The family in the home is one of the basic centres of the Kingdom of God. Before there was a Church there was a family, before there was anything created there was a family, before God was Creator or Saviour He was Father.
The home and the family was instituted by God, it is exalted in the Bible, it is the symbol of something greater, it is one of the main foundations of society and it is the primary influence on character development.
Yet we live today in a society where the family is threatened from all sides. The home is threatened.
Yesterday one of my Pastors was telling me of how a teenage boy was just in the words of his mum ‘uncontrollable’. The boy could not be kept inside the home, he would jump through windows and then go on a destructive plan of action and now about to be charged for criminality. We know this isn’t anything new nor shocking to our world today.
The Apostle continues in the context of being filled with the Spirit …
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.“Honour 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. Fathers,do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6 v 1-4
Obedience to parents was very much part of the covenant law of Moses (Leviticus 19: 203). It was God’s intention for children to submit to their parents.
But as with marriage it is set in the framework of partnership. Children have rights and that is their fathers should not provoke them, which is the meaning of exasperation. They should train them and instruct them but do so in the manner that Christ is the one who is training them. To berate them angrily due to the child’s lack of self-discipline isn’t exactly demonstrating self-discipline.
Is this possible? Are we setting ourselves up to fail? Who has the perfect family? No one.
The filling of the Spirit spills out into the home and He invades the relationships there and again it is to reveal Christ. Obey …in the Lord; bring them up … of the Lord.
One of my Pastors drove through the night get to the hospital bedside of his mother who is critically ill. He is there this morning as I post this, being the son he is called to be, honouring his mother. It is a beautiful image and one that will be repeated throughout the world today. Children who were taught so early on to grab hold of the security of their parents hands are today placing the hands of their parents into theirs to bring peace and assurance. It is the circle of life. The circle of love that God ordained. It speaks of Christ.
I think we are understanding that for Paul this is all about Jesus.