An Excerpt from J.A. Van Poseck’s "Light in our Dwelling"
Privilege and Responsibilities
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth" (Eph. 6:1-3).
"Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord" (Col. 3:20).
For the expression of the relationship of "children," the original biblical language has two words: "teknon" and "huios." "Teknon" expresses the nearness of that relationship in affection, and "huios" expresses the rights and claims of and the duties connected with being a child.
It is the same in English and other languages. If parents wish to express their parental love to a child, they say, "My child." The very word "child" at once reminds the hearts of father and mother back to the days of the infancy. From the first moment of its existence, when its first feeble, weeping cry announced its arrival in a world of sin and sorrow and sent a thrill through the parent’s heart, through the first years of its helpless infancy, drawing forth the tender pity of the father, and requiring the care of a mother’s love by day and night. That single word "child" recalls, as it brings out, all those affections of a parent’s heart, of which the child has been the happy recipient.
But when the object of that tender, loving parental care has developed into maturity, and the young man or woman stands before the parents, the parents may have to put before them their duties as "sons" or "daughters" and "heirs." If the child has lost sight of and neglected these responsibilities the father’s grave word, "my son," appeals to the conscience of the forgetful young recipient of parental love and liberality. If the exhortation word has reached the conscience of the child, and produced its proper effect, the old cheerful term, "my child," will come as a balm for the heart, like the first sunbeam after the stormy cloud.
And may I ask you readers, many of whom are in this happy, but none the less responsible relationship: Does that sweet word, "my child," when coming to you from the lips of a fond parent, recall to your heart the many days and nights of unceasing loving parental care, patience, and forbearance, bestowed upon you from the first moment of your existence, through all the years of your often capricious and boisterous childhood
If that word, "my child," speaks to your heart, does it also speak to your conscience, of how your parents’ love and tender care may be repaid That love, that watched during the long hours of the night or over your sick bed; or toiled for you in the sweat of the brow in the heat of the day; or braved the frost and the storms and waves that you might be fed and clothed. That love that watched over your precious soul, raised you up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and wrestled in prayer to God for your soul by day and night. Have you yielded to God and to your parents the fruits