Text: Ephesians 6:1-4


1. We live in an age and society in which the views of children and views toward children are drastically different from what they were in Biblical times.

a. Today children have become the authoritative figure in many homes and parents, under the delusion of “love” and “understanding,” tolerate disrespect and selfishness and bow to the whims of their children.

b. In Biblical times things were different.

1) Disrespect by children was not to be tolerated.

2) The law of Moses made provision for unruly children. (Lev. 20:9; Deut. 21:18-21)

2. Even though society’s views have changed, the Bible still remains relevant in this area. a. It is still the best manual for rearing children. (“God never created anything

without giving instructions for it.”)

b. If its principles are applied, the results will be the same today as they were when the Bible was first written.

3. How sad it is that many children have no concept of respect in any form.

I. Children Must Be Taught Respect

A. Children must be taught to respect parents. (Eph. 6:1-4)

1. The view God takes of disrespect for parents is not something to be taken lightly.

a. Consider His commands concerning disobedient children in the law of Moses. (Lev. 20:9; Deut. 21:18-21)

b. Anything God takes so seriously, we also ought to take seriously.

2. Children need to be taught to honor their parents because honor expresses the frame of mind from which obedience proceeds.

3. To honor father and mother is the first commandment with promise

a. It is the first of the ten commandments to have a specific promise attached to it. (Ex. 20:12)

b. It is the first thing practiced thus the first step in developing into a proper person.

4. Four reasons to respect (honor) parents: a. God wants you to.

1) He commands it. (Eph. 6:1)

2) He cites the example of Jesus. (Luke 2:51)

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b. It is right. (Eph. 6:1)

1) Because it is in the word of God.

2) It is proper in return for the care and provisions you receive. c. It may be “well with you” (Eph. 6:3), not only with your parents

but also with God.

d. “You may live long on the earth.” (Eph. 6:3)

1) Generally speaking, those children who follow the principles imparted to them by right-thinking parents are going to live longer lives.

2) Certainly, a child under the law of Moses who respected his parents would live longer than the rebellious child who was stoned to death.

B. Children need to learn to respect older people. (Lev. 19:32)

C. Children need to learn to respect government, i.e., authority figures in society. (Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Pet. 2:17)

1. The authority figure in school: principal, teacher, dean, etc. 2. The laws of the government must be respected.

D. Children need to learn to respect God.

1. Consider Psalms 89:7 and Hebrews 12:28.

2. The example of Jesus can be cited again. (John 6:38; Matt. 26:39; Heb. 5:12)

II. Some Consequences

A. Of a disrespectful attitude.

1. It causes parents to sorrow and grieve. (Prov. 10:1; 17:21, 25) [Remember the “golden rule.”]

2. You show you “despise” your parents. (Prov. 15:20) a. Despise.

1) “To reject, refuse, despise.” (Nelson’s Expository Dictionary of the OT)

2) “To do that which implies contempt; to slight, neglect, make little of, to treat contemptuously and proudly.” (Wilson’s OT Word Studies)

b. Rejection is a terrible state to force upon one’s parents. 3. You become “foolish.” (Prov. 15:20; 17:21, 25)

a. The term “wise guy” which is often applied to those who are disrespectful, is really a misnomer.

b. One is not wise when disrespectful of parents, authorities, etc., because all of them are given to you by God for your benefit.

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4. God’s wrath is upon you.

a. In the New Testament, those “disobedient to parents” are “deserving of death.” (Rom. 1:30, 32)

b. Proverbs 30:17 contains obvious signs of judgment upon a disrespectful child.

B. Of a respectful attitude.

1. It causes parents to have joy. (Prov. 10:1; 15:20; 23:24-25) 2. You show yourself to be wise. (Prov. 1:8-9)

a. Ornaments and chains: Things of beauty and value which are admired by others.

b. A beautiful life is most admired. (cf. 1 Pet. 3:3-6) 3. God rejoices in you. (Prov. 23:15-16)


1. To be respected, you must respect others.

2. The sooner you learn and manifest proper respect, the better and happier your life will be.

Gene Taylor  3