Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
CHANGE AND BE LIKE THE CHILDREN
Ephesians 6: 1- 4
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right…Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians. 6: 1,4)“You can’t do that.” “Why not?” “Because I said so.” This discussion happens across all countries and cultures in the world between children and their parents. Virtually all children at some point question the rights of the parents. It seems odd that this happens, especially since Christian children are brought up with the verse, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” (Ephesians 6:1). If that’s the case, then why do children question, doubt and ignore their parents? On this World Sunday School Day, let us delve into the Word and see what sort of obedience we, as parents and guardians, should expect of our children, and the education we should simultaneously be imparting to them.
Obedience with a difference: Let’s take a closer look at Ephesians 6:1: the verse specifically tells youngsters to obey parents ‘in the Lord’. We can read this to mean that any rule a parent is setting before a child is in collaboration with God’s will. Whether this means saying no to their extra scoop of ice cream, teaching limits with Internet usage, or introducing tithes with their first paycheck, these instances all serve to raise children with discipline and a conscious love of others. The benefit to children who obey their parents is a life that will go well with them, as promised in verse 3. If raised in the guidance of the Lord, a grown child’s lifestyle as an adult will continue this nurturing cycle started by their parents, a benefit to both themselves and society!
Controlled control: But this passage is not complete without looking at Ephesians 6:4. “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” “Sure, I do that,” you might say. But, as your child works towards obedience, ask yourself if you give them room to question, and therefore understand your authority in a proper manner, or do you simply say, “because I said so?” For, to ignore a child’s questioning is a surefire way to exasperate them. Instead, continue to make God your example: He had plenty of His children ask questions, including Job (Job 6:30), David (Psalms 13), Mary (Luke 1:34), and Thomas (John 20:25). To each of them, God answered with generosity (Job 42:10), forgiveness (2 Samuel 12:13), understanding (Luke 2:7) and a duty to spread the gospel (Matthew 10). Remember that questions are what drive understanding, transformation, and change, as seen with the Christian Church reformation and major discoveries throughout our history. Teach your children to respectfully question like Job (1:22), and be prepared to have a Christ-centered discussion that can change their relationship with you. One night a father overheard his son praying: “ Dear God, make me the kind of man my Dad is ” Later that night, the father prayed, “Dear God, make me the kind of man my son wants me to be”
Prayer: Let us pray for all the Sunday school children and workers.
Mrs. Anissa Kurien, St.Thomas MTC, New York