Skip to main content

Search LearnTheBible

Children Obey Your Parents

Could you please help me with scripture and what the bible says about children obeying their parents?

The Bible has several passages which teach children to obey their parents. To me, the classic is this one found in Ephesians:

Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

From this passage, we can learn the following:

  1. Children are to obey their parents--that is, both mother and father.
  2. They are to obey their parents "in the Lord." This phrase contains a couple of ideas. First, to obey their parents is to obey the Lord. By obeying them "in the Lord" they are also in obedience to the Lord. The reverse is also true. To disobey their parents is to disobey the Lord. Second, this passage gives guidance to those dealing with wicked parents or parents that would lead the child into sin. If they are to be obeyed in the Lord, then obedience is not absolutely required if they are asked to do something that is in direct disobedience to God. For instance, if the child is told to steal something by one of his parents and the child knows that this is a sin against God, the child may refuse to obey this commandment. As you can understand, this usually deals with older children with ungodly parents. Even then, the instances are unusual.
  3. They are to obey their parents because it is right. They are not simply to obey because of fear or necessity. As they grow in the Lord, they should learn to obey because it is the desire of God and it is the right thing to do.
  4. They are to honor their father and mother. This goes beyond obedience It means to hold high; it means to give a special place of respect. Obedience will be the result of such honor, but obedience can be performed without honor.
  5. The command for children to honor their parents is one of the ten commandments and it is the first of the commandments that had a special promise attached to it. The promise is twofold: that "it may be well with thee" refers to the quality of life while "thou mayest live long on the earth" refers to the quantity of life. The children who honor their parents will have a better life and a longer life. Does this mean that all these children will live to 90 and beyond? Of course not. But they will extend the length of their life and improve the quality of their life by their honor and obedience.

There are too many verses to give a further survey, but one parallel verse deserves a mention.

Colossians 3:20 states, "Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord." In this verse we learn that God is pleased when children obey their parents.

The child who minds Mom or Dad gets a big smile from God. What a blessing is this matter of obedience!