the first commandment with a promise – so that all will be well with you and you can enjoy a long life on earth. “
“Honor” means that children should have an attitude of respect towards their parents. The obedience of a child to his parents must be done with an attitude of honor. Obedience with a bad attitude is not in accordance with the commandment.
It can be difficult for some children to learn to obey their parents. A strong will certainly makes it more difficult for some children than for others. There is a good reason for this order. Proverbs 13: 1 teaches that those who listen to their parents learn wisdom: “A wise son heeds his father’s instructions, but a mocker does not respond to reproach. It is God’s design that children learn to honor and obey their parents so that they learn to live wisely when they grow up. By learning respect at home, they will learn respect from others when they leave the house.
Even Jesus, although he was the Son of God, obeyed his earthly parents and, therefore, he grew in wisdom (see Luke 2: 51-52). The Bible also says that children who are not disciplined or who do not learn to obey their parents will be much worse in life. Proverbs 29:15 reminds us: “A rod and a rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to itself shames its mother. “Proverbs 29:17 also says:” Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; it will delight your heart.
As children have a responsibility to obey their parents, parents also have a responsibility to educate their children without frustrating them, as Ephesians 6: 4 shows: “Fathers, do not exasperate your children …” This means that a child’s discipline should not be punitive but corrective in nature. Parents should not charge their children, but discipline them so that they learn to be successful. Parents should also make sure that children clearly understand why they are being sanctioned.
Parents also have a responsibility to bring up their children to know and love Jesus. It is not the work of a youth group or a children’s program. The main place where a child should learn the faith and be trained in the faith is at home. This is seen in Ephesians 6: 4, “… to lift them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. “
Even if parents do not follow God’s commandments concerning the correct discipline of a child, children still have a responsibility to honor and obey their parents.
When children leave home, while independent from their parents, as adult children, they still have a responsibility to honor their parents and listen to their advice. One of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:12) is “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gives you.” This commandment is not only for young children who honor their adult parents, but it also teaches adult children about their responsibility to honor their aging parents.
In general, the better children learn to honor their earthly fathers, the better they will learn to honor, respect, and obey their Heavenly Father.
The only appropriate reason for young children to disobey their parents is if the parents ask their children to do something that clearly goes against one of the commandments of God. In this case, the children are to obey God rather than man (see Acts 5:29).
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