The child



Children submit to their parents by learning "obedience", which includes the idea of being under their authority and listening to what they say. (Ephesians 6:1-3) Parents must instruct their children in how to obey; it doesn't come naturally for them. (See Proverbs 1:7-9; 2:1; 3:1,2; 4:1-4; 10:1; 5:1-2; 7:1-2; 8:32,33; 12:1; 13:1; 15:5.) Voluntary submission requires knowledge. Children are told to obey because they don't know enough to submit. Understanding will come through maturity, so the obligation is on the parents to train them "in the Lord". (Proverbs 22:6) In order to train them in biblical teaching, parents must first read the Bible for themselves and get to know it more and more daily..

The example of Jesus

Jesus' perfect humanity grew in four areas. In teaching children, it's helpful to pay attention to these areas. In Luke 2:52 we read that Jesus grew both tall and wise and was loved by God and man.

  1. "tall" refers to physical growth. Parents must give children healthy foods to nourish them and ensure that they have proper rest. Also, parents should protect them from physical harm.
  2. "wise" refers to emotional and intellectual needs. We can impart knowledge, instruction and discretion to our children. They need to know what's right and what's wrong.
  3. "loved by man" refers to social needs. Parents should teach children not to be selfish, but to be humble and to share.
  4. "loved by God" refers to spiritual needs and to grow in their relationship with Father God and Jesus (See Proverbs 22:6.)


The only case for disobeying parents occurs when parents encourage their children to do evil. (Acts 5:29; Daniel 6:10; Matthew 10:37-39; Luke 14:25-27)


Children should honour their parents. (Ephesians 6:2,3)

  • Obedience is the action, whereas honouring is the attitude behind the action. "Honour" can mean reverence; to put a high value on people or hold them in esteem.
  • Honour also carries the idea of financial support. (Matthew 15:1-6)
  • Obeying and honouring parents carries a promise for the quality and quantity of life that a child may enjoy.
  • Children may not agree with their parents, but they should learn to respect, admire, and obey them.
  • God's promise is that obedience to parents will be rewarded by well-being and long life. (Ephesians 6:3)

Some promises for children

Psalm 8:2 You have taught the little children to praise you perfectly. May their example shame and silence your enemies!
Psalm 127:3-5 Children are a gift from God; they are His reward. Children born to a young man are like sharp arrows to defend him. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them. That man shall have the help he needs when arguing with his enemies.
Psalm 91:11,12 For he orders his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will steady you with their hands to keep you from stumbling against the rocks on the trail.
Proverbs 3:4,5 If you want favour with both God and man, plus a reputation for good judgment and common sense, then trust the Lord completely; don't ever trust yourself.
Proverbs 22:6 Teach a child to choose the right path and, when he is older, he will remain upon it.
Isaiah 44:3 For I will give you abundant water for your thirst and for your parched fields. I will pour out my Spirit and my blessings on your children.
Isaiah 49:25 But the Lord says, "Even the captives of the most mighty and most terrible shall all be freed; for I will fight those who fight you, and I will save your children."
Isaiah 54:13 All your citizens shall be taught by me and their prosperity shall be great.
Colossians 3:20 You children must always obey your fathers and mothers, for that pleases the Lord.
2 Timothy 3:15 You know how, when you were a small child, you were taught the holy Scriptures; it is these that make you wise to accept God's salvation by trusting in Christ Jesus.