We covered that the Lord expects obedience to His ultimate authority in our lives, and to his proxies – secular government, church leaders, supervisors on the job in our first instalment on The Lord cares how we interact with those in authority outside the family.
In this blog we will cover what the Lord expects of us within the family authority.
1. Parents- Today many children would prefer to get out of the shelter afforded by parents. It is the age of independence Unwisely, untrained, not warned, these children emerge from under parents’ wings, run into much trouble like a tsunami that kills, maims, hurts for life and damages without recovery for life. They become unwed mothers, alcoholics, drug addicts, gangsters, thieves, causing hurt to self and others with negative impact. All must learn that be sure your sins will find you out. So many spend time in prison and loss of liberties. May the Lord help parents to help their children by imbuing the Lord’s life principles and imparting disciplines for life from childhood “Train up a child in the way he should go” and guide and pray for them in their youth for who will cover them in prayer except parents who love the Lord and love them? “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his ways, by taking heed according to the Word”? Do not expect good life for your kids if you do not teach them goodness from God’s Word. Parents have responsiblity and accountability for their children, they cannot pass it on to schools, to childcare centres, maids and even good-hearted relatives. How much heartache and grief can be preempted if parents and grandparents will take their responsiblities seriously before God by training their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Pray for parents today.
Col. 3:20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
In everything? how can it be when the current world is so different from a generation ago? The Lord in His wisdom has ordained yes, obedience in everything – it is the basics that need to be obeyed, the moral and ethical values based on the Word of God for hard work, earning your keep, not gambling your future away, living beyond your credit, living off another without working. There should be honesty, respect for laws instead of lawlessness and most important homage to God Almighty through Jesus Christ. There should be respect for one another in love, sharing, and caring. Parents may not be skilled in Information Technology but it does not mean they are not skilled in maintaining communications – in fact, today’s IT environment has made many hide behind their computer screens and become near recluse with low emotional intelligence quotients. Parents have a built-up network of friends, suppliers, contractors which children starting off deprive themselves the benefit if they do not tap into these established dependable agencies which are not fly by night.
Eph. 6:1,2 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise.
You are doubly blessed if you have parents who are Christians for the blessings of the Lord will pass on to you and your children if you will accept them. Do not turn away from the faith of your fathers in the Lord for you do so at your own risk.
Prov. 1:8 Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction
and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
If your father has given you instruction, listen for fathers do not speak unless it is important. Learning at the knees of your mother when you were young, of your cultural heritage and skills for living must make you appreciate the lessons given in love. If you have been neglected in your childhood and youth, it still behoves you to honor and listen to your parents if the Lord has placed you in the family, for it is for a cause – perhaps you can win your parents to the Lord and lead them out of sin’s darkness by so doing.
Ex. 20:12. “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
An incentive from the Lord who is reasonable in His demands which is for our good. He holds our lives in His hands. We work hard to survive everyday and many would pay their last dollar to obtain the elixir of youth and stay alive as long as they can. If only they knew that one of the ways is obedience to the Word of God.
1. This includes honoring parents even when they are old
Matt. 15:3-6 Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’[a] and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’[b] 5 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ 6 they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. Let us follow the right tradition under God and according to His Word. We hear many voices in the world today from those who want to ape the enemy of God who thinks he wants to be as god. Listen only to the voice of the Good Shepherd and not to liars.
1 Tim. 5:4. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.
When your career, entertainment, children and so many distractions can block your time so that you do not have time to spare for the folks who took care of you when you were not able to do so, when you were young, then be aware that the Lord knows that you are absconding from your responsibilities, you cannot just roll the responsibilities of a helpless parent to a maid or outsource it to homes for the aged and community hospitals. You must visit and encourage them in their old age as they did you in your young age. For your parents, no money can buy your presence, your shoulder to lean on and your glorifying the Lord God almighty. Remember you are examples and teaching your children what to do with you when your time comes.
2. Jesus set the example
Luke 2:51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.
John 19:25, 26. Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman,[a] here is your son,”
Jesus was obedient in childhood and He was considerate and honoring His mother even in the last hours of his life on earth. His recorded example shows how important correct relationship to parents is.
3. Disobedience or disrespect to parents is very bad for both parents and children.
Deut. 27:16 “Cursed is anyone who dishonors their father or mother.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”
Deut 21:18-21 If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. 20 They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” 21 Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.
Rom. 1:30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;
Note with whom those who disobey their parents are classified and the terrible punishment inflicted on those who disobeyed their parents in the Old Testament – they were cursed and stoned. The Lord considers appropriate treatment of parents that important as He will reward with long life those who obey.
1 Tim 5:1,2 Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.
We have to treat those older than us with gentleness and kindness. They may have lost their sight, their hearing and their mobility. Shouting, shoving them aside and simply ignoring them is not kind. Be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, loving one another. That is God’s requirement to us as His children.
D. Husbands – they have authority given by the Lord, as head of the household. However, to be respected, obeyed and honored, they must be honorable and earn the respect of the rest of the family including their wives. Which husband who is kind, loving, gentle and considerate will be dishonored and not respected by his wife and children?
1 Tim. 3:2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach. Philandering husbands cannot earn the respect of their wives or their children. It is disdainful to the Lord. Do not blame your wives for not respecting or honoring you if you do not respect your wife’s honor. Husbands who live shamelessly bring shame to themselves and the Lord sees you even in secret. Wives have no excuse either if they live dishonorably, living wantonly and pervously in the ways of the world, and continue in shameless acts of adultery in the sight of God. Divorce is a penalty not an escape for there is physical, emotional and spiritual suffering long after the divorce in court.
If only one spouse is a Christian the one who is a Christian is to pray to God to save the other and ask the Lord for strength and patience to be a witness for Him in the home that His will be accomplished in the family.
Eph. 5: 22-24 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
As leader in the household the husband’s responsibilities have been spelt out and so has the wife’s.
Heb. 13: 7 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
When husbands earn the respect of their wives, the wives will obey their husbands willingly if they teach the Word and strengthen faith in God.
Col. 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Titus 2:5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
1 Pet. 3: 1-6 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do
Where wives obey their husbands they bring honor to their husbands in the sight of others as Sarah did to Abraham. Wives are required to behave themselves in public and live pure and gentle and quiet lives true to their husbands.
In summary, obedience to authority at home in an environment of honour and respect, results in honour outside the home and comely behaviour by all, a testimony that what the Lord has ordained works well in the family situation. In the reverse situation when there is no respect in the home for each other, there will be no honor and respect outside and the Lord is not glorified.
The Lord cares how we respond to His authority agent and those whom He has assigned to be in our families and for whom we are responsible to and for. If not there would not be any retribution for not meeting the requirements. If we have erred in our ways concerning any aspect, let us turn to the Lord, repent and ask Him for strength to carry on our journey through life guided by His Word. He cares and will hear. Praise the Lord.