Ephesians 6:1
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
The Christian Armor and WeaponsMartin LutherEphesians 6:1
The Duties of Children to ParentsT. Croskery Ephesians 6:1-3
A Daughter's ObedienceEphesians 6:1-4
A Lesson to ParentsChristian Globe.Ephesians 6:1-4
An Excellent ProofEphesians 6:1-4
Children and ParentsW.F. Adeney Ephesians 6:1-4
Children and Their ParentsD. Thomas Ephesians 6:1-4
Children Should Look to JesusSamuel Martin, D. D.Ephesians 6:1-4
Christian ChildrenJames Cohen, M. A.Ephesians 6:1-4
Christian NurtureR.M. Edgar Ephesians 6:1-4
Christian ParentsJames Cohen, M. A.Ephesians 6:1-4
Conflicting DutiesR. W. Dale, LL. D.Ephesians 6:1-4
Correction of ChildrenHare.Ephesians 6:1-4
Counsels for EducationD. Moore, M. A.Ephesians 6:1-4
Duty of Parents to ChildrenR. W. Dale, LL. D.Ephesians 6:1-4
Early Devotion to GodAddison.Ephesians 6:1-4
Early Impressions AbideEphesians 6:1-4
Early Religious InstructionJ. Whitecross.Ephesians 6:1-4
Family Discipline and State SecurityR. W. Dale, LL. D.Ephesians 6:1-4
Fatal Result of DisobedienceEphesians 6:1-4
Filial ObedienceJ. H. Evans, M. A.Ephesians 6:1-4
Honour is More than ObedienceR. W. Dale, LL. D.Ephesians 6:1-4
How to Bring Up ChildrenEphesians 6:1-4
Jesus Christ the Pattern, Means, and End of Parental TrainingS. Martin, D. D.Ephesians 6:1-4
Obedience and CharacterDr. Newton.Ephesians 6:1-4
Obedience to ParentsJ. H. Wilson.Ephesians 6:1-4
Our Fathers and MothersJ. Bolton, B. A.Ephesians 6:1-4
Parental ClaimsJ. Aldis.Ephesians 6:1-4
Parents and ChildrenJ. Lathrop, D. D.Ephesians 6:1-4
Parents and ChildrenWm. Braden.Ephesians 6:1-4
Parents and ChildrenJ. G. Begets, B. A.Ephesians 6:1-4
Religious EducationJohn Hannah, D. D.Ephesians 6:1-4
Religious Instruction for ChildrenIrving.Ephesians 6:1-4
Religious Teaching of the YoungC. M. Birrell.Ephesians 6:1-4
Religious Training Should Begin EarlyW. Arnot, D. D.Ephesians 6:1-4
Repression and Fault FindingChristian AgeEphesians 6:1-4
Right Habits Must be Inculcated in YouthDr. R. Newton.Ephesians 6:1-4
The Children's Life in ChristR. W. Dale, LL. D.Ephesians 6:1-4
The Claims of ChildrenChristian UnionEphesians 6:1-4
The Duties of Children and ParentsR. Finlayson Ephesians 6:1-4
The Duty of Christian ParentsJ. H. Evans, M. A.Ephesians 6:1-4
The Extent of Parental AuthorityR. W. Dale, LL. D.Ephesians 6:1-4
The Father's ChargeTheological SketchbookEphesians 6:1-4
The Nurture and Admonition of the LordJ. B. Brown, B. A.Ephesians 6:1-4
The Root of Heaven, or Hell, Struck in the NurseryJ. Pulsford.Ephesians 6:1-4
The Time for Religious EducationDr. R. Newton.Ephesians 6:1-4
Training ChildrenF. Quarles.Ephesians 6:1-4
Training not to Wait for Years of DiscretionS. T. Coleridge.Ephesians 6:1-4
Treatment of ChildrenJ. Pulsford.Ephesians 6:1-4
Youth is the Best Season for Communicating KnowledgeDr. R. Newton.Ephesians 6:1-4

There is a beautiful and appropriate simplicity in the counsel here addressed to children. Their duties are founded in nature. They derive their being from their parents; they are fed by them; they are trained by them for the duties of life.

I. THEIR DUTY IS SUMMED UP IN THE ONE WORD "OBEDIENCE." But it includes four important elements.

1. Love. This is an instinctive feeling, but it is not the less a commanded duty, for it is the spring of all hearty obedience. It makes obedience easy. Yet we are not to love our parents more than the Lord; we are rather to love them in the Lord.

2. Honor. This is only another form of obedience: "Honor thy father and thy mother." Children are never to set light by their parents (Deuteronomy 27:17); "A son honoureth his father" (Malachi 1:6); "Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man" (Leviticus 19:32). God has, indeed, given his own honor to parents. We may not always be called to obey them, but we are always to honor them. "Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old" (Proverbs 23:22). This honor is allied to reverence: "We have had fathers of our flesh who corrected us, and we gave them reverence" (Hebrews 12:9).

