Some of us have grown up with mixed ideas about authority and submission and frankly, we find ourselves confused at times when trying to decide whether to require our children to obey.
But obedience is bigger than a parenting issue. It’s a life skill. When children learn to give up their agenda or sacrifice their activity to do what someone else says, they’re learning how to live successfully with others in life.
You’re training your child for the future. It’s not enough to simply change a child’s behavior to conform to your present desires. Look long term. Things like obedience, submission, and honor toward God and others are attitudes learned as a child and practiced throughout life.
One verse that reminds us that our present discipline has long-term ramifications is Proverbs 22:6. It says, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Our kids are in training.
It’s good to tell your children why they need to obey. Share with them your motivation and goals for them. Tell them that they need to learn to obey your words so that when they grow up they will know how to obey God and work with others. Poor habits and selfishness are hard to deal with in children, but the older the child, the harder it is to break these patterns. Disciplining our children effectively when they’re young will save them much pain later on in life.
Next Week’s Author: Jennifer Patchin