Worry, Anxiety, Obedience and Your Children

Obedience to God is something that is meant to bring comfort and peace to life. The Holy Spirit illuminates his word so that obedience can be the ultimate stress reliever. Jesus urges you to know the relief and refreshment from taking his yoke upon you instead of trying to figure out life for yourself. John says the commands of God are not burdensome.

I can hear someone thinking or saying, “Time out! These are not exactly my first thoughts about obedience. What are you talking about?”

Well, such an objection is totally understandable. Sadly for most parents and children obedience is associated with wording similar to “obey or else!” — not much comfort there.

But this is not what the Holy Spirit has in mind regarding obedience. The Spirit says obedience is a blessing that brings light to your eyes and joy to your heart. When Jesus was presented with the most powerful temptations ever made to a human, he clung to the word of God as his refuge, his place of safety.

If this is true, then why is there the great disconnect between what God has designed obedience to be and the real-life experiences of so many Christians and their children? There are several answers, but I think there is one that contributes more than others. The meaning of obedience is sabotaged when it is thought of as a means of acceptance rather than a blessing and privilege.

If thinking about obedience adds to your stress and anxiety level you are robbing yourself and your children of God’s peace and protection. Obedience is not the means to a reward, obedience is your reward.

If you trust God by following the path of obedience that means you are not trusting yourself and your assessment of life. The Holy Spirit says this is good thing.

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones.

Obedience is God’s loving direction to keep you and your children from trusting what you think is best. Worry and anxiety come from either ignoring or doubting what God has told you to do.

Obedience is not a hoop to jump through. Obedience is a blessing where you shift the burden of responsibility from yourself to God. This is huge for your kids. If they are wise in their own eyes, if they think they have a better way to live life than God’s loving provision of obedience, then worry, fear, anxiety and heartache await. But if you teach and model for them that trusting God through obedience is the path to peace then you have given them blessing beyond measure.

Biblical obedience is a response of gratitude to God for the mercy and grace he has poured into your life. Don’t be wise your own eyes. Love the word and laws of God, they are your life.

Shepherd Press