3. Gratitude. It is our duty to requite our parents (1 Timothy 5:4), and our Lord implies that we are to do them good (Matthew 15:4). We ought to remember their love, their care, their concern for us. Joseph provided for his father Jacob in old age, and the women said to Naomi of Boaz, "He shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age."

4. Subjection. "Children, obey your parents in all things;" that is, in all things falling within the sphere of a parent's authority. If parents command their children to steal, or lie, or commit idolatry, they are not to be obeyed. They are to be obeyed "in the Lord." There are several reasons to make obedience natural.

(1) Parents know more than their children; therefore "a wise son heareth his father's instruction" (Proverbs 13:1). The child must take much of his knowledge for granted on the mere authority of his father.

(2) The habit of obedience is good as a discipline. It is even good for the health of a child, as a desultory and dawdling obedience breaks its temper and injures its health.

(3) Children are not able to guide themselves; for "folly is bound up in the heart of a child" (Proverbs 22:15).

(4) Society is benefited by the due subordination of family life.


(1) according to the light of nature;

(2) according to the Law of God. "It is well-pleasing unto the Lord (Colossians 3:20). It is embodied in the Decalogue, and holds the first place among the duties of the second table, and "is the first commandment with promise" - the promise of a long life. This implies

(1) that the fifth commandment is still binding on the Christians of this dispensation;

(2) that long life is to be desired;

(3) that disobedience to parents tends to shorten life. There may be undutiful children who live to old age, and dutiful children who die young, but the promise abides in its general purpose. It is like the saying, "The hand of the diligent maketh rich," yet diligent persons have felt the bitterness of poverty. Children are therefore justified in having regard firstly to the command of God, and then to the recompense of the reward. - T.C.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. -

1. Children owe to their parents an inward affection and regard. Their obedience should flow from love, gratitude, and esteem.

2. Children are to honour their parents by external tokens of respect.

3. Children are to obey the just commands of their parents.

4. Children are not only to obey the express commands of parents while under their authority, but to receive with decent and humble regard, the instructions, counsels, and reproofs which they may see fit to communicate afterward.

5. Children are to remember, and, if there is occasion, also to remunerate, the favours they have received from their parents.


1. Parents are to instruct their children in the doctrines and duties of religion.

2. Parents must not content themselves with giving their children good instructions; but endeavour, by arguments, exhortations, and reproofs, to form their lives according to their instructions.

3. Parents must regulate the diversions of their children.

4. Parents should maintain the worship of God in their houses.

5. Let parents set their children a good example in everything.

(J. Lathrop, D. D.)


1. Observe the persons to whom the commandment is addressed "children."

2. Observe what is commanded as the especial duty of children in reference to parents - "obey," and "honour."

3. The limitation of the precept - "in the Lord." The parent's stronghold is here, when he says, "I must have you obedient, because I am responsible to God for your being so." And the child's strong encouragement is in the same thought: "In obeying my parents, I am doing that which is pleasing to God, and I do it because the Lord so bids me."


1. To obey parents is right.(1) Their age, experience, knowledge, entitle them to the obedience of their children.(2) Love should prompt children to render obedience to their parents.

2. There is a promise annexed to obedience. God undertakes that His blessing shall be given.

(James Cohen, M. A.)

I. NOTICE WHOM YOU ARE TO OBEY AND HONOUR. Your "parents" - your "father and mother."


1. We must respect and reverence them. We should regard them as those to whose love and government God Himself has committed us. I have read of two sons who saved their aged parents at the sacrifice of all they possessed and at the risk of their own lives. The city was on fire, and they were in the middle of it; they had gold in the cellar and plate in the cupboard; but one took his father on his back, and the other his mother, and away they ran through the scorching streets and falling houses, till they got outside the walls! Those lads loved their parents with perfect love. How different to the wretched heathen who leave their old fathers and mothers to perish! Mr. Moffat, an African missionary, found a poor woman under a tree; she was a mere skeleton, and the bloodthirsty wolves were bowling around her! She said her children had got tired of her because she was sick; they had been gone some days, and she must sit there till she died.

2. To honour and obey our parents means that we are to do whatever will make them happy, even though they do not enjoin it upon us.

3. To honour and obey them means that we are to do whatever they tell us. Their commands are to be laws with us. A soldier is ordered to do this and that by his officer - it may be to carry a letter through the enemy's country, it may be to take the place of a comrade who has just been shot down at a gun, but he knows that he may not hesitate for a moment; if he refused, his character as a soldier would be gone, and he would be drummed out of the army. But what claim has an officer on a soldier, compared with the claim of a parent on a child?

III. HOW FAR WE ARE TO HONOUR AND OBEY OUR PARENTS (see Colossians 3:20). We are to obey our parents in everything so far as their commands agree with those of God, and no further; if they required us to steal, or lie, or cheat, or do anything wrong, we should not be called to obey them. But, dear children, it is not probable that your beloved parents will ever require you to do anything of this kind; and in all other cases you are bound to obey them. I press that "ALL," because many boys and girls will pick and choose amongst duties as they would amongst apples; they will do what is easy and pleasant to them. Now, it seems to me that difficult things are just the test of obedience. Some things are no test at all. Suppose a father were to say to his son, "Run and buy yourself a dozen raspberry tarts"; not one boy in a hundred but would run to the shop as fast as his legs could carry him; but for all that, he might be a disobedient boy at heart. Now, let us try him again; "Leave off your play, and take this note to the doctor's for me." Look at him now! He pretends not to hear, or he puts it on his younger brother, or he flies into a passion, or he says right out, "Father, I can't." But if, instead of this, he at once cried, "Father, I'll be ready in a minute," and pulled on his jacket, and went skipping down the street with a smiling face, I should mark him in my pocket book for a thoroughly obedient lad.


