Saturday, December 12, 2009

OBEDIENT CHILDREN

 Ephesians 6 1 - 3  Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is a first commandment with a promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.  

I have been going through the book of Ephesians recently in my personal devotional time.  It has always been one of my favorite books, and though I have of course read and heard this verse many, many times, I found myself really dwelling on it and wondering why the Lord felt that this particular commandment was SO important that He included with it a promise such as this.  Children, OBEY your parents...sounds simple enough right? Children are to obey their parents.  Pretty basic.  But as I was really thinking about this I began to see that IF a child is to obey, he must first be taught obedience.   Anyone who has ever had a child does not need to be told that you do NOT have to tell that child how to be willful, naughty, or unkind. That all comes built into our sin nature through Adam, and therefore comes very naturally to us all.

Teaching our children obedience is perhaps one of the most important jobs any parent ever faces. From the time our children are old enough to understand a simple command or the word NO, the process begins. We all know of course the purpose behind telling our small children not to run into the street for example. We understand the dangers and possible disasters that lurk there and so we are quite firm in our commands that teach them the necessity of obeying that particular order. I remember very clearly it was THE ONLY TIME I ever had to swat Melody's little bottom when she was growing up. She was definitely old enough to understand what NO meant, stay by me, etc. But she willfully ran away from me and directly into the street. Now there was no car coming and no immediate danger, but that of course was not the point. She chose to disobey me and run into the street and received the immediate consequence of a couple of swats on her little bottom. She did not do that ever again. Now, she learned the consequences of disobedience quickly, unlike her older brothers, haha, but that is not the point I am trying to make. She may not have fully understood all of the horrible things that could have happened to her as a result of her disobedience, but she was able to quickly understand the immediate consequences of not obeying her mother. 

As parents we have the responsibility of teaching our children obedience. They can never understand how to obey God as they grow and mature, if they are not taught this at a very young age. There is always consequences (sooner or later) for sin.

I recently spent some time volunteering in the Kindergarten classroom of my young grandson. Truthfully, I was somewhat horrified at the blatant disobedience of some of the children. Obviously, no one expects a 5 year old to act any older than a 5 year old, but it was very clear to me, that a few of these children were not being taught much of anything at all. The confusion and occasional downright wildness in the classroom made it very apparent that these children were not being taught by their parents (or whoever it is fulfilling that role in their little lives) the importance of obedience. That teacher truly had her hands full as she tried to keep the class in order. How many parents too I wonder would blame this poor woman, or the other children, for the lack of obedience and respect that their own children have failed to learn? I fear for these children and for their parents expectations of their futures. Almost everything that child might ever hope to be or accomplish hinges on their ability to learn to obey.

As we grow into adulthood obviously we no longer owe our parents direct obedience. But we do owe them honor and respect. I know as I got deeper and deeper into my role as a mother, I learned to understand my own mother better, and my respect for all she went through and endured grew into a healthy appreciation for her. Yes, children must obey their parents, and parents must teach their children to obey.  And this all comes with a promise...it will be well for all of us and we will live long here on earth.

As we grow closer to the birth of our Lord, I hope we all our keeping our focus on Him.  I know for me I have found myself caught up a time or two with just the busyness of the season, and have lost my focus and therefore my peace.  How easy it is for me to get off track.  Thank God He understands me, and loves me even when I am busy being a Martha instead of a Mary.  Hope you all have a wonderful week.  To read the other inspirational posts that are being shared this week click HERE...Many thanks to Charlotte and Ginger for hosting this event.

17 comments:

  1. Another wonderful post sweetie.

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  2. Hello Dear Friend,
    As always you have blessed me with your words of wisdom and your insight into he Word of God. I am in total agreement, and did experience the same situation while volunteering in a classroom, my heart just goes out to the teachers. I have seen parents blame the teacher for problems with their children, when the fault was with them.

    I am trying to stay focused too this season,but can quickly get caught up in the busyness, I am glad that I have my cleaning and decorating done,.Just waiting for those little girls and Susan to come to do some baking.

