“Children, Obey Your Parents”
INTRODUCTION What is the Meaning of Ephesians 6.1-3
Ephesians 6. We’ll begin the last chapter in Ephesians. An article on Boston.com starts this way … “…A group of UCLA-affiliated social scientists conclude[ed] that American families are overwhelmed by clutter, too busy to go in their own backyards, rarely eat dinner together even though they claim family meals as a goal, and can’t park their cars in the garage because they’re crammed with non-vehicular stuff.
The team of anthropologists and archeologists spent four years studying 32 middle-class Los Angeles families in their natural habitat — their toy-littered homes — and came to conclusions so grim that the lead researcher used the word “disheartening” to describe the situation we have gotten ourselves into.
The rise of Costco and similar stores has prompted so much stockpiling — you never know when you’ll need 600 Dixie cups or a 50-pound bag of sugar — that three out of four garages are too full to hold cars.
Managing the volume of possessions is such a crushing problem in many homes that it elevates levels of stress hormones for mothers.
Even families who invested in outdoor décor and improvements were too busy to go outside and enjoy their new decks.
Another analysis of the same study says … The families had a very child-centered focus. Parents intend to develop their children’s independence, yet raise them to be relatively dependent, even when the kids have the skills to act on their own.
One of the researchers began her career in far-off regions of the world and noticed that American children seemed relatively helpless compared with those in other cultures she and colleagues observed. In Samoa children serve food to their elders, waiting patiently in front of them before they eat. In Peru’s Amazon region children climb tall trees to harvest papaya and help haul logs to stoke fires. By contrast, Los Angeles parents focused more on the children, using simplified talk with them, while the parents did most of the housework and intervened quickly when the kids had trouble completing a task.
In 22 of the families, children frequently ignored or resisted appeals to help. In the remaining families, the children weren’t asked to do much. In some cases, the children routinely asked the parents to do tasks, like getting them silverware. ‘How am I supposed to cut my food?’ one girl asked her parents.
In these homes, asking children to do a task led to much negotiation, and when parents asked, it sounded often like they were asking a favor, not making a demand, researchers said. Parents interviewed about their behavior said it was often too much trouble to ask.
And, the study found that when fathers came home from work, 86% of the time at least one child didn’t pay attention to him. “The kids,” the researchers noted, “are oblivious to their parents’ perspectives.” The researchers theorize that stems from a tendency in U.S. society to adapt to and focus on the children, rather than teaching children to focus on others. Americans tend to encourage children to pay attention to objects more than faces, emphasizing colors and shapes, for instance, over people. In Samoa, children are expected to be attentive to others from a very young age, and parents stress focusing on what others need.
The public school teachers even notice. Teachers are intimately familiar with the “learned helplessness” [in other words, kids are taught to be helpless] the researchers allude to and the “helicopter parents” who swoop in and try to fix their children’s problems for them. No wonder it’s so hard for teachers to get students [or parents to get children] to think first and foremost about what’s in the best interest of the others.
Well, what’s going on? The writer continues … I wonder if the answer lies in large part in the … sentence, “Parents interviewed about their behavior said it was often too much trouble to ask.” By which I wonder if they mean, “After working all day we’re too exhausted to teach our children how to set the table, how to make their beds, what to do with their dishes after meals, let alone to remind them of those responsibilities, and also how to pay attention to others’ feelings, and how to solve problems themselves.”
Too few parents realize that by investing time and energy on the front-end, through teaching their children how to help around the house, how to interact respectfully with others, and how to peacefully resolve conflicts, they save themselves major frustration and hardship on the back-end.
[the article concludes….]
Plus, by investing lots of teaching time on the front-end, they increase the odds that their children will become thoughtful, appreciative young adults who know the world doesn’t revolve around them.
And so it’s no wonder it’s so hard for parents to get children to think first and foremost about what’s in the best interest of the others, when the children are often given the impression that the world revolves around them.
But it seems completely backwards to suggest that we are a child-focused society when so many dads and moms are gone all day at work…they seem like they are focused on themselves, too. And yes, that is true, too. What happens is when they all get together in the house, children become the center of attention because of lack of instruction and the children end up creating the atmosphere in the home.
What happens is parents begin to decrease their focus on their marriage and focus that energy on their children so that they can become “good parents” all the while they are losing the priority of their marriage in the home.
