One of the more remarkable examples of peer pressure or fear of man found in the Bible is the story of Jehoshaphat and King Ahab in 2 Chronicles 18. The Spirit is God was gracious to provide such a clear and vivid account of the dynamics of peer pressure. There is much you can use in the chapter to teach your children about this all too common tendency of making the opinion of others more important than the opinion of God.
Proverbs 16 provides wise instruction for parents who want to train their children to obey. It offers key, comprehensive insights about establishing authority on the basis of righteousness; this kind of authority is essential for biblical parenting. Let’s take a look at what the Holy Spirit has prepared for those whom God has placed in authority. I will pay particular attention to how these truths apply to the family, but the principles are valuable for anyone who has authority over others.
There is a certain joy in obedience. This joy does not flow from obedience that seeks to earn acceptance, favor or status. Such “obedience” is self-serving and will not result in true joy. Neither can this joy flow from obedience that seeks to appease. Appeasement is always an elusive goal and can never bring satisfaction. One will always wonder if one has done enough to make things right.
Proverbs 16:12 offers a challenge to anyone in a position of authority over others, especially parents. This verse teaches that righteousness is what establishes authority. While a multitude of theories and books offer differing takes on how to be an effective leader, the Bible offers this one basic concept. Implicit in the biblical concept is the idea that all authority is derived from God; it is not earned. So, the focus on righteousness is also a focus on the One who granted the authority in the first place. The appeal to God’s authority, accomplished by yielding to him in righteousness, establishes a person’s individual authority. This leads to two practical applications.