What Kind of Parents Are We? - Ephesians 6:1-3

What Kind of Parents Are We?

My kids are great…great at being a real handful at times. One of my biggest struggles is to ensure my children learn to trust God and develop a personal relationship with Him. Yes, going to Sunday School and mid-week children’s ministry helps, but the real foundation that they get is from our parenting. We are the ones teaching them through our personal walk with Christ. 

Are you being the parent that God is calling you to be and raising your children according to the love of Christ? 

Ephesians 6:1-4
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Paul just addressed marriage and how husbands and wives are to be submissive to God and each other. Building on this, he moves on to the children. Paul addresses the children, but to me, he is addressing the parents of these children. The children may hear this, but it is the parents that help guide and teach the children to reach this point. Children are to obey and be submissive, but if the wife is not submissive to the husband and the husband does not love the wife as Christ does, how are the children supposed to obey and be submissive to God? It is our duty and responsibility as parents to be an example of Christ to our children. Be the example of complete submission to Him. 

Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

God calls us to train our children in the way of love, the way of the Holy Spirit, and the way of Christ. We are to be the Christ-like example for our children so that they may make their relationship with Christ a personal walk. In previous chapters, Paul called us saints to walk in the light and be living examples to those around us. 

So many children from Christian families fall away. Children are incredibly perceptive and can easily identify inconsistencies when we, as parents, are not practicing what we teach. Children are called to be obedient in the Lord, humble, and submissive to Him.  

Furthermore, Paul calls out all the dads. Paul knows that our anger can get the best of us. Our children are vulnerable and sensitive, especially when they are being submissive. We can’t let our emotions overpower the truth of God’s love. We need to be an example of God’s love for our children. Be slow to anger and control your emotions as a father. Being overpowering can be discouraging to our children, and it could have a lasting effect on their lives. However, parents are still to discipline their children according to the instruction of the Lord. We can’t give in to every want and whine our children bring forth. God calls us to train our children that balance encouragement and rebuke, so they learn from their mistakes. This is to be done in a loving and Christ-like way. Sometimes, when we are ‘training’ for something, it is difficult and may not be a pleasant experience, but it grooms us to improve. 

Therefore, I encourage all the parents out there to focus on what is important and be an example of submissiveness to Christ. Be unified as parents and consistent in your walks with Christ. Develop your children in the truth. Provide them with encouragement and teaching while not being too overbearing or a complete push-over. Children learn from us and learn from their observations of us. Think before letting out an angry outburst. Your actions, words, and behaviors are what your children see as “ok” and acceptable.
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