Date: October 29, 2020 ()

Bible Text: Ephesians 6:1-4 |


Review of last year’s lesson

The Purpose:

The purpose of the lesson was two-part: first, to learn from the lives and choices of seven parents in the scriptures, and second, to study seven principles from the Bible for child rearing.

Seven Parents in Scripture:

  1. Adam - The deceived father (Genesis 3:8-12). Our choices as parents affect our children.
  2. Abraham - The obedient father (Genesis 22:2-3; 12). God must be first in all things.Not kids first; God first.
  3. Joshua - The determined father (Joshua 24:15). It requires firm resolve to establish and maintain a God-honoring family.
  4. Elimelech - The sidetracked father (Ruth 1:1-2). Even when circumstances get very difficult, the best decision for the father to make is the one that puts the spiritual best of the family first.
  5. Hannah - The understanding mother (1 Samuel 1:11-12; 20; 27-28). Children are ultimately God’s. They area heritage of the Lord. As a mom she was given stewardship of her little boy, but Samuel belonged to Him.
  6. Eli - The lazy father (1 Samuel 3:12-13; then back to 2:12). His failure reminds us to correct while there is hope. Ignoring needed correction to save ourselves some headaches and irritations never pays off in the end.
  7. Jehoshaphat - The compromising father (2 Chronicles 20:3, 12-13; 32; also 2 Chronicles 18:1-7). He compromised...and presumably, his son, Jehoram, took note.

Seven Commands for Parents:

  • Teach them (Deuteronomy 6:4-7)
    • While sitting in the house
    • While walking along the way
    • Near bed time
    • In the morning
  • Aim them (Psalm 127:4-5)
  • Chasten them (Proverbs 13:24)
    • Chasten: “to correct, restrain, bind, or reduce to obedience.”
    • “Betimes” is a time word, meaning “early in life” (while young) and “very quickly when they veer off the path.”
  • Train them (Proverbs 22:6)
    • Train: “first instruction or direction.”
    • Teach and train proactively, rather than only reacting to bad reports from others.
  • Do not provoke them (Ephesians 6:4)
  • Bring them up (Ephesians 6:4)
    • Nurture: “instruction by action and example; showing; demonstrating.”
    • Admonition: “instruction by word of encouragement, when appropriate, and by a word of reproof, as required.”
  • Raise them heartily (Colossians 3:23)
    • Heartily: “out of the soul.”
    • Out of our hearts and souls spill all the issues of life, including the raising of our children.

Expanded Thoughts

Ephesians 6:1-4 provides specific instructions to both parents and children. Consider three Scriptural truths relating to this passage:

  • The transition between 6:1 and 6:2 appears seamless.
  • Paul (through the guidance of the Holy Spirit) did not issue these commands to outward obedience and submission before he first “bowed his knees” to God in prayer. He knew that to have right actions, these moms, dads, children, and servants needed what he prayed for in Ephesians 3:19.
    • To be strengthened in the inner man
    • That Christ would dwell in their hearts in love
    • That they would know the love of Christ
    • That they might be filled with the fullness of God

He dared not get “practical” without first dealing with their heart attitudes. “Paul’s injunctions for believers were the outflow of the Spirit-filled life, and not just commands for stoic efforts of the old nature.” (Strouse)

  • Paul understood that obeying the family commands and instructions would generate spiritual warfare; therefore, he concludes the chapter that began with family instruction (6:1-4) by preparing his listeners for the spiritual warfare that is the Christian life (6:10-18).

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