Mommy Musings: Obedience and Honour Part II
Click here for Part I.
As parents, how do we motivate our children towards obedience?
I’ve only been a parent for three and a half years, which doesn’t make me all that credible to give advice, 🙂 so I’ll draw on the words of those who have gone before me and whose children are all grown up and married and have children of their own.
One of the elders in our church advised us to that to make obedience attractive, we need to have two elements:
1. The first, is to have a consistent approach to discipline.
Gary and Marie Ezzo in their book “Growing Kids God’s Way” provide three principles of instruction to parents on cultivating obedience, which DH and I have, and continue to find useful in our parenting efforts.
- When you speak to your child in a way that requires an answer or an action, you should expect an immediate and complete response. Children will rise to whatever level is expected and encouraged. Too many parents expect little and receive exactly that.
- Never give a command unless you intend for it to be obeyed. Be sure to say exactly what you mean and mean precisely what you say. If our instruction has no resolve behind it, our children will take advantage of our parental uncertainty and assert their own, unguided will.
- Encouraging and establishing right, moral behaviour in children requires consistency and clarity of instruction. Unless your instructions are clear and consistent, your child is at a loss to know what to do. (emphasis in bold, mine)
2. The second is to create an environment where our children know that that they are loved.
How do we demonstrate a Biblical love towards our children? 1 Corinthians 13:4 – 7 gives us a pretty good guide to follow –
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
On a final note. As Christian parents, we seek to train our children to obedience, not just because it’ll make our life better but primarily because God has given us the solemn responsibility to do so.
It’s hard work.
But our faithful obedience to God’s instruction will result in ultimately our children’s faithful obedience, not just to us, but ultimately to their Creator.