I think most of us moms can agree on one thing no matter how many differences we have and that is we want our kids to obey us. Not because we yearn to control every facet of our children’s life, but because we want to protect them, to teach them how to discern and to lead them on the path to responsible adulthood. I’m sure most of us talk to our children about how important it is for them to listen and obey the rules and boundaries that we set in our homes, but do we tell them the most important reason why they should obey us? I asked myself this question yesterday during our evening service at church. The sermon was about Christian household rules found in Colossians 3:18-25. My minister was preaching on the relationship we have with one another as sisters and brothers in Christ and in our own household. He mentioned two things that really struck me. One is that the relationships that Paul writes about are reciprocal. When he says that women should be submissive to their husbands he also says that husbands should love their wives and not be harsh to them. When he speaks of children being obedient he tells parents not to embitter them either. All of these relationships have the responsibility of being reciprocal because we are all one in Christ, one is not better than the other. So, whether man, woman, or child we are all one in Christ and therefore should treat one another the same. The second aspect about these relationships is that in all of these relationships each person has responsibility to the Lord. Everything we do in deed or word should all be done in the name of the Lord. The Lord is our first priority, so although a wife should be submissive to her husband, Paul says, “As is fitting in the Lord,” meaning a woman’s first priority and responsibility is toward God. If her husband is asking her to do something unscriptural and it is not fitting to the Lord she has to honor the Lord.
Now, let’s go back to our kids obeying us. I think it is vital for our kids to know why they should obey us. If they are just obeying our rules because they have to then when they get ready to leave our nest they are going to leave everything we taught them in our homes and not carry it into the real world, which defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? When Anya leaves home I want her to carry with her all the morals and values I instilled in our home. I want her to leave here spiritually equipped and with the wisdom she will need to discern and to make wise choices. But, I need to explain to her why she needs to obey and that the reason is bigger than, ‘Mom told you that’s why.” That is only going to last for another 11 years. I need to dig down and feed her the deeper meaning, which can be found in Colossians 3:20, “Children obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.” Not because it pleases MOM although it does, but most importantly it pleases the LORD! We need to first and foremost explain to our children how much it pleases God when they obey, that their obedience makes him smile. If we can explain to them that our purpose isn’t to make their lives miserable, but that God gave us the awesome responsibility to raise his children, because they are his first before they were ever ours and we are the instrument through which God wants us to do his work. Now, as parents we need to make sure this is what we are doing. Are we following scripture as we are raising our children? Are we embittering them or are we encouraging them? Because remember this is a reciprocal relationship that is in the Lord.
I hope my daughter never strays from God and her spiritual background, and if she does I pray God will lead her back. But, if I can teach her that her responsibility is to God first and that when she obeys him she is pleasing him and through this obedience comes great blessings I believe that she will get the deeper meaning of why obedience is so significant. Our children need to have a basic understanding that we are preparing them for their eternal life as well as their earthly life. I think our approaches to discipline and training may be changed for the best. If we can explain to our kids that when they are obedient they are not only doing it so they don’t get grounded but it is preparing them to do work for the Kingdom of God as children of Christ. Let’s teach them the beauty of pleasing God along with why it is important for them to be obedient to us as well. In the body of Christ we all build one another up and we can’t do that if we are disobedient and running amuck and this is what we want to emphasize to our children.
Obedience comes with being a child in Christ. If we’re raising our kids to be Christians and follow the principals of the bible then we must do all we can to get them planted and rooted in the word. Whatever we’re teaching in our homes has to be scripturally based and we have a responsibility to give them a deeper meaning of what obedience really is in relationship to them living a life in Christ. Talk to them about sin and disobedience, explain what God views as sin according to the bible, and why sin is so dangerous to both their physical and spiritual life. Talk to them about your role in building them up not only as your children, but as members of the body of Christ.