Reposted from 2011:
Read Ephesians 6 at Bible Gateway.
We have seen previously in Ephesians, that Paul has been teaching the church where we sit (in the heavenly places with Jesus Christ, far above all principalities and powers and rulers of wickedness, Eph 1:20-21), and how we walk (not as unwise, but as wise, knowing what the will of the Lord is, Eph 5:17).
“Walking” used in the way Paul uses it (“Walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,” Eph 4:1) is a Hebrew idiom that means, how one conducts one’s life, how one lives, someone’s habitual practice and character; what we do in the course of our days. Greeks were people of thought; for them, what they believed and what they said was the most important facet of their lives. Hebrews were people of action; for them, what they did was the most important facet of their lives.
In chapter 5, Paul began giving instruction to husbands and wives in how to walk toward each other: do the actions of the wife communicate submission and respect. Do the actions of the husband communicate love, self- sacrifice, nourishing, cherishing, the same tenderness and compassion for his wife that he extends to himself. That is the kind of walking that Paul is encouraging husbands and wives who are joint heirs with Jesus Christ, to walk.
In chapter 6 Paul continues expounding on how we are to walk in the relationships of life.
Eph 6:1-3; to children: walk in obedience to your parents.
Eph 6:4; to fathers: not provoking children to wrath, but bringing them up in the nurture of the Lord, and the admonition of the Lord.
Children are provoked to wrath automatically, without even being aware of why it is so, when fathers (in particular, or parents in general) do not nurture them with the love and tenderness that the Lord as our Heavenly Father cares for us.
Some of the ways in our modern society that fathers communicate lack of nurture to their children, are:
1) being absent, too busy, or being workaholic;
2) spending more time on hobbies, sports, tv, or other interests than with them;
3) ignoring or dismissing the things that are important in their world;
4) not providing for their legitimate needs;
5) being angry, critical, or demanding and impossible to please;
6) being harsh, accusatory, and abusive;
7) letting daycare, babysitters or relatives raise them;
8) not disciplining them when they need it (even when the child is trying to get out of such discipline), or disciplining too harshly or in anger.
The reason this is so, is that enforcing boundaries around our children is an expression of nurture and love for them (Pro 13:24) that children recognize deep in their hearts, even when they are decrying the enforcement with their mouths. Admonishing their children according to the admonition of the LORD is self- sacrificing love, because the parent can temporarily earn the child’s wrath (instead of their love or acceptance) because they dared to transgress the child’s will. There is nothing worse for a parent than their child’s rejection.
So parents who are overly permissive of their children, who do not enforce “Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right,” (Eph 6:1); parents who are inconsistent with discipline, parents who do not teach their children the Word of God and what is right and wrong, parents who do not teach their children to fear the Lord — all these things are the admonition of the Lord — those parents provoke their children to wrath.
Even children who are raised in unbelieving homes are provoked to wrath when they are not taught about the Lord or who are left to do as they please, because instinctively, inside the heart of every child, they know without being told when they are not being nurtured rightly and when they are not being admonished rightly.
Eph 6:5-8; to slaves or employees: walk in obedience and sincerity.
Eph 6:9; to masters or bosses: walk in respect and sincerity.
Continued in: Ephesians 6:10-24, stand therefore