Doing Family God’s Way, Part 16 — Ephesians 6:1-3 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #40)

family-reading-praying-together

A series of homilies on Ephesians 5 & 6

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”


I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians 5 & 6 (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

Ephesians 6:1-3:

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;

3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

—–

Billy Graham said, “A child who is allowed to be disrespectful to his parents will not have true respect for anyone.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “God never intended His Church to be a refrigerator in which to preserve perishable piety. He intended it to be an incubator in which to hatch out converts.”

—–

Paul calls the command to obey one’s parents “the first commandment with a promise.” It is likely that he is referring to the similar statement found in the book of Exodus in what is called the Ten Commandments. It reads: “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”

Now, in Old Testament times, this command had a very literal application. Deuteronomy 21:18-21 reads: “If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.”

As you can see, having a long life in the land of Canaan was a very vivid concept for Hebrew children.

Even though this kind of punishment does not take place today, Paul tells us that the reward of long life still comes to those who obey and honor their parents. H.W. Hoenher said this promise “states a general principle that obedience fosters self-discipline, which in turn brings stability and longevity in one’s life. Stated conversely, it is improbable that an undisciplined person will live a long life.”

It is indeed a general principle, and one that I have stated many times to members of my own family, both young and old: ‘God blesses obedience and He does not bless disobedience. He never has and He never will.’ I have found it to be true that people who live a clean, godly life often live longer and are more fruitful and fulfilled than those who do not. So, children and young people, if you want to be blessed and you want to live a long life, obey God by obeying and honoring your parents.

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