MY WEIRD FAMILY
Week 4- What’s a Kid to do?
Honor, Above All Else!
Now, let’s define kid first! How many of you were born? Ok! You’re someone’s kid! Now that definition is settled. Each of us was born into this world. From there sometimes it gets complicated. But, one command that never changes is to honor our father and mother. What does that look like and how do we accomplish and live out this command with a promise attached to it?
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS (Ephesians 6:1-3)
1. When you were young, how did you know when you were in trouble?
2. Over the years, what has been the best piece of advice someone has given you?
3. What are the positive results of acting on the advice of people who are older and wiser than us?
Christians are to obey and walk on the pathway of righteousness. If we pay careful attention, we can learn from those who are older and wiser than us, and we can often hear God speaking to us through the saints He’s placed in our lives. Ephesians 6:1-3 contains a command that is a part of a larger section of Scripture. In it, we can see the benefits of obeying parents, those godly saints the Lord has placed in authority over us. If we listen closely, we can hear God speaking to us through these special persons. By listening and obeying, we discover the blessings that come from God to us.
4. Are there any exceptions to obeying parents, or must children obey every wish of a parent? How do you know when it is acceptable to disobey a parent, if ever?
5. How has the obedience of one of your children blessed you? How has your obedience toward a parent brought blessing to you both?
Children are instructed by the Apostle Paul to obey (submit to) their parents. Younger children were obviously part of the early church’s worship where a letter such as Ephesians would have been read to the congregation. God’s saints (parents) are to pass down to their children the biblical instruction they have received; according to Deuteronomy 6, parents are the primary disciples of their children. But obedience to parents is not to be done carte blanche. We live in a day when child abuse is on the rise, and children are not expected to obey their parents if those adults instruct them to do something illegal, immoral, or dangerous. At that point, a person would obey the higher law of God’s Word and “obey God rather than man.”
6. What does it mean to “honor your father and mother”? How do we live out this command in practical ways?
7. Is the honor we are to show our parents earned by them, or given because of their position as our authority figures? How can we honor parents if they were not the loving, godly parents we wanted to have?
8. What would you say to a son or daughter who has tried to honor his/her parents, but believes they have not experienced the blessings of God?
The promise of long life and blessing found in verse 3 is not a specific promise that is guaranteed to us. Instead, it is a general promise, much like the ones found in the book of Proverbs. Generally, as we obey God’s Word, blessing will be experienced. But honoring parents is no guarantee of a worry-free life. We show honor to parents for one reason (found in verse 1): we honor them because it is right. We honor them because in so doing, we are submitting to our Lord and His command to honor our parents.
Is there anything you need to forgive your parents for? If so, what? Will you make the choice to forgive this week?
What are some practical ways you can honor your parents this week?
If your parents are no longer alive, how might you show them honor even in death?
Thinking back on Ephesians 6:1-3, how might you change the way you parent your children so their hearts are inclined to show you honor? Is there anything God wants you to start or stop doing as a result of this study?
6:1. Children are instructed that their role in mutual submission is to obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Without learning obedience from parents, children would run wild in society. All social order depends on this. In the Lord does not mean that children only need to obey Christian parents. Rather, it means that they are obeying the Lord when they obey their parents. The same exceptions which wives have from obeying their husbands, children have in obeying their parents. When children are asked to do something unethical, illegal, or immoral, or when they are harmed or in danger of being harmed, the command to obey would be superseded by higher biblical principles of “obeying God rather than man.”
6:2-3. The fifth of the Ten Commandments—to honor your father and mother—is repeated here, then followed by the statement that it is the first commandment with a promise. Actually, it is the second commandment with a promise (compare Exod. 20:6). There are many potential ways to solve this apparent contradiction. Perhaps the easiest is by noting that “first” may refer to the importance rather than order. Paul’s point is probably that this commandment is of extraordinary significance. The promise, that the obedient child would live long on the earth, is a general promise, not an absolute promise.