We are winding down with the book of Ephesians, taking a look today at verse 1 and 2 of Chapter 6:
6 1-3 Children, the right thing for you to do is to obey your parents as those whom God has set over you. The first commandment to contain a promise was: ‘Honour your father and your mother, that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth’.
4 Fathers, don’t over-correct your children or make it difficult for them to obey the commandment. Bring them up with Christian teaching in Christian discipline. Ephesians 6:1-2 ( (PHILLIPS)
As I read this, I couldn’t help but think – is this even possible in this age? The answer of course is "YES"! My first pessimistic thought comes after dealing with news reports, family drama, and remembering even my own childhood. Yes, it is right for children to obey their parents, and to honor them. the promise of long life and good days is attached to it. Yet, what happens when the father is not there? When the mother is pre-occupied with living her life and ha no time for the children? What happens when the discipline that is issued on the children is far from Christian, rather, mean and cruel and vindictive?
This is the case for much of the world that we live in today. Children, if they survive the abortion on demand pull to destroy them before they exit the womb, are often seen as a bargaining agent between immature and selfish parents. In many parts of the world they are sold on the open market to those who engage in the slave trade or other heinous forms of child slavery. Even in this country, children suffer all kinds of abuses as a result of social experimentation like gender dysphoria and puberty blockers. If they are told by their parents to engage in selling drugs or child prostitution, should they obey them? If a child survives the one of two homes that result in divorce, or the massive percentage of homes that never know more than one parent, how will they view their parent(s)? Will they be able to honor them?
These are real questions about real life. As a child who grew up in a very fractured home, I was very confused about how to respond to my parents, even after I came to Christ. How could I respect the decisions they made? How could i forgive the pain I felt was inflicted on my brothers and sisters due to their decisions? I didn’t have good answers for this. It took me years to overcome the trauma of my childhood, and that included learning how to respond to the ones I had looked to be parents. The good news is that I was able to forgive. The better news is that I learned what honor meant. While it was too late to re-write the past, it was not too late to believe for better days in the future. It was not too late to ask God to do for me and my brothers and sisters what is the ultimate prescription for living out Ephesians 6:1 & 2 – to come to Christ, just as you are, and allow Hm to make you just what you need to be – for you and your children. That prescription treast the live of parents in Asia, Africa, China, Europe, even the United States. Our job is to pray to the great Physician to distribute the cure.