THE CHILDREN IN THE FAMILY
The fifth commandment is directed at the children. The Apostle here first gave the command to husbands and wives and then now to the children. He told them to obey their parents in the Lord for it is right. He cited the commandment: “Honour thy father and thy mother” (Eph 6:2). He observed that this is the first commandment with a promise.
All families, even unbelievers’, value their children and would like them to grow up and become responsible adults. Education is in the forefront, among other things, that parents seek to provide their children. Parents do this to safeguard their children’s future and to have a legacy. It is indeed their duty to fulfil their earthly obligation to their children.
However, every responsible Christian parent knows that the fear of the Lord is far above everything that a child can achieve. In Proverbs 22:6 the wise king wrote, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” The home is the place where a child will grow and learn more about the fear of God. The church usually has a Sunday School program and other classes to instruct the children. However, apart from sending the children to church, responsible parents must monitor the progress of their own children in spiritual matters even more than they do in their secular education. Spiritual education is number one. This is what it means to “bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
The promise annexed to this commandment is long life. A life of obedience will give a child the desire even to keep himself holy in spirit and in body. That child will flee youthful lusts and learn to live for the Lord. They are thus admonished to obey father and mother. Jesus, as a child in Nazareth, set a good example.
THOUGHT: Teaching children today is building tomorrow’s church.
PRAYER: Lord, grant grace to our children that they may fear Thee.