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The Family and Authority

Proverbs 1:8-9 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

Hear, my son, your father’s instruction,
and do not forsake not your mother’s teaching,
for they are a graceful garland for your head
and pendants for your neck.

Throughout the Bible, obedience to parents is coupled with subjection to God. The parents of the ancient Israelites were obligated by the Law to teach their children. Moses encouraged fathers, “these words that I am commanding you today shall be on your heart. And you shall recite them to your children, and you shall talk about them at the time of your living in your house and at the time of your going on the road and at the time of your lying down and at the time of your rising up.” (Deut. 6:6-7) The mother had an impact on her children as well. While she contributed to their guidance and direction, it was under the headship of the Father, she would enforce the family law. In fact, the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, the reader will discover that the main educational influence is the family.

Nor does responsibility as to this become less in the case of such as “are not under law, but under grace.” In Ephesians 6:1 we read, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” Moreover, immediately attention is drawn to the preeminent character of this precept in the law. It is “the first commandment with promise.” Colossians 3:20 is similar: “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing in the Lord.”

Believing children should be patterns of loving obedience, that thus they may adorn the doctrine of Christ. Young people professing allegiance to God, who is disrespectful and not subject to those over them in the home are a sad reproach to the name of him whom they are supposed to serve. To hear and obey a father’s instruction and to listen to a mother’s law; this is what is attractive and honorable in the young one.