Good Advice

Children, obey your parents in the Lord [as His representatives], for this is just and right. Honor (esteem and value as precious) your father and your mother—this is the first commandment with a promise—That all may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth (Ephesians 6:1-3 Amplified Bible).

Ephesians 6:1-9 Amplified Bible
Ephesians 6:2,3 New Century Bible
Ephesians 6:1-9 The Message
Ephesians 6:1-9 In your Bible

Paul gives guidance in practical matters. He literally says a child of God—a believer (man, woman, child, or a master or slave) can and must be a living witness to the power of Christ in his life.* Obedience is a key outward sign of trusting the Lord.


Paul uses a direct command from Exodus 20:12 and Deuteronomy 5:16 (honor your father and mother), the first command with a promise . . . Then everything will be well with you, and you will have a long life on the earth (Ephesians 6:2,3 New Century Version).

Our model here is the Christian family with Jesus as the head. Paul also challenges fathers [and mothers] not to exasperate their children or provoke them to anger. That is not what Christ would do.

Children are to be nurtured with the love and patience of the Lord. The love is there, but the patience is often lacking. In this combination, love strengthens the patience.

Slaves and Masters

The appeal continues with advice to slaves . . .respectfully obey your earthly masters but always with an eye on obeying your real master, Christ (Ephesians 5:6 The Message).

Paul gives similar guidance to masters, . . . no abuse, please and no threats. You and your servants are both under the same Master in heaven. He makes no distinction between you and them (Ephesians 6:9 The Message).

Prayer: Father, I know I owe everything to you, give me strength to me see this guidance for living to honor you.

Question: How do these guidelines impact your understanding of how God wants you to implement your family responsibilities?

* What the Bible is all About, Henrietta C. Mears, Regal Books, Glendale, California, 1974, p. 503.