I have heard about some interviews in beauty pageants, asking ‘what do you want to do’, they have used to say ‘I will work for ‘world peace.’ Although the parties may have answered seriously, but many have laughed at this. Though it was a wonderful dream, and perhaps a great idea, it seemed too far from reality. According to Charles Dickens, 'people may not know how to live while they have great ideas.’
But it seems that modern Christians look like this. We have a lot of great stories and great causes. For example, 'Love your God and love your neighbor' , which is the right and great. We must love our God and love our neighbors. However, we may feel that it is difficult to apply this word in our reality. In some cases, we may live in our reality regardless of the Words of God because we feel that the words are too abstract.
When I read Ephesians, I find many wonderful words. For example, Ephesians 3: 8, "the abundance of Christ that cannot be measured", however, it is so abstract. Thus, it requires a lot of research. However, today's text is very specific and simple. Today’s passage is a problem that we are experiencing in our daily life, and it is a word that we can practice. As I shall tell you later, today's text is also one of key to taste 'the abundance of Christ that cannot be measured.'
Ver 1-3. Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother"--which is the first commandment with a promise--"that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."
What is the first promised commandment? “it is that “Honor your father and your mother”. Today's passage does not need explanation. This is something we can understand. 'Obey your parents. Honor Parents', which is the first commandment that God has given to us with a promise. 'it may god well with you and you may enjoy long life on the earth.’
Today’s passage is not an abstract content, but is a concrete and substantive content. It is also a necessary word for our family though we may not practice, ignore or forget the words.
We may recall a person who obeyed his parents. It is Isaac, a son that Abraham gained at the age of 100. In Genesis chapter 22, God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham obeyed God. Issac was obedient to his father who might to try kill him. Isaac's life was blessed as the first commandment with a promise – “that it may go well with you and that you may long life on the earth”. Another example is Jesus Christ. Jesus obeyed the words of Heavenly Father until he died on the cross (Philippians 2: 8).
On the other hand, there were some people who disobeyed the words of their parents. It is the two sons of Eli, the priest, who appears in the book of 1 Samuel. Both of them, ‘Hophni’ and ‘Phinehas’, became Israel's priests of the Lord after their father. But the problem was that these two have done many evil things in the sight of God. They did not have to do anything as a priest. The Bible records that Eli's two sons despised the sacrifice of God. Nowadays, it can be said that the pastor ignored the worship service to God. It would be a very scary story. But the problem was that Hophni and Phinehas did not fear God at all. And he did many bad things according to their desires. Eventually, the rumors of these two sons came to Eli. We can guess what Eli’s mind was as a father. His heart would be sore. So Eli summoned the sons and admonished them.
.."Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people about these wicked deeds of yours. No, my sons; it is not a good report that I hear spreading among the LORD's people. If a man sins against another man, God may mediate for him; but if a man sins against the LORD, who will intercede for him?" His sons, however, did not listen to their father's rebuke, for it was the LORD's will to put them to death. (1 Samuel 2: 23-25).
The reaction of the two sons who heard their father did not obey him as we would expect. It would be understood since they were not afraid of God at all. Those who violate the first promised commandment would eventually be killed by the enemy.
'Children, obey your parents in the Lord.' This is the right thing to do.
It is also a lesson we should learn from the story of 'Hopni' and 'Phinehas' at the Father’s day. Although we are not tempted to keep the word today alone. It is also a word that we must live for a lifetime, and to be listened to our children with their ears continually.
If you trace the background of today's text, you can feel the weight of today's passage more clearly. Let’s go back to Ephesians 5:15, 16, saying that
Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
After these words, we can find these words: 'Understand what the Lord's will is; be filled with the Sprit; always thank God for everything, in the name of Jesus Christ; submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.’ These words are wonderful. We need to pay attention to the following words that tell us about 'wife and husband, husband and wife, parents and children, children and parents'.
What the words mean that 'those who want to know the Lord's will, those who want to resemble the Lord, and those who want to live this land wisely', should do what we read today. We will see in our lives and be in the unquestionable fullness of Christ. We will also see the glory of God through our lives. If you live like the text today, you can live as a wise person in an evil world.
