Children, obey your parents in the Lord, because this is right. - Ephesians 6:1(HCSB)
It was getting close to supper time and Martha Peterson was slaving away in her kitchen preparing an awesome meal for her family. As she stood near the stove she couldn't resist taking in a big whiff of of the sauce she was preparing but as she did she started gagging and coughing and her eyes started to water.
“HAROLD! What have I told you about staying away from skunks!” Martha yelled out at the top of her lungs but when she turned around it wasn't Harold that stood behind her smelling like a skunk, it was her husband. “Bill!” She yelled out in surprise, “I hope you're not planning to sleep with me tonight. You reek!”
“I was hoping you wouldn't have noticed.” Bill said gagging and coughing himself. “Notice!” Martha yelled back, “I think I could have smelled you even if my nose was cut off. What happened?” “H- A - R - O - L – D is what happened.” Bill told her, “And to make matters worse, I'm suppose to be teaching Sunday School in the morning.”
“I can't even begin to count how many times I have told him to stay away from skunks but he just won't listen to many.” Bill complained to his wife. “I know the feeling dear,” Martha replied, “I've been telling him over and over to stay away from the skunks too. You would think he would have learned his lesson after getting sprayed the first time.”
“I would think that the skunks would have learned there lesson by now and stayed away from Harold.” Bill told his wife, “This is the sixth time this month Harold has tried to catch a skunk and this time I happened to be...” “In the wrong spot at the wrong time.” Martha injected, “I know. I can smell.”
“What I don't understand is why Harold keeps trying to catch a skunk.” Bill told Martha, I would think the smell would bother him, I know it bothers me and everybody else in town.” “Bill,” Martha said shaking her head, “Why does Harold do anything?”
“You know,” Bill said, “If he keeps this up we're going to go broke buying tomato sauce to wash the smell away. How are you getting the smell out of his clothes?” “I'm not.” Marthe responded, “Instead of washing them, I've been digging a hole in the backyard and burying them.” “That's a great idea.” Bill said with a grin, “Why don't we leave Harold in the clothes next time. His disobedience is costing us a fortune.” “Too late.” Martha grinned, “I've already buried him, well, at least part of him.”
“At least I was an obedient child when I was his age.” Bill commented. “Obedient!” Martha snorted, “From what your mom has told me, I could...” Bill quickly cut off his wife. “I'm heading to the bath tub.” he said and darted out of the room.
In Exodus, as God was laying down the law, he gave the people a commandment Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. - Exodus 20:12 (NIV) Sounds great, especially if you're a parent but would anyone obey this command? Move forward to the New Testament and we read these words But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents .... 2 Timothy 3:1-2 (NASB)
Harold has a problem obeying his parents, It almost sounds like Bill had the same problem so what does it mean to obey ones parents, to honor them? “Tell me what you think about this: A man had two sons. He went to the first son and said, ’Son, go and work today in my vineyard.’ The son answered, ’I will not go.’ But later the son changed his mind and went. Then the father went to the other son and said, ’Son, go and work today in my vineyard.’ The son answered, ’Yes, sir, I will go and work,’ but he did not go. Which of the two sons obeyed his father?“ The priests and leaders answered, “The first son.“ Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes will enter the kingdom of God before you do. Matthew 21:28-31 (NCV)
I suppose we could plug in another scenario. Aaron and Jason are asked to mow the lawn. Joe said he would but played video games all day. Frank said no way, he'd rather play video games but kept losing so he went and mowed the lawn.
Or try this, Laura and Melissa are asked to wash the dishes. Laura says she would love to but gets sidetracked playing dolls. Melissa says no way, she wants to play dolls. But after her doll falls apart she decides to wash the dishes.
I'm sure we could plug in many more examples and I think we can easily figure out who was obedient. More than what we say, obedience is in our actions.
Heading back to the Old Testament when God was laying down the law, He left some very strict penalties for those who were disobedient to their parents. If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father or mother and doesn’t listen to them even after they discipline him, his father and mother must take hold of him and bring him to the elders of his city, to the gate of his hometown. They will say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he doesn’t obey us. He’s a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of his city will stone him to death. You must purge the evil from you, and all Israel will hear and be afraid. Deuteronomy 21:18-21 (HCSB)
Here's a couple more verse to think upon in relation to obedience to parents.
- Proverbs 6:20 - My son, obey your father's commands, and don't neglect your mother's teaching. (NLT)
- Colossians 3:20 - Children, obey your parents in all things, because this pleases the Lord. (NCV)
Here's Something To Ponder
- Would you ever consider disobeying your parents?
- Would you ever consider disobeying God when He says obey your parents?