Ephesians 6 is so full of practical instruction for us all.

  • Verses 1-3 have instructions for children, both young and adult.
  • Verse 4 has instructions for fathers.
  • Verses 5-8 have instructions for servants or workers under a supervisor.
  • Verse 9 has instructions for masters, or supervisors.
  • Verses 10-18 have instructions for soldiers of the Lord.

To begin, let’s read Ephesians 6:1, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.” This is instruction for children still living under the guidance of their parents. It has to do with younger ones, who are still living in their parents’ homes. This is a clear word: Children are to do what their parents tell them to do. The one exception here, is that it is to be “in the Lord.” This means that if a parent instructs a child to do something that is in clear disobedience to the Word of God, the child, having spiritual discernment, should not obey that type of instruction. Otherwise, the child learns how to obey others when they are taught to obey their parents. I often tell children that if they disobey their parents, they are also disobeying the Lord.

Now let’s go on by reading Ephesians 6:2-3, “Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” Our fathers and mothers will only be our parents for a while. The role of the parent is over once the child is grown and leaves the home. However, our fathers and mothers will always be our fathers and mothers as long as they live. We should always honor them as such. The word for ‘honor’ here means to value, revere, or prize. I must admit, the older I get and having become a parent myself, I value my father and mother more and more as the years go by. Even though they are both with the Lord in glory now, I still value them and the instructions they gave me as I was growing up.

Next, Ephesians 6:4 tells us, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” These are such important words to us fathers, so that we might properly raise our children for the Lord. First, we are not to provoke our children to wrath. That does not mean we are never to make our children angry. When we properly discipline our children, they may get mad at us at first. Hebrews 12:11 tells us, “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” The point here is that fathers are not to assert their authority over their children in such a way that it only produces wrath in them. Colossians 3:21 says, “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” To anger or discourage our children does not benefit them. Rather, we are instructed to “bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” In this instance, to ‘nurture’ means to train by our disciplinary actions; whereas to ‘admonish’ means to train up by our words, or teachings. So, by our actions and by our words, we are to raise our children under the guidance of the Lord. What a wondrous and serious responsibility we have to raise our children so that they might come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior and become faithful servants of the Lord. (158.3)