Relationships in Christ

DAY 3. Parent / Child relations – Ephesians 6:1-4

God highly values the relationships between parents and children including them in the ten commandments. However, in Exodus and Deuteronomy it is only the child’s responsibility to honour the parent that is mentioned. Here the instruction includes the parent’s responsibility to the child. The balance in parental child relationships changes over the course of a life time. As in the marriage section the assumption is that the context of the instructions is that of a Christian family. The model for the human family is the relationship between the Christian and Christ as well as the relationship between Father and Son in the Godhead. Obedience to the Father mostly relates to a young child and parent. After all, when a child becomes an adult they frequently leave the parental home and marry to become one flesh with their marriage partner. However, honour and respect appropriately continue but take a different form. Jesus decried the Pharisee’s practice of not financially caring for their parents in old age by declaring they had devoted that money to the Lord. Mark 7:11

Parents need to be careful in their training of their children in the knowledge of the gospel. They clearly have a responsibility to bring children up in the faith but they are to do so in a way that shows understanding for the child and the love of Christ. Ephesians 6:4 As the child matures into adulthood Godly parents remain a great blessing to their children. However, the manner of the advice should demonstrate respect for their maturity and their independent responsibility towards God.