Children become the centerpiece while the marriage is simply a troubled addition to the family. Husband and wife are now instead mom and dad. And then, when the marriage becomes strained because husband and wife have lost focus on their marriage, their parenting inevitably suffers.
And through this, … now what happens is that the child begins to sense self-reliance at too early of an age. Since the center of the family is on them, and the kids can get their mom and dad to do mostly whatever they want …they feel they can make bigger and bigger decisions … even though they can’t make proper discernment decisions.
The child grows up with a sense of self-reliance but has limited discernment. Parents have failed to rein in their children and teach them from an early age obedience, respect, and care for others, resulting in them becoming the center of the house then. And so they grow in self-reliance too early because they parents taught them that … and then the kids demand their way too soon while having limited discernment.
And that results in the typical teenage syndrome. And the reason for this is because ever since the child has been small, selfish parents have lacked the backbone, stamina, and desire to honor God and so they let the child’s choices, actions, and foolishness prevail in the home. Over the years, this increases the child’s sense of self-reliance before the child is able to properly discern major life decisions.
And through this parenting or lack thereof, other areas begin to suffer. For example … whether it is standards of morality, or relationships or jobs or activities … Parents are teaching their children to think and to choose things … based upon what I can get out of them. The child has been taught by his parents that his parents are there to please him and he is taught that he can get what he wants when he want it …self-reliance …
…and he’s that way toward his most important human relationship, toward his parents … and so that translates into other relationships as well.
The child will grow up focusing on what he can get out of a relationship rather than what he can contribute. The child will be loyal to that relationship to the degree that he is getting something out of it himself.
It’s the same with morality. If the moral standard does not make me happy or I can’t get something out of it, then chuck the standard and get a new standard.
Ephesians 6:1-3 1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise), 3 SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH.
This is as much a passage for children as it is for fathers and mothers. Parents need to focus on engendering and encouraging the obedience of the child and the child needs to focus on obeying parents.
Now this passage is a continuation from back in chapter 5. Ephesians 5 beginning in verse 18 describes the Spirit-filled life. Ephesians 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,
What is it to be filled with or better, “by the Spirit?” What is Spirit-filling? It is to be filled by the Holy Spirit with the word of Christ, as we cross-referenced Colossians 3:16. To be filled by the Holy Spirit means to be filled by the Holy Spirit and with the word of Christ, with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
There is no Spirit filling without the gospel of Christ.
I think in an earlier message I may have been unclear, but if I am a glass than the Holy Spirit is the pitcher and the water is the word of Christ. The Holy Spirit pours forth into my heart the word of Christ. And thus I am filled with the word of Christ, the gospel.
So now, in Ephesians, we have examples of people who are filled by the Holy Spirit. What does a wife look like who is filled by the Holy Spirit with the word of Christ? We went over that. What about the husband? What does a husband look like who is filled by the Holy Spirit with the word of Christ? We went over that.
And now beginning in chapter 6 I ask, “the question what does a child who is filled by the Holy Spirit with the gospel of Christ?”…. and the answer to the is that he is obedient to his parents. A Spirit-filled child is obedient to his parents.
So, I’d like to preach this morning on “Children, obey your parents.” And this is just as much a message parents as for children. And we’ll get into some points on the ‘how to’ obey your parents toward the end of the message.
For many children in homes, this is the point at which they are sinning the most.
Children, you listened in on some of the messages about the husband and the wife. Your parents aren’t perfect, are they? Some of you more astute children likely saw things that your parents could work on.
Now, will you equally point the finger at yourself? Or are you without fault?
Appealing to them based on how bad things are!
Now, let me appeal to you children to obey their parents. Kids, …can I call you kids this morning ??…. Kids, things are really bad in the world. And the moral decline of society makes even lost people cry. You could read article after article on the web about how people who don’t trust Jesus are calling attention to the ever-accelerating moral decline of our world.
This has all happened so quickly. The Bible would call this Satanic attack. There seems to have been organized supernatural attacks, specifically on the family in society. The sexual revolution, the homosexual agenda to disrupt the biblical mandate of one man and one woman …. The feminist agenda to get mom out there working and give her kids to someone else to train them …. I’ll give an example of that later … society’s acceptance of divorce …. Which is not surprising given the “me first” children our society has produced. If you no longer get anything out of the relationship, why stay in it?
