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In our study of Ephesians chapter six, we look at the fact that the church (believers) are called to be soldiers. This chapter gives us the basic training that we need to fight the spiritual battles that we face every day.
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honor your father and mother' - which is the first commandment with a promise - 'That it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.'" NIV translation
The first lesson that a soldier has to learn is discipline and obedience. As we see with this passage, this begins in our earliest childhood and it begins at home. In chapter five, we saw a different word for obey than we do here. The word there meant respond while this word speaks of service and actually means to do what you are told to do. Paul quotes from Deuteronomy chapter five and we are reminded that all of the Ten Commandments were repeated in the New Testament except one (the Sabbath day).
The promise of this discipline is that we will be ready to face the world. Today, it is not popular for parents to discipline their children and, in many homes, it is tough to see who is actually in charge (the child or the parents).
When this child hits the real world, they do not adapt very well because they are used to getting everything that they want when they want it.
"Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." NIV translation
In any military unit, the soldiers that have been in service longer are asked to help the new recruits to learn the basics. The same is true in the family situation as the children from the previous passage grow up to be parents themselves. Then, they are responsible for training their children in the things of God. This training is not giving them a list of rules just to be giving them rules but is in fact showing them what is best for them and that is found in God's Word. The biggest problem today is that we have had generation after generation that has grown up not being trained in the Word. If they are not trained, then how can they train up their children?