Live long - Do what Dad says!

Obedience to parents: an unpopular yet vital subject; a serious truth but often neglected.
God is good. He not only gives commands but He also gives us reasons to obey and promises to bless obedience.

Exodus 20:12 “Honour your father and your mother that you might live long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you”.
Ephesians 6:1-3 “Children [that’s us] obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. (This is the first commandment with a promise), that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land”.
Colossians 3:20 “Children obey your parents in everything for this pleases the Lord”.
Three unmistakable and simple commands from God.

Why should we obey? Here’s why...
a. It is the Law of God (Ephesians 6:2)
b. It is the right thing to do (Ephesians 6:1)
c. It is for our good (Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:3; Colossians 3:20)
d. It adds to our life expectancy (Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:3)
e. It glorifies and pleases God (Colossians 3:2)
Five simple and logical reasons why we should obey.

1. It is good. Do we want good things? Yes.
2. It helps us live longer. Do we want to live long and happy lives? Yes.

They say the grass is greener elsewhere. It often seems attractive to serve God elsewhere. We often want to serve in other fields, such as a being a missionary or homemaker. But while we are under our parents we must serve God by obeying our parents. Luke 16:10 says, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much. One who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much”. How would this teaching of Jesus affect us in the home?

By being faithful in little things, in the simple matter of obeying mum and dad, doors will open to greater fields of service. And we might live long enough to get there!

By Jonah McLachlan

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  1. A father should rejoice greatly in a son who has this wisdom, holds this wisdom and seeks to live by this wisdom. I do.
    Ali McLachlan

  2. Thanks Jonah. It is all to easy for us children to blur the lines in this issue. "everybody wants to save the world" it is said "but nobody wants to help mum with the dishes." This is an opportunity to start now being faithful to God. A real challenge...

    Just a quick question. If you disagree with your parents over something. Can you still be honouring them whilst raising an objection?...or should you just do what they say anyway because that is obeying the commandment of God? anybody any comments?

  3. Thomas,A hard question. Well I would say obeying our Parents is vitally important, but if you dont agree with what your parents believe or say, we still have to be under submission. Whether we like it or not we still have to obey our Parents and God. It is really hard to answer this because you might disagree with your Parents for them believing something non-biblcal. But all things must be done with much Prayer and the reading of God's Word. I have tried to answer this a best as possible.

    Has anyone else got anymore comments to add?

  4. That is a hard one! But to quote a great woman, "When we disobey our parents (unless they ask us to sin), we disobey God." I think that it's safe to say that while under our parent's roofs we are under their authority. God has put them over us and we have to obey them. The consequences of disobedience are pretty grim(check out the last half of Deut.28). So I would say that unless your parents ask you to sin, then it is your duty to obey them.
    Honouring them is not just obeying them outwardly while protesting in your heart, honouring them is having the right attitude towards them and recognising their God-given authority. This is something I really strugle with, obeying not just by my actions, but having a submissive heart too.
    Hope this helps.

  5. I would agree that you should do everything your parents tell you (thats not sin), whilst you are still under their authority.
    But Biblically, one day we will grow up and leave home, and start taking responsibility for our lives, and if we continued to be childish and leave all the decision making to the parents, then we would be actually dishonouring them, since we would not be maturing as God has planned that we should. Of course, the way in which this transition is made will be different depending on the person, young man or woman, etc.

  6. Thanks Jonah for this article. Elspeth, I agree with you we all really need to work on not just obeying in our actions but also embraceing obedience to our parents and joyfully doing what they say. Even though we sometimes aren't happy doing what they say because we think it would be better to do something a different way etc... we must remind ourselves that they're older and wiser. Though we think we know it all, we really don't know that much! I love the quote: "Age 4 'My Dad can do anything', age 7 'Dad knows a lot, a whole lot', age 12 'Dad doesn't quite know everything', age 15 'Oh well, naturally Dad doesn't understand', age 21 'My Father? hopelessly old-fashioned and out of date!', age 25 'he has a good idea now and again', age 35 'I must find out what Dad thinks about this', age 50 'I wish I could talk it over with Dad'.

  7. David van den Broek17 October 2009 at 22:46

    Isn't it easy to dismiss the issue of respecting and honouring our parents as irrelevant? I’ve heard: "God has told me to do x" or "my Dad doesn't understand x" therefore it is no longer relevant for me to obey this particular command of God's.
    But God says this is so important -it is even included in the Romans 1 list (1:30)! So it's worth giving a lot of thought to.

    Something that I have been learning recently is how easy it is to think about the future: "I can't wait until such and such happens", "If only such and such would change" etc...
    But the issue is that God in his sovereign wisdom has put us in the situations and relationships that he has put us in for his own good purposes and he requires that we honour him in them not count the days until things will change.

  8. Heart obedience is very hard. Thanks for you comments guys! I came across another relevant verse to our discussion.. Deu 27:16 "Cursed be anyone who dishonors his father or his mother." sobering again. Some repentance is called for!

  9. David, you are right! I was thinking maybe also Mark 7:10-13 is relevant here, when the Pharisees were neglecting their parents in favour of giving away their money because of a vow...

  10. Hey guys!

    Last week I was doing a mountain of ironing and listened to this AMAZING message (The Centrality of The Home by Voddie Baucham) which is so relevant to this discussion. It covers lots of topics but especially obedience to our parents and I would highly recommend it to you.

    Here is the link:

    Please take the time to listen to this, it's only about 35 mins.!


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