And even since I’ve been out of high school, the statistics of some of these things have doubled, quadrupled, and whatever ….
ILL: And kids, we are living in this steep decline. It’s like living on a nose-diving airplane that’s missing all engines. If you are born a nose-diving airplane that’s missing all engines and you live on it your whole life, you don’t know anything else, and so you are less likely to see the danger. The world is crashing down and unless God brings revival … you kids are likely going to see some sort of dramatic …. Boom!!… to this end of this seemingly fun airplane ride…but it’s so hard for you to see the dangers because you, like me, were born into this despicable ever accelerating moral decline …
I’m appealing to you children, then, to listen to your parents as they guide you and warn you.
Proverbs 23:22 Listen to your father who [gave birth to] you, and do not despise your mother…
…they gave birth to you! They were used of God to give you the very breath that you are breathing right now …
Proverbs 13:1 A wise son accepts his father’s discipline, But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
Proverbs 5:1 My son, give attention to my wisdom, incline your ear to my understanding;
Parents, use the proverbs of Scripture and appeal to your kids. It is parenting manual of the Bible.
TRANS: So, in verse 1, we have the command here to children to obey their parents…
The Command to Children to Obey Their Parents (Eph. 6:1)
To Whom the Command is Given: Children
The command is given to children. Who are these children? Eph. 6:4 helps us see some of the context of this … Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
These children can be provoked to anger and so it is likely then that these are not infants nor are they children who are grown up and out of the home. These are children who are old enough to understand the passage.
And the word here for children does seem to indicate children who are dependent upon their parents. And of course we recognize a child’s responsibility toward his parents changes once he begins his own family. Genesis 2:24 For this reason a man shall …. leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
When a man leaves his father and mother, there is a change in the relationship by the design of God. He is to leave his father and mother! Not that you don’t have contact, of course, but the point is the relationship changes.
And the child’s responsibility toward his parents does not stop; it never stops. He still has obligation to his parents after he leaves the house. He is to care for them in their old age as 1 Timothy 5:8 indicates. This passage is in the context of caring for your aging parents. …
1 Timothy 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
And 4 verses earlier, verse 4 tells us that when children do this they are making “some return to their parents.”
So the responsibility to parents never stops, but the responsibility changes when a child leaves the house.
And this passage in Ephesians is primarily referring to children who are yet in the household of their parents.
So children, if you are in your parent’s house this morning, I would like to appeal to you.
TRANS: You are commanded here to obey your parents.
What is Commanded: Obedience to Parents
After your relationship with God, your primary responsibility is toward your parents. Just like it takes work for a husband and a wife, it takes work for a child to obey his parents.
But who are your parents? In our day and age, this can get confusing. Whoever are your primary care givers, which tend to be your biological parents or primarily the two adults you are living with… these are the ones you ought to obey.
And your responsibility is obedience. What is obedience? As you would expect, the word has the idea of doing what you are told. It’s also honorable and respectful.
ILL: In our household with young kids, the kids are to do what they are told … And we have this line…. Fast obey, happy obey, [*lame*] all the way obey. And I make it fun to listen to so that it gets stuck in their heads … Fast obey, happy obey, allllll thewayobey and I slur that last line together.
TRANS: And now the focus in obeying your parents …
The Focus in Obedience: In the Lord
The focus in obeying your parents is “in the Lord.”
Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
This doesn’t mean obey your parents, but only if they are Christians… It does not mean obey your parents when they are acting like Christians…. And it does not mean obey your parents because they can do no wrong. We all know that’s not the case!
No, this is obedience in the Lord. That’s the focus. Or you could think of it as obeying your parents as to the Lord. We saw this same concept regarding the wife. In Ephesians 5:22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
In other words, it’s simply this: A child’s obedience to his parents should be done out of obedience to the Lord. A child’s obedience to his parents should be done because the child wants to obey the Lord. Colossians 3:20 gives us a good commentary on this … Paul writing to the Colossians says … Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.
So please the Lord. Please the Lord … how? … by obeying your parents. You are to do this for Him, not for your parents. And if you start thinking that if I obey my parents, they have won the argument … you have lost the focus … You are to please the Lord by obeying Him when he says obey your parents, that’s the focus. Obey your parents because you want to please, the Lord.
