Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.…
I. THE TIE THAT BINDS THE PARENT TO HIS CHILD. It is one of the most affecting of all ties. But see the deep responsibility connected with it - to say nothing of the closeness, the tenderness, and the unchangeableness of the tie - my bone, and my flesh, and my blood.
II. But observe THE EXHORTATION THAT IS HERE GIVEN. At first sight it seems a sort of strange exhortation to parents, "not to provoke their children to wrath." Yet there is infinite love and infinite wisdom in it; because of the very love that parents have for their children. Observe, they are not exhorted to love their children; that is not the exhortation given to them. It is supposed that they love their children; and yet, though they love their children, they may "provoke them to wrath." Because there may be, and often is, an exhibition of love that does "provoke them to wrath." Oh! beloved, a system of perpetual, endless, unrequired, austere restriction does it; a perpetual restriction, in which there is a practical forgetfulness of the parent's duty to make his children happy. Beware of a system of perpetually finding fault. This results from the other; if there be a system of perpetual restriction in all things. But now let us come to that which is the precept before us. "But," says he, instead of doing so, "bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." "Bring them up" - the same word occurs in the twenty-ninth verse of the former chapter; it is the same as "nourish." It implies all tenderness, all feeling with, all feeling for, all care, all gentleness, and all love. "Bring them up": just as you nourish your own flesh, caring for its life, for its welfare, and its true well-being - so "bring them up." "Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Here are two points for our consideration. Here is, first of all, the bringing them up, instructing them in Divine truth; and then there is educating them in Divine things. First of all, to instruct them in Divine truth. And this, too, not in a dictatorial way, as a schoolmaster teaches his lessons; but as a father should teach his children. A "good minister" is one who is "nourished up in the words of faith, and of good doctrine." Nourished up, by little and little, just as he is able to bear it. Besides this, beloved, there is in education - and there can hardly be, I should think, a greater mistake than to suppose that instruction in the truth, and education, mean the same things - there is in education the "bringing up" of a child in those principles in which he has been instructed out of God's Word.
(J. H. Evans, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.