“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with you, and you may live long on the earth. And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:1-4, NKJV (emphasis mine.)
“It’s complicated!” came the answer to my inquiry on the status of an important pending issue affecting a dear friend. Court hearings, depositions, and constant anxiety have driven the lives of numerous people, because “It’s complicated.” Catch phrases like this one make their way into every culture and generation. “It’s complicated” is a short phrase that means there is no clear answer.
As I considered my friend’s situation, another phrase kept popping into my brain; “that it may go well with you.” Since the word “that” started my thinking, I knew there must be a precept or principle leading into the conclusion, “that it may go well with you.” So, I went straight to my Bible app and entered the enticing haunting phrase. The Book of Ephesians cleared up the mystery. (Please see scripture passage above.) While there is much to be unpacked in these few short verses, the instruction is not complicated at all. Perhaps being obedient to God’s command is challenging in the light of the human rebellious spirit, but He is clear about the road to success and well-being. Notice the scripture explains, that it “is the first commandment with [a] promise…” The first four commandments of ten have to do with our relationship to God, our heavenly Father; to “honor your father and mother” is number five.
If you and I would agree with God on the first four commandments, the last six would follow as a natural, orderly, joyful consequence. Alas, God knew all too well our sinful nature, which is why I think He included the “promise that it may be well with you…” to encourage our obedience. When parents refuse to instruct their children, or when world governments claim mothers and fathers have no authority over their children, the solution to a successful outcome is straight-forward. Check out God’s Word. It’s not complicated!
(For further study: read Exodus 20:1-17)