This is obedience “in the Lord” … And so there are limitations to your obedience; you don’t obey them if they want you to sin. You ought not obey your parents if they ask you to do something that is clearly against the Lord’s desire. If your parents ask you to cheat on your mileage or on your taxes … if they ask you not to wear your seatbelt when the law says to … obey your parents in the Lord… The focus is pleasing the Lord and what your parent’s desire you to do is obviously displeasing to the Lord, then you ought not obey them.
But if your parents have brought you here this morning, it is very unlikely that they make a habit of asking you to disobey the Lord.
In the Christian home, the child who is saved is addressed here. Otherwise he could not obey his parents as a way of pleasing the Lord.
What can happen in multi-generational Christian homes is that in the parents or the grandparents there is true conviction that these things are so. But in the next generation of what can happen is that that conviction is turned into mere, shall we say, belief of some facts …. And by the third generation there is confusion in the heart of the child.
So I’d like to speak to you children here … do you know Christ? Do you really know him? I mean, do you really believe that God became flesh? Why do you believe that? Do you believe that because your parents believe that?
Or do you believe that because this is your conviction…? … Do you own this faith in Christ?
Do you really believe that Jesus was raised in his body from the dead? Would someone shake your faith if they challenged you on that? What if you’re talking to one of your friends … and you talk to them about the gospel …. And they ask you … “Why do you believe that Jesus was raised from the dead? Just because a book tells you? If a book told you to believe in aliens, would you believe it?” What if someone said that to you, would that startle you? You might not have an answer for them … and, btw, there are plenty of great answer to that … but would that shake you? Why not?
Ok, did you pass that? …. Ok, are you done with yourself? Do you reject your life and decisions made apart from Jesus …do you reject your own ways, so that Jesus can give you your life? Do you know him as a gracious Lord and that his burden is not heavy … do you want to take up your cross, your execution device, and follow him? … because you know He alone has the power to give eternal life?
Do you want to deny yourself and give up all your hopes and dreams for his? And you want to do that because you really know His plans and will for you is best … is this really you?
Now, your obedience to your parents is painted within that picture. If you are filled with the gospel of Jesus Christ, your obedience to your parents is a matter of following Christ.
ILL: Even the perfect boy, Christ, was subject to His parents. Why? Because it was the honorable thing to do. In Luke chapter 2 Jesus is 12 years old. And he stayed behind in Jerusalem while his parents left him, thinking he was part of the large caravan going home. They didn’t find him so that returned to Jerusalem looking for him. And it had been three days.
And they found him in the Temple listening and asking questions to the leaders. His mom says Luke 2:48 “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.”
And Jesus simply returns with a question Luke 2:49 “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be [literally here … ] in the things of My Father?”
His parents did not understand what he said; and we might not either …
But, the passage says, that He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He … here it is …Jesus continued in subjection to his parents; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart.”
And that phrase “continued in subjection” …by the way that’s worded tells us he was always submitting himself to them, always obeying them … the sinless Son of God in flesh who know his parents and could observe their sin… He continued obeying his parents.
And if you were perfect and even though you knew all the flaws of you parents, you would be always be obeying them as well … And no doubt, Jesus parents may have made some unreasonable demands of him, but He would have done nothing that displeased His Heavenly Father.
And, children as you become more like Jesus Christ, you need to work on growing in your obedience to your parents.
Are you going to fight that? Then you’re fighting against God! And no one fought God and won. And again this isn’t blind, never-ask-questions obedience. I’ll get to some tips in a minute. Don’t worry … first …
TRANS: But why? Why should you obey your parents? Well, God is sympathetic with you on that and so He provides a reason and some motivation.
The first, the reason to obey your parents.
The Reason for the Command: This is right
Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, [why?] for this is right.
So why should children obey their parents in the Lord? The answer because this is right. What is right? Obedience to parents in the Lord is right.
“In the Lord” obedience to parents is right. So this is not just “doing right until the stars fall,” no this is doing good because obedience as to the Lord is the right response as you see everything that He has done for us in Christ. Christ has saved many of you children; the right response now is to obey your parents.
This is the righteous response. Well, what is the other option? That it’s wrong to obey. And there are people who think that … that we need to liberate children from the oppressive relationship of their parents.
No, within the context of the Spirit-filled family, obedience to parents is right.
