God exhorts us to honor father and mother. He values honoring parents enough to include it in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:12) and again in the New Testament: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother which is the first commandment with a promise, so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth” (Ephesians 6:1-3). Honoring parents is the only command in Scripture that promises long life as a reward. Those who honor their parents are blessed (Jeremiah 35:18-19). In contrast, those with a “depraved mind” and those who exhibit ungodliness in the last days are characterized by disobedience to parents (Romans 1:30; 2 Timothy 3:2).
Obviously, we are commanded to honor our parents, but how? Honor them with both actions and attitudes (Mark 7:6). Honor their unspoken as well as spoken wishes. “A wise son heeds his father's instruction, but a mocker does not listen to rebuke” (Proverbs 13:1). In Matthew 15:3-9, Jesus reminded the Pharisees of the command of God to honor their father and mother. They were obeying the letter of the law, but they had added their own traditions that essentially overruled it. While they honored their parents in word, their actions proved their real motive. Honor is more than lip service. The word “honor” in this passage is a verb and, as such, demands a right action.
Jonathan L. Perz in his expository notes finds that in many homes, children have been provoked to wrath because of the father's absence. In some cases, a mother has chosen a lifestyle that precludes a father, sometimes for selfish reasons. A mother will have to deal with these consequences. Yet, more often than not, it is due to the neglect, irresponsibility, and selfishness of a father that the home does not feel his presence. In many seemingly normal homes (i.e., both parents in the home in a fairly stable situation), children are provoked to anger because the father is simply too busy to be a father (e.g., climbing the corporate ladder, pursuing personal hobbies, etc.). In other situations, the father is too overbearing. In some cases, the father is abusive, both physically and emotionally. In many homes, the father is hypocritical, demanding things of his family that he does not demand of himself. All of these things can and will provoke a child to wrath and must be avoided.
The second primary aspect of a father's responsibility is to bring his children up in the training and admonition of the Lord. The need for this command to be realized in today's society could not be more keenly felt. Under Christ, the father is the spiritual head of the home (cf. Eph. 5:22-24; 1 Cor. 11:3). His presence (i.e., Christ's through the example and teaching of the father) should be felt in the home, in its rules, its worship, and through the father's gentle love, leadership and example.
Jack North of Ambassador for Christ says our goal with our children is to prepare them for the day when they launch out of our home into their own lives!
When our children are small we work hard to protect them physically and emotionally and spiritually from things that could harm them and to teach them how to live. But we must always remember that our job is not just to protect them; and our job is not to keep them with us as long as possible.
Rather, our job is to develop them in life and in their relationship with the Lord so that one day they are able to step out of our harboring home and live fruitful, God-glorifying lives on their own. And we are preparing them to lead families of their own one day.
Whether your kids are small or teenagers, God wants you to constantly think about how you can develop them spiritually to be able to walk with God apart from you, and how to develop them as people for the same purpose.
Lastly, but not the least I liked the following quotes by Sharon Jaynes.
You, too, can pray that your children will:
- Know Christ as Savior early in life. (Psalm 63:1, 2 Timothy 3:15)
- Have a hatred for sin. (Psalm 97:10)
- Be caught when guilty. (Psalm 119:71)
- Be protected from the evil one in each area of their lives: spiritual, emotional, and physical. (John 17:15)
- Have a responsible attitude in all their interpersonal relationships. (Daniel 6:3)
- Respect those in authority over them. (Romans 13:1)
- Desire the right kind of friends and be protected from the wrong friends. (Proverbs 1:10-11)
- Be kept from the wrong mate and saved for the right one. (2 Corinthians 6:14-17)
- Be kept pure until marriage (as well as the one they marry). (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)
- Learn to totally submit to God and actively resist Satan in all things. (James 4:7)
- Be single-hearted, willing to be sold out to Jesus Christ. (Romans 12:1-2)
- Be hedged in so they cannot find their way to wrong people or wrong places and that the wrong people cannot find their way to them. (Hosea 2:6)
The Lord uses godly mothers and fathers to build character into the lives of their children. The most effective parents explain a biblical principle and seek to live it out themselves. If you haven't been the mother or father God has called you to be, don't let Satan condemn and discourage you. Surrender your life to God, and ask Him to help you correct your course.