“Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise. Ephesians 6:2
Unfortunately, there are many Scripture passages that are often taken out of context, whereby half the passage is lauded and the rest is hushed or dropped off completely. Ephesians 6:1-4 is such a passage. Certainly, most of us recognize the admonition in verses 1-3 for children to honor and obey their parents. This obviously an important task, as verse 2 points out, in that this was the first of God’s Ten Commandments to include a promise of blessing if the command is followed.
However, the fourth verse is often left out of our recollection. This equally relevant instruction reads, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (NASB).
Basically, while children should always seek to respect their parents, the parents themselves must strive to be mothers and fathers worthy of that respect. This can be accomplished by placing God as an important part of your family and your private life.
Are there parts of your life about which you do not want your children to know? Does your language, demeanor, or morality change in the presence of your kids? Children not only need to hear God’s instruction; they need to see it as well. Our kids see this dramatically displayed in how we live our lives. From today forward, strive to live a life worthy of the little one in your care.
Lord, I have often failed as a parent. Help me to be an example to my children and all other children to whom I serve as an example.