Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right (Eph 6:1)
We have seen in earlier verses Paul address the relationship between husband and wife, and now he addresses the wider family. It is important to note that this advice is given directly to the children, who he treats as equally important as the parents. They also have responsibilities in the family and throughout our lives the gospel gives each of us a role to play and responsibilities to fulfil.
Why is this advice given? Anyone who takes their place in society, and in particular in the church, will soon realise that to be most useful, we must not be those that insist on getting our own way. This is an important lesson to learn as a child and will equip us for all that God has for us in our adult life!
As God created everything, He looked at it and saw that it was good. When He made man he saw that it was very good. His creation was ordered and everything had its place. When sin entered, one of its many devastating effects was to introduce chaos into God’s creation. That chaos continues to this day and sadly only gets worse! A family will operate most successfully, where the children are obedient to their parents. Where there is constant arguing and disobedience, the family order will never properly operate and the children will not develop as quickly as where there is an atmosphere of respect and obedience. If this command seems unpleasant, God has coupled it with a promise that those that obey this command will have a long life!!
God lays upon the shoulders of parents the responsibility of caring for and nurturing their children and bring them up in the fear the Lord. They will be better able to and more successful in fulfilling this role, where children are cooperative and not stubborn and resistant. This parental role has one objective in mind that at some stage the child will have developed into an adult fully equipped to take on this new role without constant parental supervision. Obedience makes the process easier, sweeter, more delightful and ultimately more successful.