A Word to Children of All Ages

Children, obey and honor your parents. This pleases the Lord. When I am talking to kids in our church, I often like to ask them this question:  “What’s the secret to a good life and a long life?” Sometimes they get the answer right, and sometimes they don’t. But usually when I say this verse, they catch on:


“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’—which is the first commandment with a promise— ‘so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.’”

- Ephesians 6:1-3


This is actually the first commandment in Scripture with a clear promise attached to it. If you obey and honor your parents, you will have a good life (I want things to go well for me) and a long life (something I also want). Now I believe that God is the one who blesses us with a good life and a long life, but I also believe that children who learn obedience will experience blessing. Obedience is one of the most important lessons of life. Have you noticed that life is especially hard for those who never learn to obey or to obey those in authority whom they don’t agree with?

Someday, everyone will have to get along with a coach, a professor, a boss, and so on. I’ll say this, odd as it seems, if your parents are hard to live with, you are blessed with some amazing opportunities to grow. If you learn how to get along with difficult parents, you can use those amazing skills elsewhere in life. 

I confess that there were times in my teen years when I was ready to scream. Once when I was 13, my dad sent me to get a haircut. The barber cut it shorter than I like so I was already aggravated, but then my dad made me go back to have the barber cut it even shorter. The barber, now annoyed and not wanting me to return, pretty much gave me a military haircut. I was so mad. And it got worse. I walked into the house, and my dad smiled and said, “I like your haircut.”

I held my tongue that day, and I did it because I knew honoring my dad was pleasing to the Lord. But living under authority (even when it was hard) gave me skills for navigating through life in a world where people are not always easy to get along with. (A word of encouragement to those living at home: you don’t have to obey your parents forever so hang in there. However, you do have to honor them for the rest of their lives!)

Children, obey the Lord. This pleases the Lord.