My parents told me that I often ignored their instruction at an early age. If they told me to not put my finger in a light socket I would attempt to do just that. I can remember early on my mom had just put on the stove top to get a pot of water to a boil to begin to cook dinner. At that house we had the coil stove tops that slowly warmed up. At first you could not tell if they were on or not. Our parents had consistently warned us of the danger of touching the stove when it had been turned on. My mom briefly stepped out of the kitchen to grab something. My curiosity drove me closer to the stove. I thought to myself “did my mom really turn the stove on? Maybe it will be ok to put my palm on the stove top to see if it is hot.” I slowly hovered my hand over the coil and placed it gently to see if it was on. The stove was so hot that my nerves did not register the pain for a few seconds and I burnt my palm pretty bad. I ran to my mom crying to her about what had just happened. I can only imagine what she thought in her mind as I came running to her. The burn was so bad that I had to sleep with an ice pack wrapped around my hand.
I have countless stories just like this where my parents had clearly given me simple instruction as to how to live and behave and I continually disobeyed them. Some stories are funnier than others. We see in scripture the wisdom of when a child listens to his parents. It is a blessing and it is good when a child obeys the words of his parents. There is a reward for those who obey their parents. We see that God commands children to obey their parents so “that it may go well…and that you may live long in the land.” At the heart of disobedience is the thought that we know better than what are parents are telling us. At least, our disobedience is a distrust of our parents and their word. One thing that children often forget, overlook or do not believe is that their parents deeply love them. This is why parents give children instruction and it is why they discipline them when they disobey.
If we are called to obey our earthly parents and are told of the goodness and wisdom that comes from that, how much more good will come from obeying our heavenly Father who is perfect? Our earthly parents are sinful and yet there is much wisdom and goodness in their instruction because they love us as their children. Our heavenly Father loves us with a perfect love and gives us perfect instruction in his word. Let us worship our Father in heaven for his goodness and His love for us, His children. As parents let us love our children with the love, patience and kindness that has been shown to us as God’s children. Worship and rejoice in God for His instruction and discipline.
Scripture: Ephesians 6:1-4
Sermon: The Relationships Between Parents and Children
Song of Response: A Christian Home
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Leader: Father, you have shown us a beautiful picture in the Scriptures of what a child-parent relationship should be. We have seen through the Scriptures the love you have for your Son and the love that the Son has for you.
All: We confess that as sons and daughters we have not loved you as we should. We have not impressed your word upon our hearts and followed after you as we should. We ask you to forgive us and help us to be better imitators of You.