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20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is your acceptable duty in the Lord.

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20 Children, obey your parents. He enjoins it upon children to obey their parents, 458458     “Leurs peres et meres;” — “Their fathers and mothers.” without any exception. But what if parents 459459     “Les peres ou les meres;” — “Fathers or mothers.” should feel disposed to constrain them to anything that is unlawful; will they in that case, too, obey without any reservation? Now it were worse than unreasonable, that the, authority of men should prevail at the expense of neglecting God. I answer, that here, too, we must understand as implied what he expresses elsewhere, (Ephesians 6:1) — in the Lord. But for what purpose does he employ a term of universality? I answer again, that it is to shew, that obedience must be rendered not merely to just commands, but also to such as are unreasonable. 460460     “C’est a dire, fascheux et rigoureux;” — “That is to say, grievous and rigorous.” For many make themselves compliant with the wishes of their parents only where the command is not grievous or inconvenient. But, on the other hand, this one thing ought to be considered by children — that whoever may be their parents, they have been allotted to them by the providence of God, who by his appointment makes children subject to their parents.

In all things, therefore, that they may not refuse anything, however difficult or disagreeable — in all things, that in things indifferent they may give deference to the station which their parents occupy — in all things, that they may not put themselves on a footing of equality with their parents, in the way of questioning and debating, or disputing, it being always understood that conscience is not to be infringed upon. 461461     “Ou entrant en dispute auec eux, comme compagnon a compagnon, ainsi qu’on dit. Toutesfois, que ce soit tant que faire se pourra sans offenser Dieu;” — “Or entering into dispute with them, as associate with associate, as they say. At the same time, let it be only in so far as it can be done without offending God.” He prohibits parents from exercising an immoderate harshness, lest their children should be so disheartened as to be incapable of receiving any honorable training; for we see, from daily experience, the advantage of a liberal education.