As parents, we expect our kids to obey us by following rules without complaint and respect our authority. Have you ever thought about why obedience is important to instill in your kids? Obedience instills several character traits and teaches kids lessons we can’t teach them at home here are eight reasons why obedience is so important for kids:
It helps them to respect authority- When kids obey the rules set for the by parents, they understand that people who have been placed in charge of them are to be respected. When they obey rules, they are saying they respect others, particularly those looking out for their well- being. They might not always understand the rules, and they may go through phases when they challenge those rules.
But parents who stand their ground teach kids that people in authority are to be revered. The quicker they learn that, the more likely they grow up to respect government, pastors and other officials in higher positions. It also allows them a better opportunity to follow God when they become adults.
It helps them understand people want what is best- Rules are there to help kids draw healthy boundaries, keep them safe and develop self-control. Obedience is important because obeying parents or other authority figures helps them understand the people around them are also safe and can be trusted. Like a fence that lines the outside of a home to divide up property lines, it helps them know how far they can go without getting hurt.
Obedience equals submission- Submission is a tricky word in this day and age. Modern interpretations interpret this word as meaning people, particularly women, have to become a doormat, allowing whomever to walk all over them. Yet, Paul writes this to denote a mutual submission, so a relationship will flow smoothly.
Neither person in the relationship is above or higher than the other. In certain circumstances, one partner submits to each other and vice versa. In a relationship with parent and kids, kids submit so the relationship can flow smoothly. There are situations where a parent will submit to a child in order to serve the family, and a parent will know this and do so accordingly. But kids that obey their parents, submit to their authority. And every person in the relationship benefits.
Obedience opposes independence- Kids with an independent spirit will rebel often to a loving parent relationship. This causes much strain for everyone involved. Kids need to learn at an early age that every relationship involves them to be in relationship with others. There is no independence in a kid’s life, especially in their spiritual lives.
The quicker children learn that they need to live in co-dependence with others rather than independence the easier life will be for them. Even God chooses to live in community with others. God, who needs nothing from anyone, still desires to live in community. Therefore, we were created for community. Nothing is done independently from others. Obedience helps them to live in co-dependence with others.
Obedience means to surrender- Surrender is much easier said than done. Surrender for kids means letting go of their agendas, laying down their wants and desires and trusting God will look out for them. With half of kids who struggle with fear and anxiety, laying things down is harder to do than it seems.
Adults struggle with this, and children since they were young, throw fits when they don’t get their way. Kids that don’t learn that they can’t always have their way, turn into spoiled adults who think life is all about them. Kids need to learn how to let go so they can gain Christ.
Obedience demonstrates our love for God- it’s no surprise that Jesus’s first command when he called his disciples is to obey: “As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” Jesus calls us for to demonstrate our love for him than through our obedience. Whether it is waiting on him, obeying his commands or loving the unlovable, God calls us to some tough tasks. But when we choose to obey rather than rebel, we give God the love (and worship) He deserves.
Obedience produces perseverance- “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope (Romans 5:3-4).” Although this verse doesn’t explicitly link obedience and perseverance but the more we obey God, the more Satan hates us. Therefore, he wages war on us, lurking around waiting to devour. When the time is right, he pounces and creates suffering in our lives. God did not create suffering, but He does allow it.
This is because when we suffer, it creates within us the ability to persevere which in turn transforms our character into more Christlikeness, which in turn produces hope. Suffering starts with obeying God’s commands and calling on our lives.
Disobedience leads to destruction- While it’s true that obedience creates good character traits in your children, the converse is also true: choosing to disobey only leads them down a wrong path. The bible is full of people who chose to disobey God and none of those stories ended with the abundant life God wants for His children. Teach your kids that obedience is worthwhile and that disobedience leads to only negative things for them. Satan wants nothing more than to teach your kids to live independently away from God, so he can lure them to himself. Every time choose obedience, it makes it easier for them to obey over and over again.
Obedience can be tough at times, especially when God is calling us to things that require great risk and sacrifice on our part. However, Jesus calls us to approach the Kingdom like a child: Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Kids have less to worry about in life. Therefore, obedience is an easier choice for them to make. Model for your kids from a young age what it looks like to obey god even when it is difficult. Parents are their kids’ greatest teachers. The more we model, the more likely kids will want to adopt our behavior.
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