The instruction for children that Paul gives here is two-fold. Children, first, are to obey their parents. It does not matter whether they agree with them, understand their rules, or see their individual flaws. Children are to obey their parents promptly, cheerfully, and completely — as long as they are not being asked to disobey God’s clear commands (“obey…in the Lord”).
In addition, however, every child is to honor his or her father and mother. It is not enough, then, to simply take out the trash, make the bed, or clean the room — if all the while the child is grumbling to himself, or complaining about her parents to her friends. Honoring one’s parents means respecting the position of authority that they have over you, as their child, and showing that respect in your actions and words.
Parents, you have an obligation to teach this part of the Bible to your children, as much as any other portion of Scripture. Your children should know that God requires obedience and honor from them, toward you, for his glory. Being just your child’s “friend”, rather than their parent, is not an option God gives us.
Of course, if children are to obey their earth-bound parents, and honor them with their actions and words, how much more should every child of God honor and obey our Father in heaven? Do we submit to him promptly, cheerfully, and completely? Do we revere him in all we do and say? It is right, it is appropriate, that we honor and obey our heavenly Father, in public and in private.
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