Growing up, I was an obedient child - a lot of the time. There were times that I didn't obey and I suffered either natural consequences for my actions or discipline from my parents. I often obeyed because I wanted to please my parents, and sometimes my obedience was because I didn't want to suffer the consequences. Sometimes I obeyed the rules because I just knew it was the right thing to do. But now that I am a parent, I understand that there is more to obedience than following a rule. I want my children to want to obey me; I want it to be in their hearts. I want them to do what they have been asked to do without questioning it. I want them to grow up understanding that what we are teaching them now are the things that God wants to see in their lives. Please turn to Ephesians 6:1-4.
I doubt there are young children reading my blog, but I do want to remind all of us that we are adult children. I am not going to focus strongly on this; however, I am challenging myself as in the next question I am asking you. Are you honoring or respecting your parents and in-laws? I do want to focus on the verses about parenting. I know that it is addressed to fathers, but I think that all parents can benefit from verse 4. We are told not to provoke our children to anger, or exasperate our children in the NIV. I can say from my own experience that this is not easy, especially when our children are pushing our own buttons. Remember, we are not parenting on our own, but we are parenting with God.
I also want to look at this verse from the angle that God is our heavenly Father. Just as we parents want our children to grow up with a heart of obedience, God wants our obedience as well. God was pointing out to me that even though I may obey Him in my actions, my heart isn't always matching in obedience. In my heart, I may be questioning God why He is asking something of me and whining to Him. He wants an obedient heart along with the behavior. As we learn to obey God in our hearts, we will learn to honor and respect our earthly parents even more.
Do you have a heart of obedience toward your Heavenly Father? Do you have a heart of obedience and respect toward your parents?
Linking up with Thought Provoking Thursday and Experiencing the Love of Koinonia.