1. Because God has told us to do it. And God is so wise and good that whatever he bids us do should be done unhesitatingly; His command and our obedience to it should follow one another as quickly as the clap of thunder follows the flash of lightning.

2. Because we owe, under God, our existence to them.

3. Because they are our superiors. If, directly we were born, we were as strong and as wise as they are; then it would be different - we would manage for ourselves: but just look how it is. We come into the world the most helpless of creatures - far more helpless than a lamb, for it can stand by itself - far more helpless than a chicken, for it can pick up its own food. There we are, unable to do one single thing for ourselves; we know nothing at all; we have not a particle of experience! When a boy gets into a boat for the first time, all is strange to him. What should we think of him if he declared that he was going to start for New Zealand, just as he was? We should cry out, "You are mad!" But if he embarked in a large ship under a tried and skilful captain, then there would be no danger. Now, our parents are tried and skilful captains; they have sailed on the rough ocean of life in many directions; they understand all about its winds, and tides, and currents; they have sounded here, and anchored there; they have marked rocks in one place and shoals in other, and whirlpools in another. They have travelled the dangerous road of life for years; they have learnt the right turnings and the best inns; they know the spots where robbers lurk and wild beasts prowl; they know which fruits may be eaten, and which are poisonous; they know who are safe companions, and who will lead astray: In other words, having read so much, and heard so much, and seen so much, and suffered so much, they are able to guide us; they can tell us how to avoid what is harmful, and how to secure what is valuable; they can train us up "in the way in which we should go."

4. Because they are our nearest and dearest friends.

5. Because it will be good for us. It is the "first commandment with promise"; and the promise is, "Thy days shall be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." No doubt this referred more particularly to Jewish children, because, as we have seen, those of them who were disobedient were stoned to death, and thus their days were short in the land; whilst those of them who were obedient lived on. But many Christians think that this promise is still fulfilled to dutiful sons and daughters. And, as a fact, they do live longer. For disobedient children soon fall into wicked ways and among wicked associates, and rain their health, and come to an untimely end. "The ungodly shall not live out half their days." So it was with the sons of Eli; so it was with Absalom; so it has been with many youths whom I have known. On the other hand, how different it is with the obedient child; he has his parents' praise, which is an ever-flowing fountain of joy! He has their most fervent prayers! "The smell of their son is to them as the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed." Often as they embrace him, their bowels yearn over him, as they say, "God be gracious unto thee, my son!" or, "God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine." A blameless childhood blossoms into a graceful manhood!

(J. Bolton, B. A.)

1. The obedience of love.

2. The obedience of reverence. It is "honour thy father and thy mother." There may be much love, much fondness, and much real obedience, yet I have sometimes seen a most lamentable deficiency in this veneration for parents. If I look into the Word of God, there I see the principle exhibited. I see Joseph, in the forty-sixth of Genesis, meeting with his old father - Joseph who was next on the throne to Pharaoh, a great man in Egypt, with thousands at his beck: yet I find, in the twenty-ninth verse, "Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goschen, and presented him. self unto him; and he fell on his neck and wept on his neck a good while." And if I turn to another passage, it is still more striking: in the case of Bathsheba and Solomon. It is in the second chapter of the First Book of Kings, and the nineteenth verse. "Bathsheba therefore went unto King Solomon, to speak unto him for Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set for the king's mother; and she sat on his right hand."

3. The obedience of gratitude.

4. The obedience of submission.

(J. H. Evans, M. A.)

(J. Pulsford.)

(Dr. Newton.)

(R. W. Dale, LL. D.)

1. The precept implies a real and serious faith on the part of the parents that their children belong to Christ, and are under Christ's care. The children are Christ's subjects, and have to be trained to loyal obedience to His authority. Their earliest impressions of God should assure them that God loves them with an infinite and eternal love, and that He has blessed them with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.

2. The education of which the apostle is thinking is practical rather than speculative; it has to do with life and character, rather than with knowledge. The order of a child's life is determined by its parents, and is to be determined under Christ's authority, so that the child may be trained to all Christian virtues. In the earlier years of childhood this training will be, in a sense, mechanical. The child will not know why certain acts and habits are required of it, or why other acts and habits are forbidden. There will be no appeal to the child's conscience or reason; the parents' conscience and the parents' reason will assume the responsibility of guiding the child's conduct.

