Parents, Require Obedience of Your Children!

sfdsPrinciple: If we want our children to learn how to obey God when they are older, we must require them to obey us as parents now. I have four children, the oldest of whom is 7. This is not mere philosphizing for me, it is real life.

It is inevitable there will be conflict. Conflict between siblings and conflict between child and parent. This season in life is hard. Any parent can attest to this. Deciding which battles to fight is an ongoing state of being. While this state of being is not fun, it is worth doing right. My wife and I are seeking to raise Godly kids. That is no easy task in today’s culture. So I repeat: If we want our children to learn how to obey God when they are older, we must require them to obey us as parents now.

As a parent I am not perfect. I get things wrong. But the principle remains true that if my children learn to respect and obey me now, they will be better suited to obey future authority figures in life, and ultimately God as the final authority figure. Unfortunately most parents are not requiring obedience from their children. It is easier to pacify their children in the moment than deal with the long term commitment of building obedience.

John Piper writes an excellent article addressing believing parents and how they need to require obedience.

“The defiance and laziness of unbelieving parents I can understand. I have biblical categories of the behavior of the spiritually blind. But the neglect of Christian parents perplexes me. What is behind the failure to require and receive obedience? I’m not sure. But it may be that these nine observations will help rescue some parents from the folly of laissez-faire parenting.”

Please read the full article as Piper unpacks each of these nine points with biblical passages and practical application. If you are a parent, or hope to be one in the future, it is worth your 5+ minutes!  Click it here: Parent, Require Obedience of Your Children.

1. Requiring obedience of children is implicit in the biblical requirement that children obey their parents.

2. Obedience is a new-covenant, gospel category.

3. Requiring obedience of children is possible.

4. Requiring obedience should be practiced at home on inconsequential things so that it is possible in public on consequential things.

5. It takes effort to require obedience, and it is worth it.

6. You can break the multi-generational dysfunction.

7. Gracious parenting leads children from external compliance to joyful willingness.

8. Children whose parents require obedience are happier.

9. Requiring obedience is not the same as requiring perfection.

“Parents, you can do this. It is a hard season. I’ve spent more than sixty percent of my life in it. But there is divine grace for this, and you will be richly rewarded.” – John Piper

 

5 Ways to Make Your Kids Hate Church

I’ve been working with teenagers for a long time. It is easy to spot the ones who want to attend church or small group, and the ones who couldn’t care less about being there. More times than not kids adopt the attitudes and practices of their parents. Children are very observant and can discern even the slightest hint of superficiality. Here are 5 ways to make your kids hate church.

1. MAKE SURE YOUR FAITH IS ONLY SOMETHING YOU LIVE OUT IN PUBLIC

Go to church… at least most of the time. Make sure you agree with what you hear the preacher say, and affirm on the way home what was said especially when it has to do with your kids obeying, but let it stop there. Don’t read your Bible at home. The pastor will say everything you need to hear on Sundays. Don’t engage your children in questions they have concerning Jesus and God. Live like you want to live during the week so that your kids can see that duplicity is ok.

2. PRAY ONLY IN FRONT OF PEOPLE

 The only times you need to pray are when your family is over, holiday meals, when someone is sick, and when you want something. Besides that, don’t bother. Your kids will see you pray when other people are watching, no need to do it with them in private.

3. FOCUS ON YOUR MORALS

Make sure you insist your kids be honest with you. Let them know it is the right thing for them to do, but then feel free to lie in your own life and disregard the need to tell them and others the truth. Get very angry with your children when they say words that are “naughty” and “bad,” but post, read, watch, and say whatever you want on TV, Facebook, and Twitter. Make sure you focus on being a good person. Be ambiguous about what this means.

4. GIVE FINANCIALLY AS LONG AS IT DOESN’T IMPEDE YOUR NEEDS

Make a big deal out of giving at church. Stress to your children the value of tithing, while not giving sacrificially yourself. Allow them to see you spend a ton of money on what you want, while negating your command from Scripture to give sacrificially.

5. MAKE CHURCH COMMUNITY A PRIORITY… AS LONG AS THERE IS NOTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO DO

Hey, you are a church-going family, right? I mean, that’s what you tell your friends and family anyways. Make sure you attend on Sundays. As long as you didn’t stay up too late Saturday night. Or your family isn’t having a big barbeque. Or the big game isn’t on. Or this week you just don’t feel like it. Or… I mean, you’re a church-going family, so what’s the big deal?

This article was originally posted at the theResurgence.com by Thomas Weaver. Check it out for a lot of good writing on many different topics.

Your fellow worker in the field,  Adam