Today an argument with my parents prompted me to go into The Word and read about how children and parents are supposed to interact. To be honest I was just looking for a bit of justification for my actions. One of the first verses I came across was Proverbs 1:8-9 which says

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.“(NIV)

The part that quickly caught my attention was where it mentions a chain. I automatically assumed it meant chains that restrict you and hold you down. All I saw in that verse were “father”, “mother”, and “chain” which seemed like it might make my attitude and disrespect justified. Then I read through the verse again. The contrast between my image of a chain (slavery, weighing you down, a burden) and that of a garland (Defined by Dictionary.com as “a wreath or festoon[a string or chain] of flowers, leaves, or other material, worn for ornament or as an honor or hung on something as a decoration) just didn’t fit together. So I looked up the verse in another version and things became pretty clear.

Their teaching will be like flowers in your hair or a necklace around your neck.” (NCV)

The “chain” was not a restriction to be rebelled against but a necklace that we are gifted with. Just as we are gifted with parents who teach us and guide us every day. This put me back in my place and reminded me that I’m lucky to have the parents I have and that they deserve respect and obedience because of all they give to me. As a teenager I still have a lot to learn and should be thankful for all the guidance my parents give to me and take heed of what they tell me and follow their instructions.


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1 Response

  1. Frank

    I’m teaching tomorrow on Eph 6:1-4. As Fathers, there are very specific duties we have towards our children:
    Deut 6:4-7 Teach them every chance you have
    Eph 6:4: Bring them up in the training of the Lord
    Rom 1:28-29 & 2 tim 3:1 – Children cannot be allowed to be disobedient.

    We, as fathers, will be held accountable for how we have followed this instruction.

    If you look at Eph 6:1-3, it talks about the other side of the coin, which is what you are getting at, that is: our responsibility as children. This comes, of course, from Deut 5 (the giving of the law) and is sometimes incorrectly interpreted to mean that if I honor my parents, I will live a long life. But that is not what it means. He was instructing the nation of Israel, not individual people, that if they had a culture that honored parents, then they, as the fellowship of faith, would live long.

    How’s that working out for us today…even in the Christian culture?

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