3. If it is the duty of a child to obey, it is the duty of parents to rule. There can be no obedience where there is no authority; and if a child is not disciplined to obedience it suffers a moral loss which can hardly ever be completely remedied in later years. The religious as well as the moral life is injured by the relaxation of parental rule. Obedience to the personal authority of parents disciplines us to obey the personal authority of God.

4. Children should be trained to the surrender of their own pleasure and comfort to the pleasure and comfort of others. Parents who have sacrificed themselves without reserve to their children's gratification are sometimes bitterly disappointed that their children grow up selfish. They wonder and feel aggrieved that their devotion receives no response, that their children are not so eager to serve them as they have been to serve their children. On the other hand, parents who with equal affection have made themselves, not their children, the centre of the family life, seem to have been more fortunate. Not selfishly, harshly, or tyrannically, but firmly and consistently, they have required their children to take a secondary position. The comfort of the children and their pleasures were amply provided for, but the children were not led to think that everything in the house must give way to them, that all the sacrifices were to be made by their parents, none by themselves. They were trained to serve, and not merely to receive service. This seems to be the truer discipline of the Christian spirit and character.

5. In relation to the higher elements of the Christian life, to those elements which are distinctively Christian and spiritual, more depends upon the real character of the parents than upon anything besides. In relation to these the power of personal influence is supreme. If the parents really obey the will of Christ as their supreme law, if they accept His judgments about human affairs and about the ends of human life, if they live under the control of the invisible and eternal world, the children will know it, and are likely to yield to the influence of it. But if the parents, though animated by religious faith, are not completely Christian, if some of their most conspicuous habits of thought and conduct are not penetrated by the force of Christ's spirit and teaching, the children are in great danger; they are as likely to yield to what is base and worldly in the life of their parents as to what is Divine.

(R. W. Dale, LL. D.)

I. Try to estimate the WORTH of children. They are budding men and women.

II. Try to understand their INDIVIDUAL CHARACTERS. Careful study is needed for this. A family is a little world: each member of it has a personality of his or her own.

III. Try to appreciate the POWER OF YOUR INFLUENCE. This can hardly be exaggerated, especially in the formative years of childhood. They are always learning from us, and being influenced by us. We can do nothing and say nothing but what leaves some kind of impression upon their young characters. We are their books, and they study US with keenest eyes, and reproduce us with a ludicrous accuracy.

IV. Try to recognize the LIMITS OF YOUR AUTHORITY.

1. It is bounded by the will of God.

2. It is limited by time.

(Wm. Braden.)


1. Parents are required to impart to their children the instruction or wisdom of the Lord Jesus.

2. Parents must subject their children to the discipline of the Lord Jesus.

II. THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS DUTY. This may be proved from -

1. The state of prospects of the children themselves.

2. The circumstances and prospects of the Church of Christ. The hope of the Church in the future depends always upon the rising generation.

3. The state and necessities of the world at large.


(John Hannah, D. D.)


1. Avoid harshness and severity of demeanour.

2. Do not overstrain the necessity of obedience.

3. Avoid the habit of constantly finding fault.


1. Exalt the Word of God. That must be the basis, foundation, rule and guide of everything. The great standard of right and wrong.

2. Exalt Christ.

3. Exalt the Spirit of God.

4. Maintain a godly jealousy of the world.

(James Cohen, M. A.)

1. The first thing to consider is the basis of the culture - the Lord. To make a child understand fully what that means is the Alpha and Omega of Christian education. To train children of old in "the nurture and admonition of the Lord" was to teach them to comprehend the meaning and bearing of the great spiritual truths which the gospel brought into the world.

2. The next question concerns the method of the culture, which is described in the significant term, "the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Some have supposed that in the double term there is a reference to the dual parentage, and that it describes the blending of the manly and womanly influence in the rule and culture of the home. But the original hardly looks that way. Our Revised Version has it, "nurture them in the chastening and admonition of the Lord." So that the word nurture in the Authorised Version in the original bears the sterner meaning; and refers to the discipline which comes through correction; while admonition suggests counsel, advice, reproof, exhortation, and all the intellectual and moral influences whereby a young soul may be trained for its work. It is wonderful how the fatherly and motherly influences blend in Christ; the tenderest nurture, the firmest correction, the sternest chastisement, in which no child can ever miss the love.

(J. B. Brown, B. A.)

I. Look at some of the ENCOURAGEMENT which we learn in the endeavour to bring them up to the Lord.

1. I would find encouragement in the general belief in a "Present God." This may be said to be the starting point of a religious education.

2. We have in children comparative tenderness of conscience.

3. There is in children a comparatively prompt appreciation of the love of Christ. To a child it is not so difficult to believe in that complete self-abandonment for the good of others which was manifested in the Cross of Jesus Christ. He can more thoroughly understand in that early part of his life even than he can at a later period, when the shadows of the world are cast upon that Cross - can appreciate the love which prompted the giving Himself for us, and can return it far more than at any later period of his existence.

II. THE MEANS to be used for this purpose.

1. Instruction. It is knowledge, not ignorance, that is the mother of our devotion. We must seek, therefore, to illumine the understanding - to present to it those great objects of faith upon which the soul reposes.

