Relating to your Parents


It is always sad to hear of those who are orphans. You hear of those who have been abandoned or because of a pressure the parents cannot handle, the child becomes an orphan. It is sad hearing of those children who became orphans because they lost their parents due to death or some form of separation that the parents could not prevent. Our hearts go out for those who do not have parents.


Sadly, there is a horrible epidemic occurring in the world and seen in the church today. Albert Mohler observes, “We live in an age of intentional orphans”.[1] We live in a time where people make themselves orphans by deliberately and intentionally removing themselves from the position of obeying or respecting their parents. Sadly, our world is filled with “intentional orphans.” These are the people who have no respect or honour for their parents. Sure, they may live under their parents’ roof, but in their attitudes and actions they display no honour, no respect, no care, and no admiration towards their parents. We have a generation of those who seek to remove themselves from any authority and relationship with their parents.


We need to understand that this is an alarming reality. In two passages that provide a catalogue of sinful behaviours in a time of apostasy, the apostle Paul specifically refers to those who are disobedient to their parents (; ). Martyn Lloyd-Jones in commenting on these two passages says, “In both instances the Apostle reminds us that at a time of apostasy, at a time of gross godlessness and irreligion, when the very foundations are shaking, one of the most striking manifestations of the lawlessness is, ‘disobedient to parents'”.[2]


When apostasy is on the rise, when unrighteousness abounds in society, one of the sins at the core each time is a rejection of parental authority. If there is no submission to parental authority in the home, this can lead to a lack of submission or leadership in marriage and also a breakdown in the workplace. If it goes beyond that, there will be resistance against government and any other form of authority. This causes horrible devastation in a society. How can this be prevented? After talking about the life changing power of the gospel in an individual’s life (), Paul simply wrote, “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord” (). The word for “children” in this text carries the idea of offspring. This word is not always limited to a young child, but in this present context it refers to one who is still under parental authority. Paul has in mind those children who still live under their parents’ roof, but they have come to believe in Christ. As believers, they are not only given the mandate to obey, but they also have the spiritual capacity to do it ().


This short verse is so counter-cultural. For one to actually apply this text to their lives is to rebel against the evil of society by displaying the supremacy of Jesus Christ in the home. It is a war against what the world is propagating.


[1] R. Albert Mohler Jr., Words from the Fire: Hearing the Voice of God in the 10 Commandments, 2009, Moody Publishers

[2] Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Ephesians, 239

30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,

For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,

3:1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

3:1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Published by

Andrew Courtis

Andrew Courtis

ANDREW - Serves as Pastor of Hills Bible Church. I am married to Dianne and we have three children (Kate, Emma and Jack). I was born and raised in Melbourne, moved to Adelaide to undertake theological studies (BMin.), and have completed additional studies with the Australian College of Theology (MATh.). I have served in pastoral ministry in both Melbourne and Sydney and am a qualified school teacher. I am committed to expository preaching and making the word of God known and understood.