Ephesians 6.1-4

After our narrow focus on 6.1 yesterday, lets now look at the wider passage:

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment accompanied by a promise, namely,

that it will go well with you and that you will live a long time on the earth.”

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but raise them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

(Ephesians 6.1-4, NET)

Backing up the big idea (obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right) Paul now throw back to what we call the Old Testament by referencing Deuteronomy 5.16:

“Honor your father and your mother just as the LORD your God has commanded you to do, so that your days may be extended and that it may go well with you in the land that he is about to give you.”


The key to parental obedience and to having an intergenerational relationship marked by obedience and discipline and instruction but not being [provoked]…to anger is there in v.1 and in v.4:

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right…raise them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord…”

(emphasis added)

In the same way marriages are places of mutual submission and love and care in the Lord so too should our parenting be in the Lord. Raising children as Scripture exhorts isn’t only for their good and our good but it is our duty in the Lord. I recently read this, a fitting thought to take into the day:

“Christians have normally divided the Ten Commandments into the first four (directed towards God) and the last six (directed towards their fellow man). But the Jews divided the commandments in two sets of five, seeing the law to honor your father and mother [and to parent in a godly manner] more as a duty towards God than a duty towards man.”

(Enduring Word)

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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