Useful Bible Studies > Ephesians Commentary > chapter 6

How a father can teach his family to serve God

Ephesians 6:4

God has given to both parents, fathers as well as mothers, a special responsibility for their families in matters of religion. In fact, a father’s most important duty is to guide his family in their relationship with God. It should be the deepest desire of a Christian father to bring up his family in a right relationship with God.

The Bible gives us some examples of fathers who had this attitude. So, for example, we read about how carefully Job prayed for his children (Job 1:4-5). We see how Jacob blessed each of his sons with a message from God about their future (Genesis chapter 49). To Abraham, God promised children, who, like him, would believe God (Genesis 15:1-6; compare Romans 4:16-17).

However, David was desperately sad about his son Absalom’s evil acts and terrible death (2 Samuel 18:33 to 19:4).

Good fathers saw that they must do various things in order to direct their families to serve God properly.

(1) The father himself must be especially careful to act in the right manner, so that his children could imitate his behaviour (compare 1 Corinthians 4:14-16).

(2) The father made rules for his children which taught them not only to please their father, but also to please God.

(3) When it was necessary to punish a child, the father did it as an act of love and not cruelty (Hebrews 12:5-11).

(4) The father prayed both for, and with, his children. He prayed frequently aloud through the day (Psalm 119:164). His children, and especially his sons, joined him in acts of private and public religion (Luke 2:41-42).

(5) The father taught God’s law to his children (Deuteronomy 6:5-9) . In addition, he taught them how to serve God in a practical way (Proverbs 3:1-8).

Next part: How a Christian slave should behave (Ephesians 6:5)


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© 2019, Keith Simons.