Ephesians 6:4: The Priestly Duties of Parenting

Recently Kevin DeYoung in a blog article called ‘The World is Catechizing Us Whether we Realize It or Not,’ commenting on his recent experience of watching the Olympics he writes, ‘You couldn’t watch two weeks of the Olympics—or at times, even two minutes—without being catechized in the inviolable truths of the sexual revolution. Earlier in the summer, I watched parts of the Euro, and you would have thought the whole event was a commercial for rainbow flags.’ His point is right, we are being catechized whether we like it or know it or not. He issues this pertinent warning:

‘It is worth remembering David Well’s famous definition: Worldliness is whatever makes righteousness look strange, and sin look normal. Here’s the reality facing every Christian in the West: the money, power, and prestige of the mainstream media, big time sports, big business, big tech, and almost all the institutions of education and entertainment are invested in making sin look normal. Make no mistake: no matter how good your church, no matter how strong your family, no matter how gospel-centred your Christian school or home-school, if your children and grandchildren are even remotely engaged with contemporary culture (and they are), they are being taught by a thousand memes and messages every week to pay homage to the rainbow flag.

The Christian family, Christian church, and Christian school must not assume that the next generations will accept the conclusions that seem so obvious to older generations. We must talk about the things our kids are already talking about among themselves. We must disciple. We must be countercultural. We must prepare them to love and teach them what biblical love really means. We must pass on the right beliefs and the right reasons for those beliefs.

We must prepare our children—and be prepared ourselves—that following Christ comes with a cost (Luke 9:23). The Jesus who affirmed marriage as between a man a woman (Matt. 19:4-6), the Jesus who warned of the porneia within (Mark 7:20-23), the Jesus who warned against living to be liked by others (John 12:43), this Jesus demands our total allegiance (Matt. 28:20).

The world is already busy promoting its catechism. The only question is whether we will get busy promoting ours.’

We are continuing our look at our parenting responsibilities. We are still looking at Paul’s charge to parents from Eph. 6:4, ‘Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.’ We are using the paradigm of representing Christ as a prophet, priest and king to cover our main responsibilities. We have looked at the area of prophet and the key areas of teaching that are involved in our parenting, today we want to focus on our role as priests. In particular we want to focus on the parental responsibilities of praying for our children, sympathizing with them, and family worship.