We will begin this lesson in Ephesians 6:1 "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right." Notice, parents, in the Lord. One of the lessons most important to the spiritual growth of a child, is to teach them to obey the Lord. Obedience to the Lord is taught a child in obedience to his parents who are in the Lord. Disobedient children are a problem to themselves, their parents, and to the Lord. Ephesians 6:2 "Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;" "Honour" means to have high regard for those in authority above you. The reason they are over you, is because it is by God's plan for them to be over you. God thought so highly of this commandment, that He attached a promise with it. There is an exception to this, as well. If your parents were to go completely against God teachings, then your first obligation would be to keep God's law. Ephesians 6:3 "That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth." We find in Christian families that parents are very interested in their children's welfare. Children, who honour their parents, can learn from the parents experiences. Children, who are obedient to parents, do not get on drugs and alcohol. They stay in school and do well. Discipline follows in their life and they become responsible adults. Discipline and success go hand in hand. Ephesians 6:4 "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Parents must discipline their children in love. To be hateful and short with children is setting a bad example for them. Parents should be loving and caring for their children. Criticism of children makes them feel discouraged. Parents should encourage them every chance they get. Parents who are unstable tend to have unstable children. Parents who are disciplined loving people have disciplined loving children. The most important thing to teach a child is the love of God. They can always depend on God, even when things are going bad in their life. Ephesians 6:5 "Servants, be obedient to them that are [your] masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;" We must be careful to see in this that the servant is a servant in the flesh. To keep your job and to advance in that job would be more likely, if you were obedient to your boss. Sincere loyalty toward an employer, not just lip service, will make you an employe who never has to look for a job. The boss rewards such loyalty. One thing in our society that I believe this is leading to, is after you have agreed to work for a certain sum of money for a certain time, do not go back and renegotiate. Be true to your own word. Ephesians 6:6 "Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;" This is just saying again, that you should be loyal to your boss. The heart is what makes you loyal to your boss. This is saying, the person is loyal when the boss is looking, and then he is sneaking around and doing things he should not when the boss is not looking. All of us, whether we are servants, or the boss, will stand before the Judge of all the world to be judged. We can have no secrets from Him. He knows even the thoughts we have. If you find yourself in a position of serving, be the very best servant you can possibly be. Do it as if you were serving God. Ephesians 6:7 "With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:" We will be judged by what we did in the position the Lord put us. Everything we do in this life, is as unto the Lord. What ever position you are in, if you are a Christian, you are there because that is where God wants you for the moment. You really are doing the job for yourself, your boss, and for God. To be the head of the company, it is better if you start at the bottom and work yourself up, because then you know the functions of all the jobs. Ephesians 6:8 "Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether [he be] bond or free." The rewards for every job well done is given in heaven. The boss will be judged, and so will the servant. Each person must give an account unto God. Those who have more are judged more harshly, than those who have less to do with. Lay up your treasures in heaven. Ephesians 6:9 "And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him." Everyone has someone over them. Someone who is in charge on the earth will have to answer to His boss in heaven. We will receive the same type of treatment that we have treated others with. We are all servants of Christ. Kindness to servants gets much more work done than harsh treatment. The master will have to give an account to Jesus the same as the servant. God is not a respecter of persons. Use what God has given you to the best of your ability, and be kind to others around you in the doing, and great will be your reward in heaven. Ephesians 6:10 "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might." We find that muscles is not what this is speaking of. This is speaking of the strength of the Lord working through you. Christians have great help in their endeavors on this earth. The Spirit of the risen Christ within us strengthens us to whatever task the Lord has for us to do. Most of us find that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. God will not call you to do any job for Him, without equipping you with all that you need to do the job. Paul is speaking to believers here, because he says brethren. To sum this lesson up, I would have to say that the Lord is telling all of us to be thoughtful of others around us, as we do the job at hand. Sometimes wives feel useless, because they are not bringing in a paycheck. We should never feel that way, because there are many jobs around home that we can do to help the family progress. One of the greatest jobs a woman can do is to be a homemaker and mother. Many of the great men in the ministry, such as John Wesley, were greatly influenced by godly mothers. We know that Timothy was greatly influenced by his mother and grandmother. One job is no less than someone else's job. We all must work together to get the job done that God wants us to do. Husbands should respect the wife for sacrificing and becoming a servant to him and the family. If he had to pay someone to do her job, he would probably have to hire 3 or 4 people to fill his wife's shoes. Wives, on the other hand, should appreciate a husband who will go out and work and provide the financial needs of the family. Our society has changed so that now many wives have to work outside the home to help with the family expenses. This lesson is just saying, whatever your job in life is, do it to the very best of your ability. If you are not rewarded on this earth, God will reward you in heaven. Wives love and respect your husbands, husbands love your wives. Children listen to your parents and respect them. Parents love your children and guide them in love. Everyone, remember, you are really doing all these things as unto the Lord in heaven. All of the instructions in this lesson to wives, husbands, children, and servants were all given, so that we might live peaceable, productive lives while here on earth. God was thinking of us, when He gave these instructions.