TRANS: And the motivation is found in verses 2-3
Motivation to Obey (Eph. 6:2-3)
The Old Testament Command (Eph. 6:2)
The Old Testament command: Ephesians 6:2-3 2 HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise), 3 [with this benefit] SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH.
And this is a quotation from Exodus 20:12 which is probably combined with Deut. 5:16. This is the fifth of the 10 commandments.
What’s interesting is that the traditional Jewish way of understanding the 10 Commandments is that the first five Commandments are our duty to God and the second set of five Commandments are our duty to man.
And Paul here quotes the fifth commandment, which makes it a part of the 1st five commandments, our duty to God. In other words, the traditional Jewish understanding of this commandment to honor our father and mother is that it is our duty to God.
It is at least the first command in our relationship to others.
And indeed this is important, because surely our children tend to view God as they do their parents. Some people have a hard time with a loving Heavenly Father because they have had difficulty with an unloving earthly father.
So during childhood, parents represent God to the child and form up his worldview. And so children, God has given to your parents authority over you. It is a sacred trust. Our duty to God demands that we honor our father and mother.
Honoring father and mother is similar to obedience. It emphasizes the idea of respect and reverence.
For example …
Leviticus 19:1-3 1 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 “Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. [And then in the same breath … ] 3 ~’Every one of you shall reverence his mother and his father, ….
The emphasis of respecting and reverencing your parents must continue throughout their lives. Whereas you won’t obey them when you have left the house, you ought always reverence them.
The Old Testament Promise (Eph. 6:3)
Paul says in verse 2 that this commandment is the first one in the 10 commandments with a promise attached to it. This provides further motivation to obey our parents … verse 3 …
Ephesians 6:3 SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH.
This promise was originally given to the Israelites under the Old Testament. And if they obeyed their parents the promise is long life in the Land of Promise.
If the Israelites obeyed and honored their parents, God would allow them to stay in the land and live a long life. We see this back in Exodus 20:12, where the quotation continues. Paul purposefully cuts it short … but in Exodus 20 it’s longer … Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land … that’s what we have in Eph. 6:1 … but the quotation keeps going … honor your parents so that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.
Paul purposefully left off that part because that does not apply to us who are under the New Covenant in Christ.
So, Paul is applying this to us Gentile followers of Christ. And he applies it generally to refer to, not the Promised Land, but the earth. Generally, this is true. And yes there are exceptions to this, but generally speaking obedience to parents in the Lord will give to you a long and happy life. This isn’t miraculous life extension …that’s not the point …
Parents are providing for their children instruction and discipline and care in the Lord and as children obey their parent’s instruction and discipline and care in the Lord, a long life is often the result. If your parents command you not to drink alcohol, if they tell you to wait until marriage, if they tell you to slow down, if they tell you to be careful on that ladder…and you follow their good and practical guidance, it can save your life and it can save your future marriage as well.
Now I’d like to conclude with some “how to” obey tips and then a story.
First, the tips.
Listen: it’s hard to obey your parents if you are confused about what they are saying. Be sure you are listening carefully. You may think it’s overbearing but if you go back and listen to the conversation and ask appropriate questions, perhaps you misunderstood. Ask for clarification … “So, are you saying … ?” Listen to them … also …
Be respectful, honor them all the time: don’t roll your eyes at your parents. If you disagree ask respectful questions. “Why is this good? Why are you wanting me to do this? I really am trying to figure that out … ” If you need to do something first before you do what they say, give them a heads up about that.
ILL: In our home, asking to do something else before obeying us parents is a privilege not a right. In our home, if me or my wife tell what our children to do something, and they don’t want to do it or they want to do something else first, they can say, “can I ask you a question?” If they fail at asking this question and merely respond with “but I want to do such and such first” they are instructed to say “can I ask you a question” and if that continues or we start getting a little sass, the privilege of getting to ask a question is gone.
We’ve had to say “No you may not ask a question now, please do what I ask.” And if there is sass, we talk further about it.
So listen, be respectful, and now be patient with them. If you disagree with them, don’t hold a grudge against them. They are sinners. If they have offended you or they have sinned against you, there is a way to biblically address that even with your parents. Come back to them later time and say, “Mom, when you said such and such, you sounded angry at me and I don’t like that. What can we do to keep that from happening?”
My kids have said that to me before… they say it in the moment, too, which is fine … and I say “I’m sorry.” Let’s be patient with each other.
