Figuring out life: in our family

WEB TEAM Brent Chapman, Ephesians, Message, Message-audio

Summary of Figuring out life: in our family


Brent does a very short prelude and jumps right into focusing on Ephesians chapter 6.

Ephesians 6:1-4

Children obey your parents

Brent points out that it isn’t surprising that Paul starts with a command to children that they should obey their parents. Within church culture this makes sense: obedience to a higher power makes sense. But in our Canadian society we can see that this isn’t accepted. Social culture has anthems like, “fight ‘the man.’” But as Christians we understand our whole faith system is based on obedience. We accept that idea: obey God.

Obey your parents in the Lord

“…in the Lord” reminds us that God is still the ultimate ruler. If a parent direct his or her children to be against God, the children should reject their parent’s teaching and continue to place God above their parents. God is the ultimate “father.”

Honour your father and mother

Honouring is an outward reflection of a child’s respect and love for his or her parents. Brent points out that it is easier to make a child obey you than it is to get a child to respect you. A child must give a parent respect. Respect isn’t something a parent can pull out of a child.

Creating a relationship with your child that earns respect

Our society set us up to believe the teenage years are going to be a big struggle; a big butting of heads between parents and teens. But this doesn’t have to be the case. God has given us the tools (and examples) to create a loving relationship with our children, which leads to respect.

Removing the label of child, it is impossible

Brent reminds us that we are all children in the eyes of our parents. He reminds us that we can never remove the label of “child” because we are all the child of someone. Brent then pivots the message and asks us (the children) about our perspective on our older-aged parents.

Honouring our parents – a task that isn’t just for the young child

God issues a blessing to the people of Israel: “you will experience long life in the land.”  Then Brent unpacks this blessing and gives several examples of how this translates to current day times. One such examples explains that long life doesn’t necessarily mean a long life, instead it can mean a stable community experience.

Don’t provoke your children to anger

Paul’s comment would have been shocking to a first century Roman citizen. The father had ultimate authority during the first century. For Paul to say fathers should not provoke their children it would be counter culture. For us in current day: the message is the same. Brent tells a cute story of how he over tickles his children. He just wouldn’t stop. But then he becomes serious and gives real life examples of how a father can exacerbate a child (or teenagers).
Colossians 3:21
“Fathers don’t embitter your children…”

Bring them up in the instruction of the Lord

Fathers, you are responsible for creating a culture of discipline and instruction of the Lord. This way the children will learn about God, His love, His compassion, and His son.


As a father, we must not embitter / provoke your children. Instead fathers must constantly remind their children that they love them – through actions, words…etc. And if a father does cause a rift between him and his children, it is on him to make the first step towards reconciliation. Fathers, your most important instruction is your example.
Here is the “example” fathers must become:

  • Love your wife
  • Don’t be a hypocrite – don’t come to church and act one way and then act another way at home; being calm and cool outside but then losing your cool at home on your children
  • Love God, follow God.
  • Build a great relationship with your children

About this Message Series

This is a message in a series called Ephesians. The goal of this series is to discuss the topics and themes that arise from the New Testament book Ephesians. The book of Ephesians is a letter that Paul wrote while in prison. Sometimes it is called a Prison Epistle. It was written to encourage believers. He was encouraging other faithful followers of Jesus to serve in unity and love in the midst of persecution. This series was started in January 2016.

About the Speaker

Brent is the lead pastor here at SouthRidge. He and his wife Pam were part of the original church plant.