This month, I’ve been working through the Doorposts Thirty Days of Child Training Boot Camp for Busy Mamas. As we go through, we’ve been looking at what the Bible has to say about the different situations that we find ourselves in as parents. I love these studies, and if you’re looking for a quick and meaningful Bible study to try, you might want to give one of the Doorposts Bible studies a try.
Anyway, as part of day three of the study, we began studying obedience. When we did, there was something that really stood out to me. We marked the verses with pens/colored pencils for the “Why” and the “How” which really made it become real to me. These are the verses. The first is Ephesians 6:1:
Children, obey, your parents in the Lord for this is right.
The other verse is Colossians 3:20:
Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
There were two things about obedience that really struck me. First, it’s part of our children’s service to the Lord. Children can serve the Lord by their obedience. Second, this obedience extends to all things. As a parent, I have to admit that I don’t always expect obedience from my children, but just because I don’t always expect it, but the expectation from God is obedience in all things.
The next thing I had never considered is the why for having children obey us. Not only is it right for our children to obey us, but it pleases the Lord when children obey their parents. I want my children to be pleasing to the Lord!!
So, what is obedience? Obey comes from two root words in the Greek. They are:
- hypo = This is a preposition that means by or under
- akouo = This is a verb that has the idea of hearing and paying attention to, understanding
To me, I realize when I read this that the obedience that the Bible is talking about isn’t the “first time” obedience that I have always associated with the word obey. Instead, there’s a sense that my children are under my teaching. They’re expected to listen attentively to my instruction and to conform to it.
If my children are obedient, they’re listening for my guidance and they’ve submitted their will and their ideas to my authority as their teacher/guide through their childhood. They recognize that my words have an authority in their life, such as when I tell my youngest that she must hold my hand when we walk through a busy parking lot. She makes it very plain that she thinks she could do it by herself, and sometimes even asks me why she needs to hold my hand or for how long, but she recognizes that she must bend her will to mine and be under my instruction for crossing the road.
I like this definition because for me there’s so much more to it than just having them do something that I ask. It means that they accept me as an authority and that they are following the things that I’m trying to impart to them.