Letter to the Ephesians: Commentary, Part 10 :: By Dr. Donald Whitchard

Ephesians, Chapter 6:1-4, NKJV:

How Not to Produce a Fractured Family

A Household in Order (vv.1-4)

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 ‘Honor your father and mother,’ which is the first commandment with promise: 3 ‘that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.’ 4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”

Children are to listen to, respond positively, and obey their parents. First, because it is the right and proper thing to do as well as a commandment from the LORD (Exodus 20:12; Proverbs 1:8, 6:20). A child is to honor their father and mother (Deuteronomy 5:16). Obedience and order bring about a sound and structured family environment. Children are to care for their parents in their old age (Leviticus 19:32; Proverbs 23:22; 1 Timothy 5: 1,2) as they did for them when they were little.

As a former nursing home chaplain, I was appalled by the neglect and dismissal of far too many senior adults by children and other members of a family because they were seen as a “burden” or some such excuse. I took care of both my father, mother, and mother-in-law because of the Commandments and my love for them. We were not in the best financial shape, but to neglect them in their time of need would have been far worse in the sight of God.

To honor and obey one’s parents means having a life that is blessed and honored. The epidemic of crime and murder rates among juveniles can be traced to the lack of godly parents and the absence of fathers in the home. It does not matter what or who says that children can thrive in a one-parent home; every child needs a father or father figure as a role model and guide in life as well as a dedicated and loving mother. The love and salvation offered in Jesus Christ can bring harmony, love, and stability to even the most troubled family situation or background. No case is too tough for Jesus to handle, period.

There have been men and women who have reared other people’s children and have been the parents the child needed. Single parents are to be commended for the task they endure, and the church needs to get its head out of the cause of the day and get back to caring for the least of these who need our help and prayers. Any couple who decides to love and care for children other than their own are to be commended as well and given our full support as part of the body of Christ.

This evil world system has told young people and pretty much everyone else that there are no consequences for anything we do or say and that you can get away with just about anything. This is so true as it applies to social media and cyberbullying, cancel culture, wokeness, name-calling, and agreeing with the government “experts” that you can be whatever gender or creature you want to be for the day. And anyone who does not agree with your decision is to be shunned, shamed, and condemned as some kind of “hater,” or “right-wing nut job,” or “domestic agent of terrorism.”

Christians are being targeted more than ever for their stands against the growing godless culture and expectations that either we be tolerant of each other’s deviancy or suffer the consequences and be hurt or worse.

We lived in New Orleans for nearly twenty years, and one of the things I witnessed is that whenever there was a funeral for a gang member (and that was regular), those that knew him or her often wore t-shirts with the deceased’s picture on it. These kids (and they were all too often just that) were cut down before they had any kind of chance or opportunity to better themselves or to find ways of getting out of that life altogether. Unfortunately, a lot of them were not right with God, totally unprepared for where they would spend eternity. They went from a life of violence and evil to a place of destruction, terror, and never-ending torment forever. What a waste of life and potential, but such is the way of those who embrace the lies of the devil and his minions.

The large cities do not need any more programs or other man-made solutions, but an army of missionaries and prayer veterans to go into these areas with the message of the Gospel. I pray that there is someone reading this study who will feel the pull of God on them to undertake such a calling before it is too late.

The Bible gives harsh penalties for disobeying or harming one’s parents. Anyone who struck his parents in anger or abused them in some way was to be put to death by the town elders (Exodus 21:15). This also went for anyone who cursed at their parents (Leviticus 20:9). The death penalty was given to any young person or adult who would not listen to the counsel of his parents and kept rebelling against their authority and the authority of God (Deuteronomy 21:18). There was to be no tolerance of anyone who brought shame and malevolence upon their parents, and this was also punishable by death (Prov. 19:26, 28:24).

Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for taking money designated for parental care and instead making it a “gift to God,” a man-made ritual known as “Corban” (Mark 7:11-12), a practice NEVER sanctioned by the LORD or His prophets.

Paul instructs all fathers to not provoke their children, that is to treat them in such a way that leads to deep-seated anger and resentment. Children are not to be overprotected, which implies mistrust. There is to be no favoritism of one sibling over another, no pushing a child to over-achieve or go beyond their reasonable bounds, and to not make them participate in events for which they may not have the skill or aptitude. Parents are to not constantly discourage their children or withhold compliments and to NEVER make them feel unwanted or that they have allegedly ruined the parent’s own selfish plans and dreams.

What is abortion but a convenient method of ridding oneself of responsibility and accountability for one’s actions done in a hotel room, back seat, or wherever the urge hit? We murder children by the thousands each day for the sake of a career; the wishes of a husband or boyfriend who won’t be the man he is supposed to be and take care of that child; or that someone thought that a baby would ruin their perfect body and figure; or that it was a way of making money by the words and deeds of a slick “women’s clinic” spokesperson; or that some medical facility needed specimens for experimentations that are no better than what was done to the Jews in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany?

Now we have doctors and educators calling for genital mutilation of kindergartners that want to be one gender or another. There are parents who are forcing their children to either wear girls’ clothing or boys’ to satisfy their sick desire that their child fit in with the sexual deviancy that is being passed off as education. Drag queens are being welcomed in libraries, schools, and even some churches to be seen as role models, and anyone who objects will feel societal wrath.

Child abuse of every kind is on the rise, and even the horrid and disgusting practice of pedophilia is being championed by celebrities, scientists, and politicians. Pedophilia scandals are exposed and then shut down just as quickly.

Just remember that curtains, Christmas ornaments, and Jeffrey Epstein all have one thing in common: They didn’t hang themselves.

As the days for the LORD’S return draw near, expect more perversions and blasphemous actions to come. Christian parents need to train their children in the things of the LORD, the truth of the faith, and the ability to defend their beliefs before a growing skeptical and hostile world. This is not a suggestion. If you want your children to end up as atheists, pagans, anarchists, and haters of God and all that is holy, then continue to stick your head in the sand and pretend that it will not affect you.

How you take care of your family from this point on will be seen by the world as evidence to rid themselves of you if you stand for Christ. This is the new reality according to the world, but the TRUTH (John 14:6) is on His way, and He will not spare the lives of those who have hurt His people. Jesus is the King, Ruler, and Champion. Amen.