2. Example. The instruction of the family is neither better nor worse than the conduct of its members: if the lessons are high and the conduct low, the effect will be low; if the lessons are imperfect, but the conduct excellent, the effect will be excellent.

3. These means must be applied and sustained in power by prayer.

(C. M. Birrell.)

I. THE NATURE AND EXTENT OF PARENTAL INFLUENCE. It is evident that there is no relation in which a man exerts so much power for good or evil. There is no other from whom the child receives so many of the ideas, impressions, and habits, which are most abiding, as from his parents. The opinions which a man holds, the party with which he identifies himself, the friendships he cultivates, and the particular line of conduct he observes, all impress themselves on the mind of his child; and his views of them are affected partly by the feelings he has to his father, and partly by the opinions which they have had upon his father's character and life. Very early is the observing power of the child awakened, and from the time that it is roused to consciousness every day adds something to its ever-increasing store. Words and looks, as well as actions, have their effect; and thus, unconsciously to themselves, the parents are constantly educating their children - educating them when they have no thought at all of the serious work which they are doing; when they are going on the way of life in their own accustomed course without recollecting that there are eager young eyes watching every movement, and listening young ears drinking in every word that is spoken, and impressible young hearts which are being trained to good or to evil by that which is thus passing before them.


1. To make the unconscious influence which a man exerts a blessing, the one thing which is necessary is high-toned Christian principle. The power which goes forth from a man will be according to the spirit that is in him.

2. In the direct work of training, the first essential is that you should clearly set before your own mind the object which you have in view.(1) Of course education by a Christian man must be religious, and distinctively Christian. And not only must this instruction be given, but wisely given - so that the religious lesson shall not be regarded as a mere task.

3. The exercise of authority is another of the means by which a parent may fulfil his duty. The one power on earth which is of Divine right in his. It is essential to the right government of the family and the proper discipline of the child. It meets him at the beginning of life with the idea, so necessary for all to realize, that in this world no human will is meant to be absolute and supreme, and that the first lesson - which everyone is to learn - is the difficult but necessary one of obedience.

3. No Christian parent will need to be reminded that he must pray for and with his children.

(J. G. Begets, B. A.)

adopts.We do not say that Paul had this thought when he wrote; we think he had another thought, which we shall presently try to give you: but still the thought that we now suggest is inseparably associated with that which we shall presently suggest - and therefore the remarks we have been making appear to us to be quite to the point. And if you would bring up your children aright, just see how the Lord brings you up, and imitate your heavenly Educator. But, speaking textually, "the nurture and admonition of the Lord" is that which the Lord directs - it is that which has the Lord for its subject, and the Lord for its object. "Ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord," means - Let your instruction and your training have the Lord's teaching, the Lord's warnings, the Lord's doctrines, for their means, and the Lord Himself for their end. Let the Lord be the end of education; and let the Lord's resources be the means of education. And will you also observe that both parents are charged - for the word "fathers" is used here, not in the specific sense, but in the generic sense: so that we may read the passage, "Ye parents, train up your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." The day was, when the mother had nothing, or very little, to do directly with instruction and education. But so soon as the position of the wife and the mother was improved and righted, so soon as she stood in her proper place by the side of the husband and father, then the father began to give her an undue share of the responsibility in bringing up the children. And what do we see now? We see the mother in many cases doing the whole work, and the father most grievously and sinfully neglecting it. This is not right. In the first place there is something due to the mother, and to the wife; why should she take a greater burden than she is able to bear? In the next place there is something due to the children. Look, further, at the common danger to parents that is here recognized - the abuse of power. The power of a parent is very great; and there is very little to check it; even the State does little here, unless the abuse of power be extraordinary. The power of a parent is, as we scarcely need remind you, almost unbounded. Do you see that the text recognizes the danger of this power being abused? "Ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath." Power, more than anything else, tempts to cruelty; it is an exceedingly dangerous thing to possess - and no man in his senses will ever covet it; he will rather ask God to give him very little of it, than desire to possess it. Those who have right views of power will never be ambitious for it: but they will rather, like some of the old prophets (like Jeremiah, for instance), tremble to take it even when God puts it into their hands. We often see power make the most tender natures cruel, and the most gentle natures fierce. How often have women been rendered cruel by an increase of authority, and an increase of influence! There is danger to parents of caprice, and harshness; of giving commands, and precepts, and prohibitions, for the sake of maintaining their position, and of upholding their authority. And that is the point of the words, "Ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up." The child is to be nourished; it is not to be driven - it is to be cherished; it is not to be forced. The incitement and the impulsion which are likely to distress and dishearten the child, are distinctly forbidden in the text. The force of the contrast must be manifest to you in a moment. The bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, is placed in contrast with provoking them to wrath. The child's faults are to be corrected; but still, correction is to be so administered as not to sink the child into despondency, or drive him to despair - as not to wean the heart of the child either from father or from mother. And the education required is to be marked, as you will have seen throughout the course of these remarks, by the following features. The Lord Jesus, the Son of God, is to be its end. Children are to brought up for the Lord; for subjects in His kingdom; that is to be the ultimate end. Christ's teaching is to be the means of education. The precepts and the prohibitions that are to regulate the general conduct are to be taken from Christ's lips, and are to be delivered to the child in Christ's name. Christ's resources are to be the support of education. The parent is not supposed to be able himself to do this work; but there are put at his disposal the unsearchable riches of Christ; and if he cannot nourish his children with that which he has, he may nourish them by the wealth of his Master and Lord. The education required is to have Christ's example for its standard - the parent is to: "bring up" as Christ brings up His followers. And it is to have Christ's temper for its spirit - the educator must be meek and lowly in heart.

