Parents-children Relationship

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 turn out well for you, and that you may live long on the earth. (Ephesians 6:1-3)

My son, comply with the commandment of your father, and do not ignore the teaching of your mother; Bind them continually on your heart; Tie them around your neck. When you walk, they will guide you; When you sleep, they will watch over you; And when you awake, they will talk to you. (Proverbs 6:20-22)

Obedience is not automatic and not instinct in the children’s hearts. It must be taught because they want to rule and manipulate their parents.

What is natural in them is to disobey. Disobedience is a skill that does not require teaching. It comes naturally from a sinful heart. No wonder why there’s a lot of command in the Scriptures to obey because fallen humanity is at enmity with the sons of disobedience.

In the second passage above, the children are bid to comply with their father’s command. The father is the primary teacher and discipler at home and the mother shares this responsibility as she submits to the man of the house.

The kids are not licensed to talk to parents in an imperative manner. They are not the commanding officers. They must submit to the authority of the parents.

The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, And he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him. Let your father and your mother be glad, And let her rejoice who gave birth to you. (Proverbs 23:24-25)

Disobedience brings sorrow to the parents. At home, the cultivation of filial piety is vital. This is holiness at home. No society praises disobedient children. This kind of culture is natural universally.

Animals naturally obey their parents. They do not have rational minds but they obey.

Children disobey naturally because of sin. But God has instituted that parents have the authority and children must obey and submit. Parents should decide for the kids. They are the decision-maker.

Now, let us look at three (3) basic duties and obligations of children to the parents:

Love them

Love is shown when children rejoice, delight, and take pleasure to be with their parents. The parents are hurt when children are happier with others. Imagine how painful it is when children do not talk to their parents. while spending chats with friends. Love is TIME. The essence of love is TIME.

They are happy to make the parents happy. This is love; when you seek the happiness of another. Parents and children must work it out together.

Children display love when they listen to their parents. If they have problems, they must listen to their counsel. Imagine a teenager who always goes and listens to her friends’ counsel when problems come, and the parents are the last persons to know that their children have a problem.

Children, should you get counsel to your friends of same age for wisdom? Would you really forsake the God-given and experience-molded wisdom that your parents have?

Children, you can pour out your hearts to your parents. Do you think your parents will give counsels that will harm you?

Parents, do not agree that you are not your kids’ best friend.

Children, do you love your parents? Then, delight in them, make them happy, and listen to them.

Honor them

Parents must have the authority. Children should submit.

Kids, you should put your hands on your mouths when your parents are talking, admonishing, or even scolding you. You must show respect no matter what. If you want to talk, let them finish first and ask permission to talk respectfully. Do not throw words against them. Do not interrupt them.

The rain of instruction will soon stop. Parents’ mouths will stop soon, and the children’s role is to respect, honor, and listen humbly to them.

Children, do you honor your parents? Then, show it in your action.

Obey them

This is the most natural and obvious attitude that must be seen between parent-children relationships. Children are rational beings, so they must obey.

Children, when should you obey? After ten minutes or after 3 calls and shouts of your parents? Obedience should be prompt, and without delay, since delayed obedience is not obedience at all.

Children, how should you obey? Obedience should be done happily. There are those who obey outwardly but do not obey inwardly. They do the things commanded to them, but their hearts are hard.

Children, do you obey your parents? Then, obey promptly and happily.

It is the duty of children to imitate the good examples of their parents. In all of these, children will imitate their parents. It should not be, “Follow what I say but not what I do”, but “Follow what I say and what I do”.

Parent, ponder on this: Is there any good thing that my children can imitate from me?

Jesus also submitted to His earthly parents. He humbled Himself. He is the greatest example of submission to parents, especially to His Father. Jesus says, “…and He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him (John 8:29).” He delights to love, honor, and obey His Father.

Children cannot do it alone. They need the grace of God. Parents should always direct them to Christ, who alone can enable the children to fulfill their basic duties and obligations to their parents possible. They have to trust in Christ alone. It is sweet to see parents talking to children in God’s instruction. This should happen in Christian families.


*This post is based on our pastor’s preaching during our church’s Teens and Kids Retreat 2021.

Published by Jeff Chavez

Sinner saved by grace

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