If you are new here, please have a browse through the first 3 posts in this series (part 1, part 2, part 3) before continuing on. For consequences to work effectively on your family, the foundations need to be in place, otherwise you will be running about cleaning up messes, rather than correcting the source of the problem.
We teach our children to obey for a number of reasons:
- Physical safety (Will your child stop when you call them or run out into the road?)
- The Bible instructs children to obey their parents and it is our responsibility to teach them to do so.
- Because we want our children to grow up wanting to love and obey God. God calls all of us to submit to His authority and to the authority He allows or places over us. This applies to children also and the authority that God places over them is their parents. If they won’t obey their parents (whom they can see), it is less likely that they will obey God (whom they can’t see.)
- It’s loving to do so (We obey God because we love Him.)
- It helps our children grow in character, becoming those who bring pleasure to others around them.
- It avoids anger and frustration in the parent that leads to escalation and inappropriate responses from us.
It is beyond the scope of the post to try and explain how to get first time obedience in your family. If you believe as I do that it is important enough to work on, there are some excellent resources available to help you in your journey.
- Growing Kids God’s Way courses from Growing Families International (US, Australia/New Zealand and other countries)
- Get hold of the Childwise books appropriate to the age of your child. See other titles at Growing Families US or Australia/New Zealand.
- Purchase a “First Time Obedience” chart and related downloadable audio sessions from Carla Link at Mom’s Notes. These are the best parenting resources. Well worth the money. Highly recommended. (No, I don’t get a commission 🙂 )
- This post at Large Families on Purpose is a good start if you are after a quick look at something to get you going.
I have not “arrived” when it comes to obedience. My children are far from perfect. And sadly, it is possible and even likely to achieve first time obedience with your children AND then lose it again over time! There are many factors at play here, from personality types, love languages, to parenting practice. But the job we have as Mothers and Fathers is the most important one in the world – one worth investing our time, energy and money into doing well, don’t you think?