Think about it. Children who obey their parents. Please meditate on the assumptions of your home nurturing your children with your instruction in the Lord. God will be glorified through us. Those who want to keep the text today are those who fear God and love God. These homes will become a wise and happy home in a world that is becoming increasingly evil.
Eugene Peterson said this. 'It is great to do great things for God. But it is greater to do small things for God. '
Look at the text today. It may be not as great as 'to love God and to love our neighbors', but it may be considered a small thing because it happens in our home. But think about this; what will be happened if we ignore the words of God because this is not a wonderful thing. Our home will be in trouble.
It is a reason to say that doing small things for God is even more wonderful. Especially when everyone is doing great things for the Lord, are you willing to do small things for the Lord?
The Word God gave to those who want to know the Lord's will, those who want to resemble Him, and those who want to live wisely on this earth are the texts today.
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord. This is right. "
Parents want their children to be well. Although there are sometimes odd parents, it is true that most parents want their children to be good. Especially in the wicked world, that our children should live wisely. We also have a desire for our children to grow up to be praised by man and Lord. Furthermore, parents have a desire that their child(ren) are recognized in the society. But unlike this mind, no matter how good a parent is, children may not. So did the children of Eli the priest, but the children of Samuel did not grow well. Unlike Samuel, his children have tried to raise money in a dishonest way.
So parents are worried about how to raise their children. Parents always worry that even if the children grow up and marry and have children.
In verse 4, we can find the principles of how we educate child(ren).
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
The first is that you should have standards when you raise a child. The reason why children's minds are upset or angry is that their parents raise children inconsistently. In other words, depending on the mood of the parents, you may teach something differently, your children will become confused, angry, or upset. It is important to set standards and nurture children.
Second is to bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. It is important to teach them repeatedly with standards in the Lord.
Deuteronomy 6: 5-9
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
We need to repeat the right things in the Lord. It is God's way that you repeat the words of God, which will be engraved in the hearts of children. Then the children will live according to the word of God. And what parents can do is to pray for the children constantly.
We want to do great things, and it is important to have such a wish. That's why we grow. God wants us to come to the fullness of Christ's fullness
‘..until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:13). "
It is important that we pray to God and read and meditate on God's Word. But this does not make us mature. Because maturity is not alone, but is only through relationships.
We can stay well with people who have nothing to do with us. We even give kindness to them. If they are in a trouble, we can send money. So do we mature? No. although it may be better than not helping a person in difficulty, we can see ourselves from our relationship with family members who know our names well. Thus, home is a very unique place. Because it is the place that shows all the bottom of us.
No one in this world chooses a parent. No one in this world chooses a child. When I was born, my parents were there, and when I saw him, he was there. It is not the home where the people choose based on their favorites. Regardless of our will, we have the home. There are many relationships in home.
A relationship is formed between wife and husband, husband and wife, parents and children, and children and parents. Not all households in the world are the same. Today's text may be lacking for these various assumptions to apply. The situation for the family was not taken into account. Nevertheless, today's text that God has given us has one principle: 'in the Lord' or 'as in the Lord'. The body redefines the essence of a complicated relationship. It is not to look at the home in terms of culture or the surrounding environment, but to look at the family again from the perspective of Christ.
Sometimes children do not understand their parents. Likewise, parents often do not understand their children. The word that should work then is 'in the Lord' or 'as in the Lord'. Obey your parents in the Lord. Nurture with the Lord's instruction and instruction. In the newly defined relationship in the Lord, there is something that happens when you do what the Lord says you should do. That is what brings us to the fullness of Christ.
It is right and wonderful to do great things for God. But doing small things for God is right and even more wonderful.
In the home that the Lord has granted, I hope that you and your spouse will love one another and obey each other as you do to the Lord. Children, obey your parents in the Lord. Parents, do not provoke your children to anger, but hope that they will be taught in the disciple and instruction of the Lord.
Today's text will enrich our lives, especially our homes. I bless you in the name of the Lord that your grace and peace are in your home.