    Please pray for me it seems I have caught a cold, and with company coming this week, I need to be well so as to enjoy them and do not need to give anything to our precious family. With being sick for so long, must have compromised my immune system, Lyme disease does this.
    Blessings to you Dear Debbie,
    Sue

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  3. This is a wonderful post, Debbie! Your words are true, and we must never forget that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and that obedience is a result of that godly fear. Just as we want our children to fear us enough to do as we tell them, we also want them to love us so deeply that they do not want to disobey, not to protect their backside, but to please us. I want to have that kind of fear and obedience in my life. Thanks for your wonderful and thoughtful words today. We do see children that have no idea what it means to obey...they have no boundaries, no direction. As adults, some of us were raised that way, but we have a responsibility now to discipline ourselves in the ways of the Lord. One of those disciplines is to "be still and know that I am God" in the midst of busy times, like now. We can't use the required activities as an excuse...we have to find balance in it all.

    You've really made me think this morning, my friend. Stopping to think, and take those thoughts captive will help our hearts become like Mary in this Martha world. I love the way you put that...so clear and easy to relate to.

    I'm glad you had a wonderful day with your family, and I hope you can find time to rest now. My tea was great...will tell you about it after church!

    Hugs,
    Mary

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  4. Obedience is so important to teach our children, but it takes time to train and some parents don't realize it. You make a great point.

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  5. Hi Debbie,
    You have made several good points here. Thank you for sharing and for your illustration also. Have a wonderful Sunday.

    Christmas blessings,
    Sandi

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  6. I really hadn't thought through this commandment before and why it is so important. If children do not learn to obey their parents they will certainly have no problem in disobeying God. I love the way you pointed out this truth. I see so many little children these days who openly defy their parents and the parents do nothing about it. They don't realize how this will impact the rest of the child's life and even beyond. Thank you for sharing these thoughts with us today.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

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  9. I deleted the two above comments because they were the same as the first comment I made. I didn't think it was posting so I kept clicking publish your comment. I guess I need a little more patience. LOL
    Charlotte

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  10. This also a scripture that I have read many times, even as a grandmother. I worry about my 6 year old grandson, he has his days when he will just not listen to his mom (my daughter) Please pray that she may be able to make this better.
    God Bless,
    Ginger

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  11. You are such an inspriation and blessing to me. I know that God sent me love and wisdom through you! I am a single mom with multiple mentors!

    God Bless You!
    Yoli :)

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  12. Hi Deb! It is always such a blessing to visit you! What a wonderful post full of some of the meat of God's Word! Obedience is one of those things we just continue to learn, isn't it?

    I, too, learned to truly appreciate my wonderful Mom and my disciplinarian Dad when I became a parent. What a wonderful gift a parent gives when they require obedience. It prepares us not only for life, but for our personal relationship with Christ, who desires obedience over sacrifice.

    Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful truths!!

    Sweet friend, I hope our week is full of joyful deliciousness and the love of family and friends!!

    Big Hugs,
    Becky

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  13. After Proverbs 3:5,6...this is the next important verse I share with my son and proceed to the following for my hubby and I to remind ourselves also that we must not exasperate our child. It really makes a big difference when kids are brought up having a reverential fear for the Lord. It's no surprising as many turn their backs on the Lord, they are not obeying the Dad themselves, so what can they teach their own children?
    Have a blessed Christmas and God bless you.

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  14. So true. Obedience is key to successful living. We will always have to answer to someone, and if our children aren't taught that early, it assures them of difficult times ahead.

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  15. Very good post . I think today there is a break-down in a great number of homes in teaching simple obedience.Without which you can never get your child's attention& respect to teach them anything much else .I think too much is expected of schools & teachers ,it all must start in the home .
    Busyness is a problem that distracts us at this time of the year.In these days right before christmas there is always so much to be done .I need to pray much as Martin Luther has said ,but I doubt if I spent my first 3 hours in prayer as he did when he was busy.
    Merry Christmas !
    ~Myrna

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  16. Debbie,
    Great post! I have worked briefly in a pre-school and saw some of the behavior of some children who had never been taught to listen or obey. The teachers had a very difficult time trying to teach the little ones who were listening! I agree with all previous posts - life becomes very hard when children are not taught to obey.

    Blessings,
    Jean

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I am so glad that you would take the time to comment on my thoughts and feelings, it is such a blessing to me!