Long Term Benefit

Author:  Joanne Miller

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

Joanne Miller, RN, BSN is the cofounder of the National Center for Biblical Parenting. She has written five books on parenting and has three video training programs for parents. Joanne has two boys and lives with then and her husband Ed in Lawrenceville, NJ.
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Comments

  1. Passionate Purposeful Parenting says:

    Wonderful post! I agree and believe this is important for us to remember as parents….”But obedience is bigger than a parenting issue. It’s a life skill.” and “Disciplining our children effectively when they’re young will save them much pain later on in life.” As always, thank you for the great advice!

  2. ” It’s not enough to simply change a child’s behavior to conform to your present desires. Look long term.” I think that’s where some parents drop the ball… they want the child to stop throwing the tantrum in the store, be quiet and go to sleep, or get along with a sibling. After the initial discipline is finished, they fail to follow through with training. I’ve done it myself, but I’ve found when I went that step further and explained and discussed the issue at hand with my child, she learned the lesson beyond the moment. So glad you mentioned this!