21 Feb 2014 by Stewart Chew-
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for THIS IS RIGHT. Honor your father and mother – which is the first commandment with a promise –THAT IT MAY GO WELL WITH YOU and that you may ENJOY LONG LIFE ON THE EARTH!
It is in God’s plan for children to be always receptive and listening to caring elders in charge of you. Ephesians 6: 1-3 in the Bible is especially written to children about God’s instructions. It tells them about their role to parents. God tells children to: –
Obey your parents and Honour your parents.
He tells children plainly why you must obey your parents because – this is right and why you must honor your parents because He promises – that it may go well with you and you may enjoy long life on the Earth! Ponder over the amazing truth of these two instructions and the rewards that God promises that comes with them. He has always proven to us to be an incredible God! The first reward for obeying parents is: –
This is right!
What kind of attractive reward is that? It is certainly not very much of a reward! If you repeatedly say it, its implication will slowly sink in that it is actually quite big deal. Doing the right things to please your parents is a natural response by a happy child who has loving and caring parents. Children even at a very young age feel loved, encouraged and strengthened every time they receive a happy response from parents such as a smile, nod or a touch or a verbal ‘thank you sweetie’. These kids will always have a lasting close relationship with their parents and their siblings and grow up with high esteem.
The second reward for honoring parents is: –
That it may go well with you AND
You may enjoy long life on the earth (!)
Now these are incredible promises, and our Creator is the only One who could truly fulfill them! To honour our parents is the first commandment with a promise of a reward! ‘That it may go well’ can be interpreted as having good health and happiness. It is everyone’s life desire to enjoy and be reminded that he/she is a picture of good health. I recall my dear mother (we are Hokkien) refers to good health as having ‘Ang Geh’, which literally means showing ‘red teeth’! I think she probably implies that the healthy person displays a set of red gums (because of good blood circulation) rather than actual red-stained teeth!
To live a long life naturally follows one's good health. Longevity is such an important asset in anyone’s life. It is everyone’s heart desire to live long lives so that they are able to share and enjoy their later years with their children and grandchildren. We all try to achieve long lives by ourselves; we ensure that we eat the right food, exercise, sleep well and go for regular medical checkups etc. Our own way of achieving long life may not always work but be absolutely sure that’s God’s way, like everything that He promises, never fail!
Is Ephesians 6: 1-3 true for you? It is directing at children, but can it also apply appropriately to grown-ups like you and me? Let us wind back the clock. As children, did you think you would qualify? When you realized that you were close and strong in Him ever since you were young and had remained faithful throughout the years, and everything else had always been right with your life, then your answer is fairly obvious. Be blessed and be thankful that you have God-fearing parents who brought you up. You have, like what your parents did for you, in turn brought your children up to fear and obey God. Do you think that your own children have in turn emulated their parents in bringing up their own children? You have done your part to love them and care for them and are the rest really much up to them? When we frequently pray for them, we can always rest assured that the Lord knows our hearts desire for our children and the Lord truly cares.
There are many occasions in the Bible that demonstrated that God has established His covenant with our forefathers. In Genesis 17:7, we read:
I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
And again in Psalm 100:5, we read:
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Let us all take heart when we remind ourselves of the special day with great joy (with the angels in Heaven) when we made a decision in our lives to accept Jesus as savior and Lord. We can now rest assured in all the things we live and do in the future because our loving Heavenly Father is always in control. We have a loving God who cares and is absolutely trustworthy to all His promises. This is not saying the least that our lives will be rosy from now on. On the contrary! The big difference now is we have God and we can rely on His strength rather than our own! We can always be confident as we are reminded when we read in Nehemiah 8:10b.
Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
References for pictures