Ephesians 6:1-4 teaches us the two components of obedience in children with parents.
EXTERNAL and INTERNAL – Obey and Honor
Obedience involves action where honoring involves the heart. Obedience is while you are under the authority of our parents – honoring is forever. This is important to understand. I am even writing to myself. As much as I appreciate my parents, I don’t always honor them. But this is a commandment that has a promise attached to it (v. 3). God commits to those who obey their parents that they will have a GOOD LIFE and a LONG LIFE.
This is all throughout the OT: Deuteronomy 5:16, 27:16, Exodus 20:12.
I know some children or students live under a house with rules and regualtions for everything. It’s like Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology book. But we must Obey and Honor them regardless. It’s ok to ask questions, but still honor & obey.
Now quick QUESTION – Do kids come pre-programmed to obey?
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me. Psalm 51:5
So… if we come programed (by the Fall of man) to DIS-obey – who’s job is it to teach us to obey? Parents: children need our help and grace in this. That is also why the apostle Paul wrote verse 4. Parents shouldn’t say or do things to provoke a wrong reaction in their children. Sometimes we know exactly what do to do to bring out a wrong reaction, and this is sinful.
And listen parent, this word “exasperate” or “provoke”, doesn’t meant that you won’t make them angry. That will happen because they’re kids. They throw temper tantrums because you won’t let them eat all of their Halloween candy that very night. You’re going to make them angry. So it’s not “don’t make them angry but instead…” It’s don’t TRY to make them angry.
Parents, Bring out the best in your children, not the worst.
What do you think you do more of parents?
And although we focused on the parenting part for most of this Jumpstart, I don’t want to let verses 5-9 pass without an explanation, especially since some of our most recent readers may be very new to the Bible and some of these seemingly troubling passages concerning slavery. I won’t focus on the main application of this passage which is showing how Christians should respond to unfair or unjust relationships with family and work, and how we are to serve others in those circumstances, but instead share how this example of slavery is radically different than what we know slavery as in America and sadly as a Church, even participated in trying to justify this sin with passages like this.
As the ESV Study Bible explains, slavery in this culture was radically different then the Atlantic Slave Trade and what was a key issue in the Civil War. ESV Study Bible explains this passage as such:
“Bondservants were considered an integral part of a family, so Paul’s instructions for bondservants were a natural part of his dealing with family relationships. In both Greek and Roman culture, bondservants had limited rights and were subject to exploitation and abuse. Paul does not condone the existing system of servitude but instead provides instructions to believing masters and bondservants regarding their relationship to each other in the Lord, and how this should be lived out within the bounds of their social and legal culture.”
So please, don’t be an idiot and use this passage to show why God would ever consider slavery as anything but sin and if you’re one who’s possibly thought that before, repent and do better because in this day and age we need to undo the wrongs that were made that still have consequences upon us.
What did you learn from today’s passage?
By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor