Ephesians 6:1 gives clear direction: Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
Jesus even learned obedience. We see this in Hebrews 5:8-9 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.
From the time Mr. Intensity was able to babble phrases, I told him my expectation for obedience:
- right away
- all the way
- in a joyful way
If you were to ask him today, "How are you to obey?" He can rattle it off. Now, does he apply what he's learned? Not always. Unfortunately, neither do I.
This phrasing, "right away, all the way, in a joyful way" I've really grappled with, struggled and asked the Lord, "Is this true? Do You expect the same of me?” After all, I don't want to be a hypocrite and have double standards for my child.
As I examine the Scriptures, I have found this to be true. God expects complete obedience from me – and quickly, without complaining. The Lord has entrusted to me the position of authority over my child to teach him what God expects.
Do everything without complaining or arguing (NIV). Another translation of Philippians 2:14 says, Do all things without grumbling or questioning (ESV).
Hebrews 13:17 says Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
The Old Testament is full of If you obey...it will go well with you. If you don't ...calamity, exile, or other punishment (Deut 11:13-17). The same is true in our home – except we can’t exile our child!!
Last month’s hymn of the month was Trust & Obey. It has a catchy tune and it rather easy for little ears and lips to learn.
Since Mr. Intensity can't yet read, it is my duty to fill his mind with sound doctrine- whether is by reading the Bible to him, memorizing it with him, or singing songs that teach right thinking. In all of these things, I want to teach him to obey so that it will go well with him.
If you're looking for a resource on teaching obedience to your children, Don't Make Me Count to Three is my current favorite. Here's a review I wrote of the book a LOOONG time ago.
That she has trained her children for heaven, rather than for earth, for God,rather than for man--she is the parent that will be considered wise at last. Train with an eye to my children's souls. We are made what we are by training. Our character takes the form of what mold into which our first years were cast. The path of obedience is the way in which He gives blessing. Determine to make your children obey you, though it cost you much trouble, and cost them many tears. Obedience is the only reality. The mark of well-trained children is that they do whatsoever their parents command them - cheerfully, willingly and at once. - John Ryle 1888
Tomorrow's subject will be C is for content.
What resources have encouraged you in child training?