“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” Ephesians 6:1
Obviously, I don’t believe that there are children out there reading this blog. However, as Christian parents who are raising our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord, we try to infuse their understanding with scripture.
There have been many times that my children do not want to and have not obeyed me. And when they receive the consequence, their faces are often downcast like Cain’s was in Genesis when he didn’t bring an offering in the right way. They pout and cross their arms, more angry that they are in trouble for their wrongdoing than upset with themselves for having done wrong. There is no repentance in them in these moments.
But I have long felt led to mete out consequences with an explanation. Discipline with the scriptural-behind-the-scenes. I want my children to know that Mama loves them and that God loves them. And because of this, God has placed my husband and I as their spiritual guardians until which time they are able to choose for themselves. But also because of this, God expects them as the children to obey. And not just saying and doing something because that’s what they’ve been told, but Ephesians says obey in the Lord. The Hebrew here could also be translated obey as to the Lord.
We have a saying in our house when it comes to obedience. Quickly and cheerfully. If God asked us to do something, or if we desired to do something for someone we love, we would do so quickly and cheerfully. So obeying Mama and Papa, to God’s glory and honor, should be done the same way.
That does not mean that we will never be wrong. It does not mean that it will always be fair or fun. But if our children learn to obey us quickly and cheerfully now, while they are young, then this same habit and the emotion it carries, will follow with them into their college and career, into their own marriage and family, and for the rest of their lives when the only one that they will need to obey is God.
Mama and Papa? We’re just practice, we’re just getting them warmed up for the real deal.