Introduction: How Christians Can Truly Honor Parents
Let’s go ahead and talk about Christian parental honor, which Pastor Martin Lloyd Jones talks about in his Ephesians homily.
What the Apostle Paul Means When He Says It’s Right
So, on what basis did the Apostle Paul base his command? We find the first basis in the phrase “for this is right”.
This phrase means, “This is righteous; it is good and right in and of itself.”
Is it any wonder that the Apostle Paul said this? Some Christians who believe they are divine tend to reject rational arguments.
They might say, “Now that I’m a Christian, I don’t need to think according to natural reason anymore.”
But the Apostle Paul doesn’t say that. He simply said, “Children, honor your parents.”
If someone were to ask me, “Why should I honor my parents?“ I would answer, “Because it is the right thing to do, the righteous thing to do.”
Christians Begin With Natural Law
Christians do not ignore the laws of nature. Rather, Christians begin with natural law.
Paul’s phrase “because it is right” reminds us of the created order established in the beginning. His words go back to Genesis.
We’ve already seen that Paul applies the same logic to the relationship between husband and wife. He quoted from Genesis,
“For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”Genesis 2:24
He didn’t hesitate to address the marriage relationship, saying,
“What is fundamental, what is natural, what is ordained in the beginning, the Christian does not ignore the laws of nature. Rather, the Christian begins with the natural law. Submit to the principles of the relationship between men and women.”
Now he offers the same principle about children.
This principle has existed since the beginning of time as one of the basic principles of life and the order of nature. This principle is not only found in people but also animals.
In the animal kingdom, mothers care for, feed, and protect their newborn offspring. What’s more, mothers don’t just nurture, they also teach their young a variety of skills.
For example, flying birds teach their young how to use their wings, and wild animals teach their young how to walk and survive. This is the natural order of things.
Obey Your Parents, For This Is Right
A vulnerable youngster who doesn’t know anything needs the protection, guidance, help, and direction of their parents. This is why the Apostle Paul said, “Obey your parents, for this is right.” Christians also belong to this natural order.
On the one hand, it’s sad that I have to say this to Christians. How did we get to the point where people are so blind to the self-evident principles inherent in the natural order?
The world’s wisdom alone should be able to tell us this. Even non-Christians understand the principles of discipline and order.
How is this possible? Because there is a clear connection between human life and the laws of nature.
In the New Testament Era, the Old Testament is Still in Effect
A child who rebels and disobeys his or her parents is nothing but a stupid fool, and we are appalled when we see animals doing the same. How much more ridiculous would it be if we, as humans, did the same?
It is against the laws of nature for a child to disobey his or her parents; such a child would be destroying a principle that is deeply rooted in human nature.
Human life is based on these fundamental principles. Therefore, if they are destroyed, chaos will soon ensue, and human life will come to an end.
It’s amazing how the New Testament emphasizes the fundamental principles of life, says Martin Lloyd Jones.
It’s important to note that we shouldn’t think of the Old and New Testaments in isolation from each other.
There’s nothing more ignorant than saying, “I’m a Christian now, so I’m not interested in the Old Testament anymore,” he says.
Such thinking is entirely wrong. The apostle Paul reminds us that the God who created the world in the beginning is the same God who saves. From the beginning to the end, there is only one God.
God made men and women, parents and children, to follow the natural order of things and do what is right. God has set the fundamental principles of life, and human life proceeds according to the principles He has established.