(S. Martin, D. D.)

Theological Sketchbook.

1. Children are weak and helpless, and totally incapable of caring for themselves; and hence arises the first duty which parents owe them - that of feeding and clothing them.

2. Children are ignorant, and without understanding; hence they should not only be fed, but taught. Children should be taught -





3. Children are unruly, and therefore must; be governed.

4. Children are prone to evil, and therefore must be restrained.


1. They should do it for their own sake. For the credit of their own characters.

2. They should do it for their children's sake.

3. They should do it for society's sake.

4. They should do it for God's sake.CONCLUSION:

1. Learn how careful the apostles were to instruct their converts, not only in the matters of faith, but rules of conduct descending even to the most particular duties of domestic life.

2. The practicability of a religious education.

3. How awful is the responsibility of parents.

(Theological Sketchbook.)

I. THE TIE THAT BINDS THE PARENT TO HIS CHILD. It is one of the most affecting of all ties. But see the deep responsibility connected with it - to say nothing of the closeness, the tenderness, and the unchangeableness of the tie - my bone, and my flesh, and my blood.

II. But observe THE EXHORTATION THAT IS HERE GIVEN. At first sight it seems a sort of strange exhortation to parents, "not to provoke their children to wrath." Yet there is infinite love and infinite wisdom in it; because of the very love that parents have for their children. Observe, they are not exhorted to love their children; that is not the exhortation given to them. It is supposed that they love their children; and yet, though they love their children, they may "provoke them to wrath." Because there may be, and often is, an exhibition of love that does "provoke them to wrath." Oh! beloved, a system of perpetual, endless, unrequired, austere restriction does it; a perpetual restriction, in which there is a practical forgetfulness of the parent's duty to make his children happy. Beware of a system of perpetually finding fault. This results from the other; if there be a system of perpetual restriction in all things. But now let us come to that which is the precept before us. "But," says he, instead of doing so, "bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." "Bring them up" - the same word occurs in the twenty-ninth verse of the former chapter; it is the same as "nourish." It implies all tenderness, all feeling with, all feeling for, all care, all gentleness, and all love. "Bring them up": just as you nourish your own flesh, caring for its life, for its welfare, and its true well-being - so "bring them up." "Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Here are two points for our consideration. Here is, first of all, the bringing them up, instructing them in Divine truth; and then there is educating them in Divine things. First of all, to instruct them in Divine truth. And this, too, not in a dictatorial way, as a schoolmaster teaches his lessons; but as a father should teach his children. A "good minister" is one who is "nourished up in the words of faith, and of good doctrine." Nourished up, by little and little, just as he is able to bear it. Besides this, beloved, there is in education - and there can hardly be, I should think, a greater mistake than to suppose that instruction in the truth, and education, mean the same things - there is in education the "bringing up" of a child in those principles in which he has been instructed out of God's Word.

(J. H. Evans, M. A.)

(J. Whitecross.)

(F. Quarles.)


(Dr. R. Newton.)

(W. Arnot, D. D.)

(S. T. Coleridge.)


I. AN URGENT COMMAND. Do your duty to your father and mother. This may be taken to include those who occupy the place of a parent - a grandfather or grandmother, or uncle or aunt, or friend or guardian. I shall try to bring out the spirit of this command in a few short remarks.

1. Honour your parents. Our words to our parents should be respectful: we should honour them in our speaking. I am amazed and grieved to hear how some children speak to their fathers and mothers - to hear the pert, disrespectful, impudent answers they sometimes give them. Our looks and gestures should be respectful. Do you see that little fellow, who has been found fault with, or has not got what he wanted? What a face he puts on - what ill-nature shows itself in these pouting lips - what revenge and defiance there is in that fiery eye - what a scowl on his young face! But he does not say anything; perhaps he does not dare. I wish you would remember that your eye and lips may sin, as well as your tongue and hand. Our actions - our general conduct and behaviour towards them, should be respectful We may do things, that are right in themselves, in a very disrespectful way - ungraciously, offensively. Where there is some infirmity - where, for instance, a parent is deaf, or lame, or sick, or ill-behaved, this is very apt to be. We do what is asked or wished, but we do it with a very bad grace. The same may be said of the way in which we receive and treat their instructions, it may be carelessly, heartlessly. Then there is such a thing as being ashamed of our parents - when they are poor, when they are not so well educated as we are. It was not so with Joseph, one of the first princes of Egypt, when he presented his old shepherd-father to the king, and was as proud of him as if he had been a king too.

