As parents, we get the first opportunity to teach our kids the value of obedience! We don’t have to…we get to!
We get to put our kids on the path of first obeying us so they can learn to obey God.
Getting our kids to obey seems to be the #1 struggle parents have with their kids.
Honestly, it’s exhausting to constantly be working on teaching your kids to obey.
We have done a previous podcast titled “How to get your kids to obey” (It’s episode 82). If you have not listened to it, please make the time. You will be encouraged in many areas.
Let’s be honest. There are times we want our kids to obey simply for selfish reasons. It makes our lives easier and more peaceful, and it makes us look good when they obey. (No? Just us?…mmmmkay.)
But getting our children to obey is much bigger than just our convenience.
And it more than just about the behavior.
Obedience is one of the most important keys to our kids’ personal relationship with the Lord.
We need to help set our children up to have a heart of obedience to the Lord.
What is obedience?
The dictionary defines obedience as: the act of obeying; dutiful or submissive behavior with respect to another person. Submission, compliance – the act of submitting; usually surrendering power to another.
(Doesn’t that sound lovely – giving up their own power of choice, ideas, will, agendas and doing whatever we the parent asks them to do?) Who ever REALLY desires that?
We want to help you see that teaching obedience is not about raising a surrendered, wimpy kid. No! We want you to raise a confident kid who knows how to make wise choices.
See it instead that your kids have spirit and passion. They have preferences, opinions, plans, and goals, and we need to celebrate that.
Within all those passions and desires, we can teach obedience so they can learn to harness those passions and desires to be used by God.
It’s a spirit that we’re cultivating in them.
So many times, as parents we see disobedience as an act of rebellion, when really it’s about our kids having to constantly die to how they want things to go. And human nature doesn’t like to NOT get its way. (I know I don’t like to be told what to do, or that I can’t do something.)
To understand obedience fully we need to understand the heart posture that must take place for obedience to happen. And that’s submission.
What is the condition of their heart? Obedience is not being a doormat. It’s lining up our interests with someone who is wiser and worth following! And that someone is Jesus!!!
As we are teaching our children to obey us, we are paving the way for them to learn to obey God.
That’s what we are trying to teach our kids – that obedience is submission and when we practice submission, we draw close to the Lord.
Why is obedience valuable?
It’s not because it’s convenient for us. It’s because it is valuable to God.
To obey or not to obey the Lord God is a crucial question for every human. And we start practicing obedience in childhood.
One of the greatest gifts God has given us is the power to choose. As believers, to choose obedience leads to God’s promised blessing of life; to choose disobedience leads to curse, judgment, and death.
(Out of love, comes obedience.) It’s more than just “obey me because I told you so.”
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
Obedience demonstrates our faithfulness to Him (1 John 2:3-6).
And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
Obedience opens avenues of blessing for us (John 13:17).
If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
Vision for you:
As parents, we get the first chance to show our children what obedience looks like, how to do it, and how it honors us as parents and the Lord as the Father above.
God hand-picked you to teach your children.
We get the privilege of teaching our children that obedience to God is a good thing.
You’re on a journey with your kids to help them see the vision of where they are going towards a heart posture of obedience.
How do we get our kids to “buy in” to the value of obedience?
We don’t just want our kids to obey – we want them to DESIRE to obey.
Help them see life is better when they obey. Show them the benefits of obedience.
It’s an investment (deposit) into the relationship.
It reinforces the give-and-take of a relationship.
They will get more of what they want in the long run.
5th commandment of honor – “Things will go well with you.”
Practice obeying mom and dad so they can be obedient to an invisible God.
Bring to awareness the times they didn’t obey and the natural consequences that happened (got a cavity because didn’t consistently take care of their teeth, tripped over toy because didn’t clean up, made a bad grade because they didn’t study, etc.)
Bring to awareness times they did obey (went to bed and it was easy to get up the next morning, did their homework and made a great grade, etc.)
Know the why behind the act of obedience. This helps to give them motivation to obey.
Hopefully, the concept of obedience has changed for you. It’s about going after the heart and not just the behavior.
See that disobedience is a red flag to something that is going on in your child’s heart that needs attention.
Maybe they don’t feel like they are understood or being heard.
Maybe they feel bossed around, told what to do all the time, and never get a chance to be big and responsible.
Maybe they have strong opinions/preferences and need to be told WHY they must do it so they buy into the right way instead.
The easiest way to unearth disobedience is to ask you child, “Why are you choosing not to obey right now?”
You might be very surprised at their answer!
Teaching your children to obey is more than just convenience for us. We hope you’re able to see a bigger vision of training your children to obey so they can learn to obey God’s voice as they get older.
Teaching our children to obey God is directly influenced by how they first learn to obey their parents. We want them to hear God’s voice and live in a thriving relationship with Him.
After all, isn’t that our goal?
If you have a question or a parenting issue that you’d like us to discuss in a future podcast, email us at [email protected].