4. Now children are not to obey parents who are so foolish that they bring up their children after the fashion of this world. God is to be more highly regarded than parents according to the first three commandments. I call it being brought up after the fashion of the world when parents teach their children to seek nothing but the pleasure, honor, possessions, or power of this world.
To wear decent clothes and seek an honest living is a necessity, not a sin. Yet in his heart a child must be reconciled to the fact that it is an awful pity that this miserable earthly life cannot well be lived, or even begun, without the striving after more adornment and more possessions than are necessary to protect the body against cold and for nourishment. Thus the child must be taught to do against its own will what the world wants. The child must put up with fools and with that kind of evil for the sake of something better and to avoid something worse. Queen Esther wore her royal crown, but yet she said to God, “Thou knowest that the sign of my high estate which is upon my head has never at all delighted me, and that I abhor it as a filthy, menstruous rag. I never wear it when I am alone, but only when I have to and when I face the people.” The heart that is so minded wears adornment without peril, for it wears and yet does not wear, it dances yet does not dance, it lives well yet does not live well. And souls such as this are the secret hidden brides of Christ. But such souls are rare, for it is hard not to take delight in great adornment and display. Thus St. Cecilia wore golden clothes at the command of her parents, but underneath she wore a hair shirt next to her skin. (Luther’s Works, v. 44 p.83-84).