Sunday, January 17, 2010

From Tots to Teens ~ Obedience

I have been praying on where we should begin with this new feature and God has impressed upon my heart to begin at the beginning.

"Children obey your parents in all things for this is well pleasing to the LORD." Colossians 3:20

From the very beginning God has asked one thing of us - to obey Him.

We all know the consequence of the choice to disobey God's first command in the garden. His first two children - choose self desire and wants - over God's knowing what was good for them.

That is His greatest desire of us to show Him how much we love Him. It is the only way to truly show others our love for God. A yielded life is an obedient life - is a life where Jesus is being lived out of us and we are relying on the very power of the Spirit to empower us to do His will.

It is how our children can show us that they love us too.

Jesus said, "If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." John 14:15-21

Jesus continues in John 14:23-24 - "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me."

So you see the example we are shooting for is Jesus' and not of the world. Our children show their love to us by their obedience. Not because I demand it but because they love me so much they want to bring honor to me - they will respond the first time I ask and will not need me to repeat myself. God asks once of us to obey and if not then we are telling Him by our choices that we don't love Him.

I have given our children a word problem to live by with the greatest solution and it goes like this:


When they forget this equation - I prompt them by saying, "Who do you need? What do you need to do?" A smile comes across their face and we are back in rhythm.

They need Him to obey and by His power and love they can! Because we can all do things through Christ who strengthens us. Phil 4:13

This is the very first lesson in parenting biblically. That by our love for God we will choose to obey Him - the first time - right away - all the way - with a good attitude. Our response to Him when He calls no matter what He is asking us to do must be "Yes, Lord."

Thus, our children first response when I call to them no matter what I'm asking them to do or stop doing must be "Yes, Mom or Dad." First time and when they choose to disobey me, talk back or question why I'm asking them to do something - I follow it with an instant saying of Colossians 3:20. Then we make them do it the right way with a good attitude until they get it right. We practice 1st time obedience and them responding how we expect. So we are not setting them up for failure. We want to train them in the way they should go at home so they will know how to behave wherever we go!

Naomi is now 2 - I will leave a room where she is happily playing with her siblings. For no reason I will call to her to come to me. She will either chose to say, "yes Mom" first time and come or keep on doing what she is. When she chooses to come first time with a smile or even a half one I praise her over and over again for listening and obeying Mom. You see it is NOT enough to listen they must obey what they have heard.

We too are to be doers of the word not hearers.

When Naomi doesn't come first time or cries she doesn't want to - then we begin with an apology to me for not doing as I asked, then we start over and over until she gets it right. If she continues to disobey me or have a bad attitude we will use God's idea of proper correction for such willful disobedience.

You see it is important that they learn to come to you at the instant you call - because when faced with a potential dangerous situation - they must come right away and not even stop to think if they want to. God as our loving Father wants to protect us and knows what is best for us. As our children's parents we know what is best for them to and we are doing our best to protect them as well.

So when I tell you to get down, don't touch that, leave that alone, stand by me, don't talk, sit still, fold your hands and the list goes on - I expect you to do it first time I ask. Thus, you show me that you love me and care about my heart.

Love is a choice. Obedience comes from love.

Let our words be few and our actions bring glory to the Father through our desire to love His children as we walk in obedience to Him! Because we love Him! Let them see our love for Him in everything we do!

Walking in obedience with you,


Jenn @ Beautiful Calling said...

Thank you for sharing this reminder of how important first time obedience is and the real-life example. My little one is 3 and obeys quite well but not always first time/with right attitudes. I think that will be our focus for now because it will be easier to correct and instill now while she is young!

Christie said...

wonderful post!c

Beth said...

I so needed this! We are struggling with both of our children with the whole first time obedience thing. They simply don't do it and neither of us has been as diligent in training them.

I am just curious. How many "do overs" do you do with your 2 year old before you discipline her?

The issue of obedience is weighing heavy on my heart. Thank you for this post!

L2L said...

our house has never focused on 1st time obedience.. we often use those times of disobedience to show our children the very reason that God sent Christ, that we can not be perfect and without Christ there is no hope for in our own ablities we will never be holy. I think too often "being or doing good" is emphasised way too much and we raise children who think they are good because of what they do or don't do vice being able to humble their very wicked heart. (Mark 10:18)
We do however do training sessions to help train our children to become familiar with our voice so that when we call they come, not because they have to but because they want to.(John 10:3)

Carrie said...

Thank you for this post- I am not a very good disciplinarian, and I really needed this reminder about the importance of obedience. My son is just turned 2, so we're just starting to REALLY struggle with obedience.

ssjoberg said...

This has been VERY helpful. I have a very willful 3.5 year old daughter and this is such an issue. I realize that I need to release the control I want to have over her behavior. It is very hard to do but maybe that is just the answer. I do have a question and would be SO greatful for a response. What is God's idea of proper correction for such willful disobedience???? I have a feeling that is a point we will reach many a time. Thanks!!! Stacy

PJae said...

Thank you so much for this feature. I am an faithful follower of your blog although my child is 11 years old. Your Tots to Teens feature is both refreshing and matter-of-fact. It serves as a reminder to me to discipline with the LOVE of Christ. Thanks again!

juana newberry said...


Mlfgrant said...

Yes I too would like to know what is God's idea of proper correction?