“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (this is the first commandment with a promise), that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Ephesians 6:1-3
The first relationship in each one of our lives is with our parents. Our lives were not only procreated through our parents, but are powerfully shaped by our parents as we relate to them over those formative years.
It’s no surprise, then, that God calls us to obey our parents. As the ones from whom our lives originated, they are the natural authorities for our lives. They gave us life, and then they teach us how to live. However, if children resist their parental authorities, then they’ll be incapable of learning and growing into the later stages of development. The Apostle instructs children to obediently acknowledge the loving authority of their parents.
He also emphasizes that when God spoke this direction in the fifth commandment (Exodus [20:12]), it was the first commandment of the ten to have a promise attached to it. The promise is that if you honor your parents, it will go well with you and you’ll live long in the land. This promise isn’t an absolute guarantee that life is going to be a cakewalk and we’ll definitely live into our eighties. Rather, it’s a general assurance that a life of humbly honoring our parents is a life that honors our God-given authorities and leads to general well-being.
Lord God, I thank You for my parents. They aren’t perfect, but You used them to give me life and they have blessed me in many ways. Help me to honor and love them from my heart. Amen.