By Tedd and Margy Tripp
There are innumerable spiritual blessings for children who live under God’s structures of authority. They learn that God is good and kind. They learn that creatures find happiness as they know and trust God. They understand that the true nature of freedom is not autonomy (being a law to myself), but joyfully walking in God’s laws. They learn to trust God to work through their parents to bring blessing to their lives. They learn that true joy is not having my own way, but following the will of God. They learn that living as God has ordained is the best life a created being can have.
These are rich spiritual blessings. Children will never learn these truths if they are self-directed, autonomous people who think life is good only when they have no external restraints.
There are also practical ways it goes well with obedient children. People respond much more favorably to children who are under authority than to children who are wild and unruly.
Imagine planning a family outing with your children. You are going to spend the day hiking through some rugged and beautiful country and perhaps enjoy an overnight under the stars. You want to invite one or two other children along to be companions and to enjoy the adventure with your family. Who are you going to invite? A child who is wild and unruly? A child who will only listen to you if he happens to agree? A child who will complain when the firewood needs to be gathered? A child who will fight you over each step of the hike? You get the point. You are going to invite a child who is responsive to adult leadership. In scores of practical ways it will go well with the child who understands that God’s world is vertical.
The world doesn’t cease to be vertical because we think it is horizontal. We cannot change the ways that God has made the world. I can refuse to acknowledge God’s orderly maintenance of the atmosphere through what we call gravitation, but if I walk off the top of a tall building, gravity will be authenticated immediately…
Christ is a wonderful example for our children. He humbled himself. He placed himself under authority. Christ submitted to the Father for the purpose of redemption. He came to earth on the Father’s mission. He spoke the words the Father gave him to say. He always did the things that the Father told him to do. He was fully submissive to his father.
From Instructing a Child’s Heart.