Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tuesday - April 29 - Tiffany

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ruth 3-4; Psalm 89; John
Today's scripture focus is Ephesians 6:1-4
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
I once saw a question posted on Facebook about the 5th commandment "Honor thy father and mother." The question was - "why should I honor a person who left me, or abused me? Why should I obey a parent who tells me to do wrong?"
It's a serious question, but one that is easily answered when taken within context of a Christ-following life.
Honoring is not always the same as loving. Honoring is respecting a person, of acknowledging their place in your life no matter how they treat you. God is not commanding us to stay with abusive parents, to search out and live with parents who abandon us. He is asking us to be a person of integrity and treat people as someone worth the love of Christ no matter what we personally feel.
This commandment of honoring is in place for our entire lifetime.
There are ways to respectfully disagree with someone who tells you to do wrong, and I personally feel that if a parent asks you to do something that goes against the word of God, you have the right to respectfully disagree.
It's a sticky situation, and I'm not sure where the theologians fall, but I have always felt that the "obey" command gets harder as you get older. Once you are an adult, you are then looking after yourself, and the command to obey tends to fall to the wayside. However, if you continue to honor your parents, if your parents are Godly people, you may willing follow their advice.  But maybe that is just following advice and not technically obeying. :)
As it is pointed out in Ephesians 6:3, the promise that follows honoring your parents is "enjoying long life on earth." In Biblical days, disobeying parents could lead to being put to death through the law.  Yikes. 
Also during Biblical times, fathers had complete control of their children- they could do whatever they wanted with them, including selling them as slaves. Paul is telling fathers (and in turn mothers) to treat their children with love, to protect them. To give them an education, to teach them about the love of God, and to model a life of integrity.
For me personally, I find myself in an interesting place in life - training up my children to be people of integrity, while trying to model it each day so that they willingly honor me. Thank God He is with me every moment!
Tomorrow's scripture focus: Ephesians 6:5-9
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: 1 Samuel 1-2; Psalm 86; John 18


TammyIsBlessed said...

I appreciated Legge's point that the promise of long life is more of a principle or a proverb - children who obey their (godly) parents will avoid a great deal of sin and danger, or things that may threaten to shorten their life (drugs, alcohol, etc). I hadn't looked at it that way before, but that certainly makes sense.

MacArthur says something similar - that children who obey their parents will live and rich, full quality of life, and their lives will not be cut short by some divine discipline.

I also liked MacArthur's point about parents - when we discipline our children our goal is to make them sorry, not angry.

Miriam said...

Very good post. I like what you say about honoring parents throughout your life, whereas the obeying part falls to the wayside as you become an adult and are responsible for yourself. I try very hard to remember to teach my children to make good decisions for themselves rather than just obeying me because I said so. I want them to be independent and responsible. Sometimes it would be very nice to just say "Do this" and have them do it just because you said so without questioning it, but as they get older I think we handicap them if we don't teach them to think through the reasons why things are done a certain way or why they are being asked to do them. I have adult cousins (in their 20s and 30s) who cannot make a decision for themselves without asking their parents, and I don't think that is necessarily a good thing.

Miriam said...

Also love that last point Tammy mentioned about making our children sorry, not angry.

Curly-T said...

Love your comment, Miriam - I feel the same way. It WOULD be easier just to tell them what to do, but would it be best?

Discipline is tough. I want my children to feel sorry when they misbehave, but sorry for the right reasons. Sometimes I think my 3 year old is just sorry he got caught! Ha!

Miriam said...

Ha ha ha ha... I think a lot of children are mostly sorry they got caught. The trick is getting them to understand what it is they are actually supposed to be sorry for and why! Some people never learn it, either. :(