I have a job. It is to be obedient to my parents. There was a point in time where that was difficult for me. I became defiant. I left home. I didn’t speak to my dad for a while.
God brought me up short and I realized the error of my ways. Like the prodigal son, I humbled myself and came home.
Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Master. | Colossians 3:20 (NASB)
The child who does not learn to obey his parents is not likely to grow up obeying any authority. He will defy his teachers, the police, his employers, and anyone else who tries to exercise authority over him. The breakdown in authority in our society reflects the breakdown of authority in the home.
For the most part, children do not create problems; they reveal them. Parents who cannot discipline themselves cannot discipline their children. If a father and mother are not under authority themselves, they cannot exercise authority over others. It is only as parents submit to each other and to the Master that they can exercise properly balanced spiritual and physical authority over their children.
The measure of the child’s obedience is “all things”; and the motive is to please the Lord. It is possible to please the parents and not please the Lord, if the parents are not yielded to the Lord. The family that lives in an atmosphere of love and truth, that reads the Word of God, and that prays together will have an easier time discovering God’s will and pleasing the Master.
Scripture is clear. We are to obey our parents. It is a commandment with a benefit attached.
Does it stop when we leave home? The Bible has much to say about caring for elderly parents and other family members who are not able to care for themselves.
The early disciples acted as the social services agency for other believers. They cared for the poor, the sick, the widows and the orphans who had no one else to care for them. The disciples who had family members in need were expected to meet those needs. Unfortunately, caring for our parents in their old age is no longer an obligation that many of us are willing to accept.
- Colossians 3:20 (NASB) —Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Master.
- Leviticus 19:3 — ‘Every one of you shall reverence his mother and his father, and you shall keep My sabbaths; I am the Master your God.
- Proverbs 23:22 —Listen to your father who begot you, And do not despise your mother when she is old.
- Exodus 20:12 — “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Master your God gives you.
- Exodus 21:17 — “He who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.
- Leviticus 20:9 — ‘If there is anyone who curses his father or his mother, he shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother, his blood guiltiness is upon him.
- Deuteronomy 27:16 — ‘Cursed is he who dishonors his father or mother.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
- Proverbs 30:17 —The eye that mocks a father And scorns a mother, The ravens of the valley will pick it out, And the young eagles will eat it.
- Matthew 15:4 — “For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother is to be put to death.’
- Ephesians 6:1–3 —Children, obey your parents in the Master, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.