There is a difference between obeying and honoring. Obedience is a genuine, willing adherence to a request of one in authority. Essentially, to obey means to do as one is told. It has to do with action. Honor, on the other hand, is different as it encompasses the attitude of obedience. It has to do with the attitude behind the action. More than once I have said this line to my kids when I have asked them to do something that I knew they would resist. I would say “Do what you’re told; do it immediately, and do it with a good attitude” Sometimes it would work and sometimes it wouldn’t. Honor has to do with respect and love. This is the child’s responsibility. However, verse 4 is calling fathers to discipline those children in “the training and instruction of the Lord”. Parents should not parent from anger and frustration, but from an attitude of love just as Christ so loved us.
Questions for further thought:
1. How would I define the word “obey”?
2. In what ways have I seen this Biblical model of the parent-child relationship work? Are there some ways it has not been successful?
Challenge: Take time this week “to bring your children up in the discipline and the instruction of the Lord.” (Eph. 6:4)
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