Of children and parents. Ephesians 6.1-3
She was a cutie, but she was stubborn. One day this little tike of few pounds and big talk was taking a ride with her dad. Pulling out of the driveway her dad said, “Sis, sit down and put on that seatbelt.”
The little girl continued to stand.
“Sit down and put on your seatbelt right now!” the young man demanded.
Still no move to obey.
After a few more threats and a slight slowing of the car, the girl flopped down on the seat. She looked over at her dad, recognized his “I’m not kidding” face and snapped the seat belt into place.
A second passed in silence and then the little girl looked over at her dad and said, “Daddy, I’m sitting down on the outside, but I’m still standing up on the inside!”1
Her little defiant streak makes us smile, doesn’t it? I guess because we can picture a cute little girl, with chin tucked and lower lip thrust, asserting her little willfulness to her daddy. Key word – little. Imagine the same female at 16 or 17 years old, her defiance having kept pace with the rest of her growth … what would it look like? Rebellion and trouble perhaps—because when she chooses to ‘keep the rules,’ she resents them, and more often than not, inwardly thinks they apply to everyone else but her.
There is no indication from biblical history that the apostle Paul was a father, but in his teaching, he writes as guided by the Holy Spirit,2 addressing what God has spoken in the Ten Commandments:
“Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.” 6.1-3
Children are to obey their parents, but notice that Paul adds another caveat. Just as he bade wives to submit, husbands to love and cherish—he admonishes children to honor their parents. It turns out that we can oft make someone obey, but cannot legislate honor. To obedience, Paul now adds honor. Attitude, it turns out, is important.
>Honor comes from within; it is bread of respect and laced with devotion.br/>
When we obey with honor, our heart attitude is correct.
I think of wives who endeavor to submit, and honor their husbands though their husbands do not necessarily love or honor them, it seems the only way possible to do so (and not become bitter) is rooted in the theme of Ephesians – in Christ. Then it can be done, and done well. For the Christ follower—whether husband, wife, child, employee, manager--is to live life in Christ. When we love, submit, obey, serve and honor, we do so out of our great devotion, love and reverence for him whom we love.
1 – Casper Journal, April 1, 2013, Tami Rudkin
2 – 2 Peter 1.21