Over the time that your children are in your home you will give them many gifts. Some will be small. Some will be huge. Some will be foolish and unwise. Some will be well thought out. Some will be unappreciated. Some will be cherished. This is the nature of gifts. The one sure way you can know if your gift is good is if your gift is one that is commanded by God.
Parents often don’t think of obedience as a gift. But teaching your children to obey is among the most precious gifts that you can possibly give. Paul puts it this way in Ephesians 6:1-3:
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
Solomon says this in Proverbs 4:1-2:
Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;
pay attention and gain understanding.
I give you sound learning,
so do not forsake my teaching.
Teaching your children that biblical obedience is doing exactly what they are told, right away, with a good attitude is a gift that will serve them for the rest of their life.
Not too long ago I spoke with a mother whose daughter had just told of how she honored God in a trying situation as a young adult. The daughter spoke of how she recalled passages of scripture that her mom taught her as child. She remembered them as she faced her trial. These passages brought peace to her and helped her to do what was right. This response was something that her mom and dad had prayed for as they taught her to obey as a very young child. These parents had given their child the gift of obedience that can only come from submission to Christ.
There are times when you wonder whether the seemingly endless confrontations with teaching your child to obey quickly are really worth it – take heart, they are!