Communication: this is a big one. If you keep the lines of communication open and you can talk to them about what’s going on and you can explain things to them about how you feel or what you think …and you can ask them questions about those things… This can alleviate a lot of your stress.
Talk to them explain things to them and if you’re having a hard time explaining things to them, let them know that sometimes you have a hard time explaining things to them. And have a plan … in the moment when there seems like there’s a lack of unity again … have a plan to explain to them you’re having a hard time explaining this to them. Ask them to help you to explain it to them. Parents help your child communicate.
And ask your parents for advice…parents, praise them when they do …. Kids, we understand you want to be private sometimes, but when you don’t communicate, parents can get suspicious. And pray about your relationship with your parents; ask for wisdom to be a honorable child.
CONCLUSION What is the Meaning of Ephesians 6.1-3
Parents, you must engender and encourage this obedience. There are many godly fathers and mothers where this has not been the case.
Billy Sunday lived from 1862 to 1935. He was a popular outfielder in major league baseball for the Chicago White Stockings as well as in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. He was perhaps the fastest base runner in the game at the time, and fans were crazy for him.
But, he would became the most celebrated and influential American evangelist during the first two decades of the 20th century. William G. McLoughlin, Jr., in Billy Sunday Was His Real Name wrote … “By 1917 he was considered by many the greatest revivalist in American history, perhaps the greatest since the days of the apostles.”
He was saved in 1886 or 1887. He and some of his teammates stopped to listen on a street corner to some gospel preaching from the Pacific Garden Mission.
And he began to attend services there and gave his life to Christ. And he married his wife in 1888, Helen Thompson, nicknamed, Nell.
He turned down a baseball contract for $3500 a year, to work at the YMCA for about $1000 a year, a significant pay cut.
And soon he became a traveling evangelist. And because of his popularity as a baseball player, he soon became famous. He had a wild preaching style with large movements and dramatic gestures…
And Billy was on the road… Constantly. And many of his campaigns would last 5, 6 or even up to eight weeks. With Nell his wife, they eventually decided she would be his manager and travel full-time with her husband on his evangelistic preaching campaigns. So they left the children home with their nanny.
She was loyal to Billy, protected him from others in many ways, oversaw much of the organization required for the campaigns.
And the Sundays had four children:
Helen Edith (born 1890) was really the only child that was raised by Nell; she died of pneumonia in 1932 after having been happily married.
But the 3 sons are a different story. George Marquis (born 1892), William Ashley, Jr. (born 1901) and Paul Thompson (born 1907) were a great grief to their parents. They were drunkards while the parents were known for fighting for the prohibition.
All three died before the age of 40 by tragedy. The oldest son, George, was arrested for drunkenness and auto theft and later committed suicide. William, the next oldest, Billy Jr…. Died in an automobile crash and Paul died in an airplane crash.
And between the three sons, they had a total of 9 marriages all before the age of 40. The ex-wives of their sons were a continual pain to Billy and Nell… Some of the ex-wives blackmailed Billy Sunday so that he would keep quiet about their own sons’ adulterous affairs.
So here we have a married Christian couple serving the Lord …. And we have their children serving the world. How did this happen?
No doubt, when the parents were home, they talked to them about Jesus. But all in all, the parents failed to engender and encourage obedience and the children failed to obey, what little of their parents they received.
There have been many a man and many a wife and many children who have grown up with regrets because of their home life. And you could gain the whole world and lose your kids. Would it be worth it?
Children you could get your own way and get your parents to back off, but you right well know that even the way of the fool is right in his own eyes…. And then there is constant friction between you and your parents and you leave the house and …. Is this worth it? Is that thing that you want worth a lifetime of regret with your relationship with your parents?
Don’t allow your parents to go to the grave with grief in their hearts over how you have dishonored them … and don’t you go to the grave without making things right with them! Better don’t come here next week without getting things right with them.
Some of you need to go home and apologize…. You need to humble yourselves and tell your parents that you are sorry for your disobedience and you need to tell your God that you repent of this disobedience. And ask for help from God to obey your parents.
Turn your hearts to Jesus and honor your parents….give ear to God’s Holy Word.
http://pressingpause.com/2012/04/02/when-parents-are-too-child-centered/; http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304450004577277482565674646.html?KEYWORDS=a+field+guide+to+the+middle-class+us+family ↑