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Colossians 3:20-21

Children and Fathers

20 Children, obey [your] parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. 21 Fathers, provoke not your children [to anger], lest they be discouraged.

It is no coincidence that the Ten Commandments first deal with honoring and worshiping God and then immediately say, "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee." (Exodus 20:12) It is the parents' responsibility, as God's representatives, to teach their children to be obedient to God. If the children do not obey their parents' commands nor adhere to their instructions, they will not grow to love and honor God.

"A wise son [heareth] his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke." (Prov 13:1) Furthermore, just as a fool says in his heart that there is no God, "A fool despiseth his father's instruction." (Prov 15:5) The parents have been made gods to their children.

However, Paul said, "Children, obey [your] parents in all things:" Children are to obey their parents unconditionally, even when their instructions might seem unreasonable, inconvenient or erroneous. This, of course, does not mean that they must obey, if their parents instruct them to do anything that would be contrary to the will of the Lord. "We ought to obey God rather than men." (Acts 5:29)

"...for this is well pleasing unto the Lord." Christians are not under the law, but under grace. It is their desire to please the Lord in everything that they do. They are bonded with Christ solely by love. Therefore, this statement is much more meaningful to them than the OT commandment, which carries a condemnation for disobedience.

In addition, fathers should understand that, "Lo, children [are] an heritage of the LORD: [and] the fruit of the womb [is his] reward. As arrows [are] in the hand of a mighty man; so [are] children of the youth. Happy [is] the man that hath his quiver full of them:.." (Psalms 127:3-5) Children are a gift from God.

Since children are both a gift from God and a very important responsibility, fathers should show some respect to their children. They should demonstrate restraint when temted to be overly harsh in their discipline. Their instructions should not unnecessarily provoke the children to anger. When tempers flare out of control, children will learn that anger is the proper way of responding to anything that displeases them.

These and the previous verses lay down some basic guidelines for governing a family in a way that pleases God. With Christ at the center of all family relationships and with a godly father assuming the responsibility as the leader, the family will grow strong and be blessed by God.

Before The Throne:

Pray for your children daily. Wives, lift up your husbands to the Lord and ask God to help them be wise and loving fathers. Fathers, ask God to give you patience and wisdom in raising your children. Thank Him for giving them to you and commit yourself to raising them to know Jesus Christ as their Savior.

For Further Study:

** obey. Gen 28:7; Exod 20:12; Lev 19:3; Deut 21:18-21; Deut 27:16; Prov 6:20; Prov 20:20; Prov 30:11; Prov 30:17; Ezek 22:7; Mal 1:6; Matt 15:4-6; Matt 19:19; Eph 6:1-3; ** in. Col 3:22; Eph 5:24; Titus 2:9; ** well pleasing. Col 1:10; Phil 4:18; Heb 13:21;

(v.21) ** Ps 103:13; Prov 3:12; Prov 4:1-4; Eph 6:4; 1Thess 2:11; Heb 12:5-11;


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