Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing to the Lord.…
God hath set the solitary in families. The domestic constitution is the type of all governments. If discipline is neglected in the home, it is rarely that the loss is made up afterwards. Coleridge has said: "If you bring up your children in a way which puts them out of sympathy with the religious feelings of the nation in which they live, the chances are that they will ultimately turn out ruffians or fanatics, and one as likely as the other." Lord Bacon observes that fathers have most comfort of the good proof of their sons; but the mothers have most discomfort of their ill proof. It is therefore of vital importance that the reciprocal duties of parents and children should be faithfully and diligently observed.
I. THE DUTY OF THE CHILD TO THE PARENT IS TO OBEY.
1. This obedience is universal. "In all things." The law commands: "Honour thy father," etc., and the most signal way is to obey. Parents have the wisdom of experience, and know the dangers that threaten their children, and are in a position to offer judicious counsel. Filial obedience should be prompt, cheerful, self-denying, uniform; not dilatory and reluctant.
2. This obedience is qualified and limited by the Divine approval.
II. THE DUTY OF THE PARENT TO THE CHILD IS TO RULE.
1. The parent is not to rule in a spirit of exasperating severity. An excessive severity is as baneful as an excessive indulgence.
2. To rule in a spirit of exasperating severity tends only to dishearten. A certain writer has significantly said: "What if God should place in your hand a diamond, and tell you to inscribe on it a sentence which should be read at the last day, and shown there as an index of your own thoughts and feelings? What care, what caution, would you exercise in the selection. Now this is what God has done. He has placed before you the immortal minds of your children, more imperishable than the diamond, on which you are about to inscribe every day and every hour, by your instruction, by your spirit, or by your example, something that will remain and be exhibited for or against you at the judgment day!"Lessons:
1. To rule wisely we must first learn to obey.
2. Disobedience is the essence of all sin.
3. That government is the most effective that tempers justice with mercy.
Parallel VersesKJV: Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.