A note from our pastor:

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.“

Ephesians 6:1

Good Morning Dearly Beloved,

As we consider our study verse for this week, we move into the sixth and final chapter of the book of Ephesians. Through the first three chapters of Ephesians the Apostle Paul set forth doctrinal principles on which we build a foundation. In chapters four through six the Apostle takes on matters of living as a community of believers. The sixth chapter continues with thoughts on the family, this time focused on the children.

The first instruction the Apostle gives for children is to obey your parents in the Lord. This verse is not limited to natural parents but extends to all who play a role in the life of the child as guardian and care taker — whether that be parents, step-parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. The instruction is not to suggest a blind obedience, but rather an obedience which reflects Jesus Christ. The instruction is based in an exchange of love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness between the parents and the child.

But the phrase which matters the most in this verse is ”in the Lord”. The Apostle’s instruction is not an authoritarian one. If the parents are not raising their children in the Lord — this could be because of abuse, wildly false beliefs, a house filled with hate, or any number of other reasons — then the instruction to obey is made void. In other words, if following the teachings of Jesus Christ causes the child to be disobedient to the parents this behavior is not in contradiction to the Apostle’s instruction.

The Apostle concluded the fifth chapter of this book with instructions regarding how spouses should treat one another. In all instances, the appropriate behavior is founded in a desire to care for and provide for one another. The same underlying motivations should continue with children obeying their parents.

The obedience which is called for by the Apostle should not be the obedience of a soldier — although at times obedience without question is needed in a family — but rather be modeled after the obedience of a disciple of Jesus Christ. The obedience of children should be founded in the overwhelming knowledge of the love they are the recipients of and the sacrifice of the parents. With this obedience, the children not only follow the instructions of parents but the commandment of God.

Our Prayers are with you daily,

Brother Jeremiah

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