The American Wisdom Series

Pamphlet #5174 KCEphesians14

It is wrong for parents to "obey" their children.

Chapter six, the final chapter of this exciting Book of Ephesians, has become one of the most often quoted chapters of the New Testament among Christian teachers and ministers.

And for good reason, too, because contained therein is one of Paul's most outstanding analogies for which, as stated in the last study, he is a master.

Following some more excellent "in home" and then "on the job" training from that great apostle, Paul, we will learn how a Christian soldier is to dress, suit-up, and prepare for battle.

In chapter five we learned how to conduct ourselves individually and refrain from ungodly conduct, such as drunkenness, etc., and to refrain from ungodly persons as partners.

Paul then instructed us about marital relations, while simultaneously (on a higher level) teaching us about Christ and the church.

Continuing then in the first half of this sixth chapter, Paul addresses the following people:

Employees (bondsmen)
Employers (masters)
Keep in mind as we read the following verses, that above all, we are to be "rooted and grounded in love" (Eph. 3:17).

Also, you can read the very same instructions set forth here in Paul's letter to the Colossians (Col. 3), almost word for word.

You should read it.

To the children:

Ephes. 6:1
Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
"Children, as Christians, obey your parents, for that is right." Smith & Goodspeed

This verse really needs no explanation other than to realize that the qualifier in this verse is "in the Lord".

Too often I see parents "obeying" their children, doing everything they demand, and giving in to their tantrums and threats.

It is wrong for parents to "obey" their children.

It is right for children to obey their parents.

Of course this should come as no surprise to those who know how it shall be in this, the final generation:

Isaiah 3:4-5
And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. [5] And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.
Paul next quotes from Exodus 12 to document his statement.
Eph 6:2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
Once again Paul confirms that the "Law", the Ten Commandments", is still in full effect, i.e. it was not "nailed to the cross". The promise of this fifth commandment is...
[3] That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
Here's the original:
Exodus 20:12
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
To the parents:
Eph 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
"As for you fathers, never exasperate your children, but bring them up in the discipline and admonition of the Lord" Moffat

"You fathers, again, must not goad your children to resentment, but give them the instruction, and the correction, which belong to a Christian upbringing." N.E.B.

"... Don't keep on scolding and nagging your children, making them angry and resentful." Living Bible

I know homes where everything is based on a "negative" condition, presented and repeated as a "threat", not just a consequence.

"If you don't clean your room, your privileges are suspended", etc., etc.

And then, rather than saying it once, and enforcing the consequence, it is repeated to the child over and over and over, to where the child becomes angry.

There is a saying with Biblical support, "Say what you mean and mean what you say".

I guess children with that upbringing will be well conditioned for the preacher that says that "if you don't do this" and "you don't do that" you are going to hell.

Now I'm not talking against discipline and household rules and the fact that at times you must remain firm.

But there is a positive side to discipline as well.

"Honey, if you get your room cleaned on time, I'll let you go with your friends to the movies."

It becomes a benefit, a reward, instead of a threat.

But again, once said is enough.

Discipline is a major element of love, which seems to be a "mystery" to some parents. A child will love you for godly discipline (beginning about 10 minutes after he or she says "I hate you").

The wife of the author of this pamphlet has worked in the child psychiatry department of a major hospital for the past thirteen years.

She works with children who are admitted angry, frustrated and "messed up", and she will tell you that one common element is present in almost ALL cases.

There is no "discipline" and no "structure" in their lives.

Most have been left to do as they please.

And so, by not exercising godly discipline, in love, you will "provoke" children to anger!

Just as this verse says, which bears repeating:

Eph 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
We as Christians must approach the non-believer with the same positive attitude, not with what will happen to them if they don't become Christians, not with the threat of hellfire and damnation, but WHAT'S IN IT FOR THEM.

Remember the inheritance?

Remember what our Father has done, and will do, for His children.

Remember the sacrifice of His son?

He loves us.

How could we not love Him, once we understand?

Any good salesman will tell you that people buy benefits, not threats.

Benefits are what you "sell", i.e. tell convincingly, the non-believer.

Do you understand?

It all comes back to the basic truth, and the foundation of salvation itself: You can't force someone, even your own child, to love you.

You can, with enough might, force them to conform, but love must from come from within.

And it must be earned.

Our Father has "earned" our love for all He has done.

Tell someone THAT, leaving hell "the hell alone", for now.

Lastly, we read before how children are great imitators of their parents.

If you are quick to criticize and nag, they will grow to do likewise.

To the employee:

[5] Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
Listen to your employer with respect and sincerity.
[6] Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
"Instead of merely working when their eye is on you, like those who court human favor, do God's will from the heart, like servants of Christ," Moffat

You've heard the saying "When the cat's away, the mice will play."

If you are an employee that takes advantage of your employer like that, then you are not doing it Christ's way.

[7] With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
"Do your duties heartily and willingly, as though it were for the Lord, not for men..." Smith & Goodspeed

That about says it!

[8] Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
Whether you are a follower of Christ or not, if you do that which is "right", you'll get the promotion and the rewards that come with it.

You don't get promoted just because you claim to be a Christian, or some "goofball" tells you that pledging $30 a month to his or her ministry is all you need do.

You must be a doer and apply yourself and produce good fruit for your boss and the company.

Then, the Lord is able to bless you!

"Be sure that everyone, slave or free, will be paid back by the Lord and Master for the good he has done." Moffat

And know this, our Father has Big, Big "Checkbook".

To the employer:

[9] And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.
Our Master, as well as theirs, is in heaven and there is no partiality with our Father.

He is completely fair at all times, and so should we as employers be also.

J.C. Penny, founder of the department store chain bearing his name, built his company on a different philosophy than did his competitors.

In his autobiography he describes his attitude toward his employees and associates as... "You can tell how big a man is by the way he treats little people."

Employers should always remember and "take to heart" that attitude, for there is another Biblical principle at work here.

Here are the words of the Master of all, Jesus Christ:

Luke 6:37-38
Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: [38] Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.

For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

We have a common saying that sums up this verse: "What goes around comes around".

So when you see people treated unfairly by an employer you can rest assured that he or she "has it coming to him or her".

I like to attach this principle of "what goes around comes around", to extend what we call the "Golden Rule", which, by the way, is not a verse in the Bible even though the principle is scriptural.

"Do unto others as you would have others do unto you, for as you do unto others, so shall it be done unto you."
Unfortunately, in today's society, much of big business and government operate on a different "Golden Rule".

And that is: "The guys with the Gold make the Rules".

You don't need someone to tell you who benefits most from their "rules".

Thank God our Master, for whom we are bondsmen, is completely fair and just.

 Let us imitate Him in all our affairs.

To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them {the ancient Israelites} for ensamples, and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

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