2. Obey your parents. It is not enough to pay them respect, in a general way: they must be obeyed. To say "No" to a parent, is to run directly in the face of God's law. And we may not choose what commands we shall obey, and what we shall not. And so I shall pass on to say something about the kind of obedience that should be rendered.(1) Our obedience should be without questioning. Some children have a very bad trick of asking a reason for everything.(2) Our obedience should be prompt. The thing asked should be done at once. Much depends on this. A parent should never require to repeat his command. To wait for a second bidding is just next to refusing. We might often learn important lessons from the lower animals, and not least from dogs, which, when well trained, are remarkable for their obedience. Let me tell you a story which brings out strikingly the advantage of prompt obedience. There was a dog that was growing old and deaf, belonging to one of the officials at a railway station. One day the dog was coming leisurely along between the two lines of rail, when the express train appeared, and screeching out its shrill whistle, came dashing on, as you have seen "the express" do. The poor dog could hear no sound, the train was close behind, there was no way of giving him warning in time to get off the line, and there seemed nothing for it but that the poor brute should be killed on the spot. His master, however, by a well-known sign with his finger, ordered the dog to lie down; in a moment he lay flat on the ground; and in less time than I have taken to tell the story, the train had passed over him, and left him unharmed. His prompt obedience saved his life.(3) Our obedience should be cheerful. It should be "not of constraint, but willingly." Compulsory obedience is not right obedience. We should not obey sulkily, making it plain that we only do the thing because we must.

3. Love your parents. It is not enough to pay them outward respect - to make a point of obeying them: you must love them. They love you, and nothing will satisfy them but your love in return. A poor woman once came to me, almost broken-hearted, and told me this story. She had been calling on her daughter, a young servant girl, in a good situation. When the daughter opened the door and saw who was there, she threw a shilling to her, as if she had been a beggar, said she was afraid lest her mistress should come, and shut the door in her mother's face, leaving her staggering under the rebuff. I think I see that mother yet, as she said to me, "What was my daughter's money to me, when I had lost her love?"

4. Be kind to your parents. If you really love them, you will be kind to them. Anticipate their wishes, and give them a pleasant surprise. I might mention many beautiful instances of kindness to parents. I have heard of an American Indian chief who was taken prisoner with his son, and, with heavy chains on his limbs, was cast into prison. The chief whose prisoner he is, has no child, and wishes to adopt the boy as his son. He brings out rich ornaments for the wrists and ankles, such as the Indians delight to wear, and tells him to choose whatever he likes. One by one the boy takes them up and looks at them; but his thoughts go back to his father in his dungeon, and for him he gives up all. "As you give me my choice," his reply is, "I had rather wear such as my father wears" - a chain! See that youth, respectable and well educated, who has been unable to get money otherwise, and now offers to enlist as a soldier, provided he gets a good bounty. What does the lad mean? His old father is in prison for debt: the son would do anything to get him released; he gets the bounty asked, and though it may cost him many a year of hardship and danger, he hurries to the well-known cell, takes his father in his arms, and tells him he is free! Or look into this humble home. On a bed lies a sick man, so helpless that his wife can do little else than wait upon him. She cannot go out to wash or work. People wonder how they live, for they get no parish aid. Do you see that little girl of twelve? How nimbly her fingers are going! Every morning she is up at four; it is nothing but stitch, stitch, stitch with her, all the day. She is the little bread winner for the household.

5. Value your parents. Well you may. You will never find the like of them again. You will not have them long. Prize them while you have them. And here let me put in a word for aged parents. When a father or a mother grows old, the duty to support and show kindness to and bear with them, becomes increasingly binding.

II. A PRECIOUS PROMISE - "That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest. live long on the earth." I can but touch on this.

1. God says, Obedience will be pleasing to Him. It is implied in the promise, that God will approve it.

2. God says, It will be a blessing to yourself. "It shall be well with thee: thou shalt live long," etc.

(J. H. Wilson.)

I. The first thing to which we invite your attention, is, THE BEST METHOD OF COMMUNICATING RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE.

1. Now, among the first rules we would give for the communication of religious knowledge to children, we would say, avoid bringing before them all points of abstract doctrine. Do not suppose it needful that you should bring under their notice any system of divinity, as a system. Be careful to impress upon their minds those moral facts, which lead to the doctrines, rather than to state the doctrines and then prove them by the facts.

2. There is another direction, which I think very important, with regard to the instruction of the young; and that is, that in all our statements of truth, and in all our illustrations of doctrine, we should be careful that every illustration we employ be as circumscribed, as confined, as narrow in its range, as possible.

3. There is one general direction more that we would give with regard to the inculcation of religious knowledge; and that is, that we should do all we can to encourage habits of inquiry, of reflection, and of moral thoughtfulness.

II. We now proceed to the second part of our subject, where the observations, it is obvious, will apply to those of a more advanced age, as well as to children. We mean, THE OFFERING RULES FOR PERSUADING THEM TO A RELIGIOUS PRACTICE.

