Read: Ephesians 6:1-4
Honor your father and mother. (v. 2)
As a father of four, I loved quoting to my children the command to “obey your parents.” After my children learned to read, they often quipped back verse 4: “Fathers, do not provoke your children.” To my shame, however, I often did provoke them by overreacting to small things. We laugh now, but those are not my proudest parenting moments.
In verses 1-4, the burden of responsibility rests primarily on dads and moms to live worthy of the honor God commands. By quoting Exodus 20:12, Paul implies that the reason for honoring parents is similar to why the Israelites were to obey God’s commandments. Obeying commandments never merited God’s favor. Rather, after God’s gracious and powerful deliverance from slavery in Egypt, God gave his people commandments for the direction of their lives with him. Our obedience to his commands expresses our love and gratitude in response to God’s favor and promises.
Likewise, children are more likely to honor parents who lead and love in the manner of God’s concern for Israel. How can parents begin? Let me suggest the way God began with Abram in Genesis 12. God blessed him with his covenant promises; Abram responded in obedient faith. Parents, try beginning and ending each day with your children by sharing and praying a blessing of God’s Word over them. Look them in the eyes, tell them they are so loved by God and by you. —Jon Opgenorth
As you pray, ask God to bless and protect our families.
About the Author
Rev. Jon Opgenorth serves as president of Words of Hope. Previously, he served for 18 years as senior pastor at Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa. In preparation for ministry, he received a BA in Religion from Northwestern College, and an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary.