The Marriage Knot 

knotDuties of Children to Parentsknot

bride and groom

"And I asked her and said, 'Who's daughter are you?'" are the words found in Genesis 44:47. When I ask you that question, I would imagined that you daughters would be answering: "Well, I'm the daughter of so and so in the house of so and so."

It's an old-fashioned idea that the home in which the Bible is read and which prayer is uttered is the type home that presents to the world that daughter, generally, that is the one that can respond like in Proverbs 31:39, ":Many daughters have done worthily but you excel them all." I hope that you daughters,. who read these lines, are in the category of excelling them all.

What about the son? Well, the question from 2 Samuel 18:32 states: "Is it well with the young man?" This is the question regarding the father's anxiety of his son. "Is it well with the son?" Again, it is an old-fashioned idea, but it is indeed a great memorial to a mother and father to have their son say "One of the most memorable things I can recall, when I was a child, is that time around the table or maybe beside my bed, my father and my mother prayed for me as a youngster.

Children do have a duty to listen to their parents and to obey their parents. Yet, the concept is being changed. Times have changed? Yep. But truths and principles have not. This is being twisted in our land of the free.

A missionary couple returning recently to the United States were amazed at the trend. In fact, the missionary said ":It seems to be the norm now that the parents obey the children, instead of the children obeying the parents."

It's a problem. It's a problem in America. Problems occur when rules and regulations are broken. Problems occur in anything, in any organization, club, any structural type government when rules and regulations are broken.

Rules and regulations are being broken by husbands. They're being broken by wives and they're being broken by children., This is the problem and why the home is on a slippery slope.

The Scripture has a lot to say about duties of a child to the parents As we progress, we want to look at what God has to say. After all, He is the authority, right?

The following scene took place in a Pullman train car when an oriental lady was seated in a very crowded car. Across from her was a mother and her daughter. The mother said, ":Honey would you please go get me a glass of water?" The little girl said, "No.". "Please." "No." This oriental lady was shocked. She was even more when the lady got up and dispensed her own water and returned to her seat.

This is the scene that is being seen over and over again where fifty years ago the average American child would not have dared to raise their voice in opposition to their parents. Today it's different, and as children we stand in a very special relationship to our parents.


We've have been made in their image as they have been made in the image of God. We have, at least for awhile, been very dependent upon them as a child. We were dependent upon the very maintenance of our life. As a result of this, it is out of complete necessity, that we be under their authority when we were a child. Now, God is the source of life. Parents are the secondary source of life. So we, be you a child, young person or an adult, have an obligation to your parents.

Someone wrote, "Honoring our parents includes respect, love and obedience as long as child hood and youth continue, and the gradual modification and transformation of affections and duties into a higher form as manhood and womanhood draws us."

1. Children, Obey

What are our duties as children? FIRST of all, it says very clearly in Ephesians 6: "Children, obey your parents for it is right that you should. Honor your father and mother is the first commandment with a promise attached in the words 'That it may be well with you and that you may live long in the land.'"

Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3:1-2: "Know also that in the last days perilous times shall come, for men shall be disobedient to their parents, unthankful and unholy." Now Paul says it is the first commandment. Perhaps the first commandant that the child learned by memory. He memorized it, he knew it by heart He says, "Children," - - that is, that person who is not of age. That person, who is under the care and government, if you please, of the parents they are to "obey". This is the first duty.

I found these words - written more than a hundred fifty years ago (1851) are timely and just as relevant to this day. "Children should obey parents." This is important. Then the writer list some 5 reasons.

  1. Because the welfare of the child depends on it; it being of the highest importance that a child should be early taught obedience, as no one can be prosperous or happy who is not thus obedient.
  2. Because the child is not competent as yet to reason on what is right or qualified to direct himself and while that is the case, he must be subject to the will of another person.
  3. Because the parent, by his age and experience, is to be presumed to be qualified to direct and guide a child. The love which God has implanted in the heart of a parent for a child secures, in general, the administration of this domestic government in such a way as not to injure the child. A father will not unless under strong passion or the excitement of intoxication abuse his welfare; and the placing of the child under the authority of the parent is about the same thing in regard to the welfare of the wisdom and experience of the parent himself.
  4. Because the family government is designed to be imitation of the government of God. The government of God is what as perfect family government would be; and to accustom a child to be obedient to a parent, is designed to be one method of leading him to be obedient to God. No child that is disobedient to parents will be obedient to God. And that child that is most obedient to a father and mother will be most likely to become a Christian and an heir of heaven.

Fairly "wordy" - but content has not changed in the 150 years plus.

Deuteronomy 5:16 says: "and that it may go well with you." Children, this concludes that it will go ill with the disobedient and there is no doubt that untimely deaths have been caused by disobedient children to parents. There is a degree of affection and respect which is owned to a parent and no person can properly claim this other than that parent. For awhile in this home structure, (this government of the home,) parents stand in the place of God. You stand in the place of God.

2. Word to Parents

Secondly, it is at this point that it would be wise to mention a word to the parent. In our subject of duties of husbands to wives and duties of wives to husbands, on both occasions we paused for a moment in the duties of each to children.

Here are the words, "Train up a child." The two Scriptures we had in our introduction, "How is it with the young man?" was voiced by a very anxious father. In the words about the daughter, "I asked her, 'whose daughter are you?'" We as parents have an obligation to so conduct ourselves and train our children that their lives can be brought up to the admonition of God. Today's most deadly attack upon America is not the enemy or terrorist, but the most deadly attack upon America is made upon the homes that dot our country side.

It is indeed sad that much of our father and mother-hood is not instilling in the minds and hearts of childhood the Christian ideals of the past. Anytime America - where you live -looses its godly parenthood, Christian America is gone. Even now, in my opinion America is in a "nose dive" and going down fast.

Perhaps you read the writing of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Lindberg years ago when their son was kidnapped and murdered. I guess there is nothing more tragic than to read the account where Mr. Charles Lindberg, world hero at that time, walked bareheaded behind the remains of his little boy, and later to the place of the burial. This disturbed the world as few things have done.

But there is something worse than this. That is a child who grows up to manhood who has not been obedient to the parents. Tragedy! Because that life goes into a life of crime and wickedness, moral indecency that brings downs gray hair upon then mother and the father, even to an untimely death themselves. Parents are bound to educate and instruct their children.


That we all agree, I am sure. Yes, it is harder to do, and certainly easier to say. Child, parent relationships. There is always the problem in the relationship of parents with children in the area of being too lax or too easygoing. If this were the case the child will grow up undisciplined and unfit to really just face life. On the other hand, there is a danger that the more conscientious parent is more likely to be always correcting and admonishing the child. Rebuking, goading the child day in and day out . Why? Simply because that parent wishes the child always to be well behave. They area always, as it were on top of the child. That is not good also.

We remember the tragic question of Mary Lamb, whose mind was unhinged at an untimely age. She said "Why is it, that I never seem to be able to do anything to please my mother?" We remember the poignant statement of John Newton: "

"I know my father loved me, but he did not seem to wish me to know it." There is a kind of constant criticism which is a product of misguided love that is on the American scene today. The danger of all this is that the children become discouraged in the home. A Mr. Bengal speaks of the "plague of youth, the broken spirit."

It is the duty of the parent to discipline the child, but it is also the duty to encourage the child. Discipline and encouragement must walk hand in hand.

This opens up a completely new subject of duties of parents to children,. There is a difference between discipline and punishment….a great difference. They are not the same, their lends are not the same. The end of punishment is to inflict pain for a wrong doing or a crime. The end of discipline ought to be to develop self-reliance and self-control.

Marriage is a career, a highly specialized career that demands much before the vows are taken and demands much during the relationship. There is much to say about the subject, and I will not belabor the point, but we as parents do have an obligation to our children.

Some men, in asserting their independence, lightly cast aside the restraints that had been held on them while a child, the standard of the home, the standard of the family and go their way. They say their parents were "old fogies" and they decide they will do as they please. So, they waive aside all the guiding principles that had been theirs. They go alone with the crowd with no thought of how it is going to affect the "old folks at home."

Our Scripture says in Ephesians, "Children obey your parents, for it is right that you should..":

3. Children - Honor

bride and groom

A third consideration in this area regarding children comes from Exodus 20:12. We have the fifth commandment which says, "Honor your father and your mother." "Honor your father and your mother that your days may be long upon the face of the earth." The fifth commandment has the word "honor". It is loaded with honor. It is sometimes used in reference to deity. It is the honor that is deeper than obedience. It is the heart of "affection."

What was it that gave Rome its long standing as a great nation? The simple fact that the young men were obedient to parental instruction. That is why Rome lasted so long The young people respected their fathers, they respected their mothers. (However, there came a turning point and Satan got his hold and the standard was broken…..Rome fell.)

The family is a Divine institution. God begins with the family and God tells how sons and daughters should treat their mothers and fathers - giving proper respect, never using the term "the old lady" or "the old man", which is frequently heard in our society. We owe a whole lot to our parents. They have given us life itself Their blood flows through us.. They made sacrifices for us when we were young.

Within hours of this original typing a friend said, "I just don't know what to do. My son does not respect me. He yells at me. He refuses to do anything I ask." Sad. Situations like this are not just for that moment in time…….they bounce into the future in so many different areas.

The Bible tells us that there is a promise attached when it says, "Honor your father and your mother". The promise is "that your days may be long on the face of the earth". I don't know what this means to you, but to me it poses some problems. It means if you obey your parents, you will live long on this earth. Now, there have been untimely deaths that would make this seem not true, but in light of God's providence, mercy and mercy it is true. If you honor hour parents your life will be long. Of course, this presupposes that there is proper influence. For example no father would surely encourage his son to engage in the vices of this world because they in themselves make a life short.

Some say the writer is not talking about an individual; it means National security for the Israelites, but I present this statement. That if this be true, bear in mind that these words were spoken to an individual. Individuals make up a Nation To have a long national career presupposes and implies a goodly degree of personal longevity and prosperity that comes when children obey their parents.

Children must be obedient to their parents. I have personally known situations in a home life where the child has struck his parent. Ouch!

Look how strongly the Bible puts It in Exodus 21:15, "He that smites his father or his mother shall be pout to death." Wow, did I read that right? - (rewind!) "He that smites his father or his mother shall be put to death." Ok, let me go to another translations .


New International Version:
"Anyone who attacks his father or his mother must be put to death."

New American Standard Bible:
"He who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death."

God's Word Translation:
"Whoever hits his father or mother must be put to death.

King James Bible:
"And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death."

People lived under the law and they were put to death. Elsewhere in the Word there is a comment made that crime is on the increase because justice is so slow. If we lived under rules of swift punishment to fit the crime I totally believe that the face of America would change.

Someone has said that "Disobedience to parents can lead to a life of crime in young people". Thought? I am ok with that. Young people, I am sure you do no believe me now, but if you obey your parents, your life is going to be vastly different.

So, here is a boy in a certain town. He is not made to obey. His parents say he must not be inhibited. We must not restrain him, and we will let him have his own way. So they let him run wild. They never correct him, and he becomes a wretched little savage that is always discontented, always demanding something for himself. Instead of being a happy child, he is an unhappy child. He is not normal, he is unhappy. Other children don't want to play with his as he is selfish, and other parents dread to see him come to their lawn or to their home., He becomes a problem child at school. His teachers are made miserable.

Later he goes out into life never having had the restraints put upon him in the home. Why should he have restrains put upon him when he goes into society? At home he did as he pleased. In society he does as he pleases, too. What happens is that's he becomes a juvenile delinquent. Later on he becomes a hardened criminal. The biggest business today in America is the crime business. And all the criminals at one time sat on the laps of their mothers and fathers.

Years ago, J. Edgar Hoover said "America needs reform, not with the electric chair but with the high chair." Parents, we have an obligation in the raising of our children. Parents must think about it and not get hung upon "well, what my children think of me. I want to be their friend." Children must think about their obligations to the parents.

We as parents are doing the worst thing that we can do to our children if we don't enforce obedience.

4. Duties to Other Family Members

A fourth thing in this arena is what we can tag as the duties of children to other family members. This, believe it or not is extremely important. For instance, you be that good brother to your sister. You defend her from anything that comes her way; from talk or anything. And young ladies, you be proud of your brother or brothers. They are very special.


So you are thinking, "How can I do that?"

  1. Do the best you can in self-improvement.
  2. Have some good habits.
  3. Keep yourself clean spiritually and morally.
  4. Do the very best you can in school.
  5. Listen to parents, and even when you disagree with them, calmly say so and talk with then about it. It is amazing how much miscommunication can be cleared up.
  6. Do your fair share around the home.
  7. Read the Bible.

Young people can have a prayer something like, "God, I do thank you for my parents. I truly want to understand them and to know where they are coming from. Help me zip my lip and open my understanding as to what is being said. Help me not to react, but to respond to a difficult situation or conversation. Help me God. Amen.

Children who have parents living have an obligation to them when they are old. It is a serious problem when persons become up in years and finds themselves helpless. Did you know that many heathen racers put them to death? But Christianity says "support them, take care of them and love them." Sometimes they get irritable and sometimes even grouchy, but still it is the child's responsibility to take care of their parents.

It is our responsibility and we must be careful how we treat our parents. They deserve our obedience even when they are old. They deserve your best effort to make them proud and not disappoint then. You have a right to comfort them and give joy to them. They have a right to expect your support in their old age. When the old age is crowned with honor and satisfaction because as an obedient child, even though you have grown older, have been good and you have fulfilled the ambition of their hearts.

I Timothy 5:8 says, "But if anybody does not make provision for his relations and especially for members of his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." Our parents loved us in spite of all our faults. They fed us with a spoon, and perhaps we will have to do this to them. Jesus set the example when on the cross he made provision for his mother. And so may we do likewise, because God commands it and because dong it is that type conduct that gives great pleasure to us and to our parents. "Children, obey your parents" the Bible says.

Here is an old story that has been around. When R.G. Lee, then pastor of the Bellevue Church in Memphis Tennessee, USA was in college he went to Panama to earn some money during the summer time. His mother said, "Bob, when you go downs there you will be a long, long way from home. You are going to be temped, you are going to be invited to do a lot of things you know are not right to do. Now, when you come hone, I am going look you right in the eye, and I am going to be able to tell if you were free with your living or if you obeyed your mother." "I will, Mom," her said and left When he returned he went right to his mother's South Carolina home and she looked him in the eye and said "I can see you have been obedient to your mother. You have brought honor to me and to your Lord."

Many years ago Nancy and I stood on the Continental Divide of the Rocky Mountains. We were aware that if it started raining, some raindrops would part company from the others. Some raindrops falling to our left would make their way eventually to the Gulf of Mexico whereas the raindrops falling on our right, as we were standing, would make their way west to the Pacific Ocean. You know that is the way it is with children. It is the way it is with our obedience to our parents. One is disobedient to the parent, the other is affectionately obedient to the parent.

The time will come when these two young people will be as far apart from one another as the Gulf of Mexico is from the Pacific Ocean. One will be living a righteous life for God, the other will be wasting his life in selfish endeavor. Children, young people, even adults, the Scripture says "honor your father and your mother."

Our Heavenly Father……we indeed have a great
responsibility as children, regardless of our age to
honor our father and our mother.
The Bible clearly says this.
It says, "Children, obey your parents for this is
right in the sight of God, that it may go
well with you."

We pray your blessings upon every young person
reading these lines, that they will delicate
themselves to being obedient as you would have
them be obedient.
We pray you will bless them in this endeavor
and show them how their life can be changed if
It is obedient to a parent and even more so
to Almighty God.
And, thank you, Lord, for Your Holy Spirit to guide them in this quest.

Commands For Children

Ephesians 6:1,2
"Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. Honor your father and mother.This is the first of the Ten Commandments that ends with a promise."

Colossians 3:20
"You children must always obey your parents, for this is what pleases the Lord."


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