A note from our pastor:

“Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; // That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.“

Ephesians 6:2-3

Good Morning Dearly Beloved,

Our study verse this week continues the instruction for how children within the community of believers should behave. The Apostle began the series of guidelines for practical living as a disciple with a focus on husbands and wives at the end of the fifth chapter. We began looking at the instructions to children with our study verse last week.

With our two verses this week, the Apostle is loosely quoting from the Ten Commandments which are recorded in Exodus chapter 20. The language as recorded here in Ephesians drops some of the particular references to the Jewish nation, but applies the general concept as recorded in Exodus 20:12 to all of the community of believers.

One interesting point, which is not directly connected to how children should behave, is the Apostle’s statement regarding the first commandment with a promise. In reading through Exodus 20, the other Commandments which the Lord gave his people were strict instructions. For example, thou shalt not kill. In fact, only two Commandments are positive statements — keep the sabbath, honor parents — the rest are statements about behaviors to avoid. That puts this instruction into a very important sub-category.

Appropriate guardrails must be applied to studying verses about practical living. An attempt to make this a prescriptive instruction — in other words, if you do A and B, then C will happen — will cause the disciple to doubt the scriptures. These verses are no different. We have all known wonderful children, who honored, respected, and obeyed their parents, which passed away at a young age. Their untimely death does not imply a lack of obedience nor does it invalidate scripture.

Rather, these verses are a general instruction to the community of believers. For the community to thrive, to last from generation to generation, and to accomplish any work in the name of the Lord a key aspect is children honoring their parents. They must learn from the generation before them, respect the struggles they experienced, and appreciate the blessings they received. Within the community of believers, if there is not a respect for the previous generation and a desire to learn from them, the community will be in constant chaos and confusion.

Finally, children honoring their mother and father — or any who fulfilled the roles of caring for those children — does not mean the children are stagnant. The instruction is not to simply repeat the work of the prior generation, but rather to always have the prior work as a foundation to build and grow upon.

May the presence of the Lord be with his disciples to fulfill these instructions.

Our Prayers are with you daily,

Brother Jeremiah

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