Because I said so!
Was that ever said to you as a child? Have you ever said that to your children? In moments of frustration, I know I have. Repeated questions, and instead of explaining why I've asked one of my children to do something, I fall back on that phrase.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Ephesians 6:1
Our children need to be taught to obey us, but should they blindly obey? What would that teach them? To never question what they're told. Questions aren't a bad thing, although it may seem that way to a tired, frustrated mother. God loves our sons. Teaching them to be obedient will help them throughout their lives. When we are obedient to God, it shows our love for Him. When our sons are taught to obey us, it shows their love towards us, and makes an easier transition to God.
If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in His Love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. John 15: 10-11
We need to teach our sons to be commandment keepers. Will it be easy? No, probably not. Battles never are, and we are in a battle for our son's hearts.
Some may ask, "Can we require any standards of behavior in our sons?" I think we would being doing them a huge disservice if we didn't. Our son's hearts before God are no different from any other child, and the reason that your child is so special will not limit God from revealing Himself to your child. We, as mothers, need to allow God to love our sons through us.
In the night I remember your name, O Lord, and I will keep your law. This has been my practice: I obey your precepts. You are my portion, O Lord; I have promised to obey your words. I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise. I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes. I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands. Psalm 119: 55-60
When you son asks, "Why?", let them know why they need to obey us. 1. It shows love and respect towards others (you, God, friends, teachers, therapists, etc.). 2. It keeps them safe. If we see them going near a hot stove, or trying to put something in their mouth that they shouldn't, or try to break free from you in a parking lot, teaching them to be obedient will keep them safe, protect them. If we just allow them to do whatever they want, they could burn their hand, choke on the object going into their mouth, or get hurt in that parking lot. 3. It PLEASES God when his children are obedient. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Colossians 3:20 4. It shows them their need for God. Obeying parents leads into obeying God.
Have you ever given into your son, just to end an argument? Just to calm the turbulent waters? It's easier sometimes, isn't it? You can see the agitation building, the melt down coming, and you give in. It may seem fine in the short term, but are you helping your son by doing that? No. It is our responsibility to train our sons. I've found that keeping my voice soft, warm, kind and loving helps. Raising my voice, even just to be heard above the racket, doesn't help. It agitates Spencer even more. It hurts his ears. While praying for your sons today, pray, ask God for extra patience. Extra love. Extra compassion. Be an intercessor for your son.
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6
Obedience is learned through trust in those we obey. If you don't follow through with what you say, for example, not enforcing consequences, your son won't trust your word, and won't learn obedience. If you tell your son, "If you don't do (insert something here), then you don't get (insert something here). If he doesn't do the first thing, and you still give him the second thing, it teaches him that he doesn't need to listen to what you say because he'll get what he wants anyway. He won't trust you and won't learn obedience.
It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us. And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to His commands. As you have hard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. 2 John 4-6
Pray the Obedience prayers over your sons today. Have you read the chapter to go along with it? This sentence stood out to me while reading it. "If our boys never learn the importance of obeying and see their inability to obey by themselves, how will they ever recognize their need for a Savior?"
Please feel free to share here, or by email, what works for you in teaching your sons obedience. Where do you struggle? I think it will help, the more we interact and share with each other, our successes and our struggles. I'm praying for you, as I'm sure others are as well. The journey isn't always easy, but it's worth it!!
I want to share something with you from the book, Parenting From The Overflow:
"It's hard work, this parenting gig! And it's exhausting and demanding and never ending. But none of us would trade the world for one of our [son's] glowing smiles. So we must persevere and be self-controlled and disciplined ....living out of the over flow of the Father's grace in our lives. How do we live that out?
- Be faithful to time alone with the Lord. Sometime. Somehow. Every single day.
- Memorize long verses that you will repeat to yourself before responding.
- Learn to laugh!
- Give grace - to [him] and to yourself."
Note: Tomorrow, day 3 will be covering Submission to Authority, and will be praying the prayers from that section over our sons.
Blessings to all of you and your sons!