1. The first rule we would give, is this: that you make the service of God appear delightful service.

2. Another direction is, that you acquire the habit of turning passing events to a spiritual account.

3. Another direction is, that you endeavour to find out their first and strongest tendency to evil.

4. Another direction we would give, is, that you administer reproof on Bible principles, and in a Bible spirit.

5. One more direction is, that ye encourage the small beginnings of the good work. Two practical directions for yourselves, in conclusion, will finish our subject. First, let your exhortations be strengthened by example; secondly, let your example be sanctified by your prayers.

(D. Moore, M. A.)

I. First, allow me to direct your attention to THE NATURE OF PARENTAL CLAIMS.

1. In the first place, then, parental claims require implicit; obedience so long as the child is dependent on the parent.

2. Secondly, parental claims require affectionate and reverential deference in every period of life.

3. In the third place, parental claims extend to support in times of weakness, sickness, and old age.

II. In the second place, then, let us consider THE AUTHORITY BY WHICH THESE CLAIMS ARE ENFORCED.

1. First, they are enforced by the decisions of the moral law. You know that one of the most prominent and oft-repeated of the ancient commandments delivered by Moses to the Jewish nation, was this, "Honour thy father and thy mother."

2. Secondly, this duty is enforced by the principles and precepts of the New Testament dispensation. Thus, when the Saviour came, the record concerning Him was that He "went down and was subject to His parents."

3. In the third place, iris enforced by the nature and claims of human society. Society is but an aggregate of individuals, and men are just what they are at home.

4. In the fourth place, it is enforced by the important connection which this duty has with the formation of individual character. Any individual who has been remarkable as an excellent son, will become a good father, a good husband, a good friend, a good member of society, in whatever place he may be found.

5. In the last place, it is enforced by the strongest commands of gratitude.

III. Allow me, then, in the third place, to notice SOME OF THOSE RESTRICTIONS BY WHICH THESE CLAIMS ARE LIMITED.

1. First, then, they are modified by the claims of religion. The gospel in every respect is supreme. Our allegiance to the Deity is higher and of more importance than our allegiance to any and all the forms of domestic and social life.

2. In the second place, it is restricted by the laws of society of which the individual may be a member, and by the principles of unchanging morals, every individual feels that society at large is of much more importance, and therefore has a greater claim, than the domestic circle. Consequently, if a law in itself right or necessary for social existence shall enjoin anything, parental authority shall not countervail it.

3. In the third place, their claims are marked and modified by the usages and constitutions of society. All our domestic arrangements partake, to a greater or less extent, of the nature of law. In many countries you know children are, or have been, regarded as the property of their parents. So long as the parent survives, it is impossible for them to hold property of any kind, or to command the services, excepting subordinate and secondary, of any agent. It has been impossible that they should devote themselves to this or that enterprise, except at the suggestion and determination of the parent's will. In fact they are slaves - complete slaves; body, soul, and spirit regarded as the goods and chattels of the parent. We feel that this runs counter to the everlasting law; that it is not right that slavery in any form should exist; and consequently we should not feel ourselves bound essentially on such a principle as that, merely on its own account, if there were no other supervening law to enforce duty under those circumstances upon us. In the East, for example, and among the Jews, till a young man attained thirty years of age, this parental control was most complete; it extended to such physical chastisement as the parent should demand, while it was regarded as the highest crime to resist or oppose that chastisement, however condign, afflictive, or humiliating it might be. Under such circumstances as these, we feel our feelings would revolt.

4. In the last place, these claims are modified by individual character and conduct. I do not mean to say that improper conduct on the part of the parent essentially vitiates, much less destroys, the claims which the parent has for obedience and reverence. But I do mean to say that there is a law of nature which acting invariably will, if it does not destroy, greatly modify those claims, in the responses with which they shall be met. If the conscience is not controlled, if the understanding is not convinced, the very moment such is the case the claims of the individual are to a great extent modified. Now, it is just so in the domestic circle. If your example shall be contrary to righteousness and truth, two things will follow: first, your authority will be vitiated, because all true obedience, such as is connected with affection and reverence, must be secured, in greater or less measure, by the action of moral influence; but a corrupt father cannot exercise such influence, and consequently full and true obedience cannot by him be secured. The external form may remain, but the inward life and power must be wanting. A second thing will ensue; example speaks louder than words: there will be two authorities, two commandments. Further: if your commands shall be unduly severe - if they shall be, moreover, manifestly intended to secure exclusively your own interest - if they shall savour of selfishness in every utterance and in every demand, you may secure obedience, perhaps, but you cannot secure love.

(J. Aldis.)


(Samuel Martin, D. D.)

(J. Pulsford.)

(Christian Globe.)

Christian Age.
cando?" Sometimes "don't" seems a mere mechanical utterance, unheeded by the child, and unenforced by the parent. "Don't do that, my dear"; and the little girl, tossing over the fine engravings on a friend's table, pauses an instant. The mother goes on talking with her friend, the child resumes her occupation, and no notice is taken of it, except, after awhile, the prohibition is carelessly repeated, only to be ignored. A forgetful mother makes a forgetful child. Authority is weakened by reiterated commands.

(Christian Age.)

(Christian Union)

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