6-23-11 “True Story”
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’- which is the first commandment with a promise – ‘that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.’”
There’s no reason not to take this passage literally. Children who are Believers know the 5th Commandment and there is a promise attached to it. We should teach that to them so they it will ‘go well’ with them and they may ‘enjoy long life on the earth.’
I think it’s important to keep in mind that Paul is, in fact, addressing Christian Children in this passage. (The Bible is for everyone!) Children are perfectly capable of hearing and accepting the Good News of Jesus and have the responsibility of practicing submission to God at a young age by honoring and obeying their parents.
I know a church going family of Believers where the Gospel was introduced to all members. That family had four kids and only the oldest, daughter, is the only one alive still today (she is now in her early 70s). Why is the oldest of four the last one alive today?
Well, her brother 5 years younger grew up to embrace ungodliness and mocked his family of Believers behind their backs. He died in his early 40s. I hope he called on Jesus, whom he once knew, before he died.
Her baby sister, 15 years younger, died next at barely age 40. This sister grew up knowing better, but chose a childhood of temper tantrums, premarital sex and even got pregnant and then married while she was still in high school. She did reconnect her relationship with Jesus later in life, but as a child she knew she should obey and honor her parents but did not.
The last sibling to die was her sister who was 13 years younger than she. She spent high school ditching classes to meet up with her boyfriend at a motel on a regular basis. She too had rekindled her relationship with Jesus as an adult, but as a child did not consider honoring and obeying her parents important, even though, like the other 2, she knew better. She died at age 50.
Now maybe it’s just a coincidence that these 3 siblings all lived very short lives, and I am not saying that they aren’t in heaven. But 3 out of 4 had the same thing in common. And I bet, because of this Ephesians passage, that life could have “gone well with them” and they could have “enjoyed long life on the earth” like God promises.
And life certainly went well for the daughter who grew up learning to and deciding to honor and obey her parents. And she is enjoying her long life to this day. I’m glad too because she’s my mom. She told me it drove her crazy to babysit her little sisters while her parents were at work, but she did it. Her life is a testimony to me that honoring our parents is important to God and teaching my kids and praying for them to be able to do the same is very important because I want life to “go well” for them and I want them to “enjoy long life on the earth” too like their Nammy.
I thank you so much for my mom. And thank you for my kids and for showing me from my own family the truth of your promise related to keeping the 5th Commandment. Please help our kids honor us because by doing so they are honoring you. Same as when I submit to my husband I’m submitting to you. And when I love others, I am loving you. Thank you for giving my little Believing children a way to honor you today all on their very own. Bless those little hearts. I love you. Amen.