The Point of Obedience

We’ve launched into a discussion of what I’m now calling Polite Parenting.  Yesterday, we began by considering:

Principle 1: Don’t make it all about you.

Remember this is all grounded in a recognition that all our relationships are to be defined by submission to one another (Ephesians 5:21) and that the very foundation of this mindset is being polite.  So as we consider the biblical instruction about parents and children, we understand that simple courtesy is the starting point of how we are called to interact.

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.” Ephesians 6:1-3 NIV

Principle 2:  Obedience matters because it honors God.

In Colossians, Paul shared this same instruction, “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord” (Colossians 3:20 NIV)

The word obey in both these verses is the same, “hypakouo,” which means, to give heed, to follow, to yield.

When we teach our children to be obedient to us, we give them opportunity to learn to yield to God.

We must not take this lightly – demanding obedience for our own convenience or self-fulfillment.  Rather, we diligently train our children to give heed to our instruction because it affords them the blessing of pleasing the Lord.

Of course, this happens differently as our children grow older, but we must never allow ourselves the self-indulgence of believing that the major lesson of obedience is anything less that honoring God.

Let parents bequeath to their children not riches, but the spirit of reverence. ~ Plato

Thoughts?  Ponderings?  Conundrums?

Read the Psalms this summer with Scripture Dig!


  1. Awesome post! I try to make a point when disciplining of why we obey and have them quote "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. " Ephesians 6:1

  2. Ouch. There was a day when pride motivated me to discipline my children toward obedience. I wanted everyone around to see that I had my little ones under control. In Walmart, I'd see "those parents." You know the ones. Their children either ran up and down the aisles, or sat in the shopping cart crying. I'd prance by them with my children submissively following. I was better. I won the mommy award.

    Doesn't God have a way of humbling us, though? After years of prideful mistakes, I find myself praying that my children will be all right IN SPITE of me. I pray they'll win the God award!

  3. "After years of prideful mistakes, I find myself praying that my children will be all right IN SPITE of me."


  4. I love studying the Greek! Thanks for educating us all in this area!

    I'm loving this study that you're taking us through. You're really giving us all wonderful insight.

    Happy iFellowship Day!

  5. This is such a hard thing to learn. We say the same thing… please let our kids grow to be faithful in spite of us… not because of us. Great… GREAT topic!

  6. Thanks for your words of wisdom in this post. I am the Father of a 16 year old daughter. I am seeing some things now that I should have done differently when she was younger. Don't get me wrong, she is a wonderful young lady and I'm sure she loves God but she struggles a bit with the obedience issue (only in the small things).

    I have enjoyed my time on your blog today. I really love your zeal for God. Keep up the good work. You are honoring God.


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