It is high time we stop giving obedience a bad rap.
In our house, as I'm sure it is in most homes, obedience looks like compliance with something that one does not necessarily want to do. There's usually a lot of pleading, negotiating, huffing, and puffing that is involved that eventually results in half-hearted submission. And it's exhausting.
Clean your room.
Stop hitting your sister.
Indoor voices please.
Just one more assignment.
If I find ONE more sock...
I'll give you a fruit snack, just please!
I find myself LONGING for a better way, because obedience should not be this hard. Everything within our children (and ourselves) fights against submitting our will for one of another. The battle seems endless and not one that can be won. Time to change tactics and go deeper.
What is the purpose of obedience? Yes, it looks like following rules and yes, it is meant to keep our children safe (and us sane). But obedience goes much deeper than that. The Bible speaks of "fear of the Lord" which means having a holy reverence for God which is demonstrated through our whole-hearted and freely given YES to Him. Because He is a loving God, a God we trust, we therefore obey.
The next part is the next level though. Yes, the Bible speaks of fear of the Lord, but multiple times it inextricably tied to "wisdom." More so than obedience, we are teaching our children wisdom. That makes a very subtle, yet life-changing difference. When we act in obedience, when we wisely choose His ways, we are in fact, more free from strife than following any of our own desires. As we grow, we find walking a straight and narrow path is not confining at all, but rather more restful and fulfilling than the broad way we think that we want. Our goal as parents is to get them on that wise, straight, and narrow path which contains more freedom than they could ever imagine.
Getting our children to truly, wholeheartedly obey and learn wisdom knowing the purpose behind it is a process, and not one that one blog post can cover. However, it is always wise to learn scripture as a family, and these 10 scripture verses are good to memorize, discuss, and remind us as we are teaching our children the fear of the Lord is true wisdom. (for further reading, meditate on Proverbs 2:1-15)
With God are wisdom and might; he has counsel and understanding.
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.
For the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money, and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it.
Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.