Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. 2 “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: 3 If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”
When I was a child, my parents had verse 1 of Ephesians 6 framed and hung in a place where my sister and I were FORCED to read it regularly. It infuriated me! I was what some might call; a “strong willed child” and I didn’t want to obey ANYONE- including my parents.
Earlier this week, as I erased the same verse off our school dry erase board, I chuckled as now, decades later, I am the one trying to teach our children why this Truth is so important- and why they should learn to submit to it while they are still young…..
During a recent conversation with another mommy, we discussed the same passage of scripture. As we talked about specific circumstances with our children the revelation of why came out of my mouth before my brain even had time to comprehend its impact: If we love God, we are to obey Him.
“If you love me, obey my commandments….”
In training our children to obey (which often times requires repeated discipline in order to help them submit), we are not only teaching them to love and respect their parents, we are showing them how to love and submit to their Heavenly Father- even when they don’t feel like it.
As an adult, when I finally repented and submitted my strong will to the Father, He lavished His unfailing love on this prodigal daughter and gave me a childlike faith to pursue Him- and obey His commands. Now, as I fight the battle of obedience with several strong willed children of my own, (thanks dad, for praying I’d have those!) I am able to enforce “the laws” of our home, and when necessary, administer discipline, in love (well, most of the time….sometimes I still lose it). For I know that God did not send the law to punish us, but to teach us how to live a long life… in FREEDOM!
21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.
PS. Thanks Mom & Dad for continuing to sew the Word into my heart- even though it took a looooong time to take root.