Fred E. Dennis
Paul wrote to Timothy, telling him “that in the last days perilous times shall come” (2 Tim. 3:1). One of the things he mentioned was disobedience to parents. Surely, we see that on every hand today. The obedient child is the exception—not the rule.
The children of Christian parents are not to be excepted. However, there are some notable exceptions among the children. Occasionally one will enter a home where the children have been taught obedience to parents. What a treat and what a relief this is!
Even very young children are disobedient to parents. This disobedience carries over into the church. They have not been caused to respect parental authority, so they rebel against the authority of God. It is hard to convince a boy or girl in his teens that he will ever be as “dumb” as his father and mother!
Here is sage advice that would help many a child: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth” (Eph. 6:1-3).
God says it is right to obey our parents in the Lord. Then to disobey them is wrong and sinful. If parents are in the Lord, they always have the good of the child at heart. Their commandments are for the good of the child. Children may not be able to see this and appreciate it, but if they love their parents, they will obey because of that parental love.
God have mercy on that child who does not honor the father and mother! That child will come to no good end. There is some connection between obedience to parents and long life. Even with our shortsightedness, we can see some connection.
The parent is so greatly interested in the good of the child that his commands are for the good of the child in every way. Obedience to parents brings happiness to the hearts of the parents and to the heart of the child. Many a parent has been brought to the grave much sooner than he otherwise would have been because of the worry caused over disobedient children.
All of us have gone into homes where death has taken the father or mother and seen the wailing of children who did not love and respect their parents while they were living. Now they are cold in death, and perhaps their death was hastened by the children. Now it’s too late to do anything about it. “Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: It might have been.”
If boys and girls read this article whose parents are yet living, let me plead with you to obey your parents. You will never know the sacrifice they have made in your behalf. This sacrifice has been made gladly. Let them know that you really appreciate it. Show it by your lives and tell it with your tongues.
Let mother know how she is appreciated before she crosses over the cold river of death. Tell her while it will gladden her old heart. Do not bring any extra wrinkles into her face or more gray hairs to her head by your disobedience. Let old dad know that the labor he has done in your behalf has been appreciated. You can make his heart merry by your obedience. Bring smiles to his face rather than pain to his heart.
One of the blackest list of sins ever penned is in Romans one. One of those sins is disobedience to parents (Rom. 1:30). How God must hate this sin! How we ought to hate it! From the time the babe begins to lisp, he ought to be taught obedience to parents.
It seems that after a child is nearly 20, he ought to have enough of just plain common sense to see that obedience to parents is right. It does seem that love and respect for parents would cause him to obey, even when he can see no reason for the commands or requests.
Often times children of God are unable to see why the Lord may require certain things at our hands, but one would be very weak in faith to doubt the wisdom of God. What God commands is for our good in this time and in the world to come, even though we may not understand why He makes such demands upon us.
So it is with the earthly parent. His commands and requests are not without reason. They are meant for our good in this time — in this world and in the one to come. Happy is the child who has this attitude, and blessed is the parent who has such children.
Obedient children make no serious move without first consulting with parents. They respect the wisdom of their parents. They know that father and mother know best.
Jesus has set the example for perfect obedience. He was subject to his earthly parents. One cannot imagine the Son of Mary rebelling against her and Joseph. One cannot imagine a Christian child rebelling against Christian parents. Such things are not done. This is sin against God.
Too many parents are too “soft” and some are too “hard.” There should be a happy medium. Parents should be firm. They should be kind. They should demand obedience. This principle of obedience must be instilled into the very heart of the child. I spent many years as a teacher in the public schools. It was easy to pick out the children who came from homes where they had been taught to obey. Those children seldom gave trouble in school. The preacher in the pulpit can pick out the children in worship who have been taught to obey at home. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.”