Teaching our children to yield is hard work. I’ve heard it said we spend the first two years of their lives making them the center of the world and the next sixteen trying to undo that perception.
Yielding doesn’t come naturally to most of us. We want our way. Selfishness is inherent to our sin nature.
My parents were very young when they had me—like seniors in high school young. I imagine they’d readily admit they had no clue how to parent me and my two younger brothers, all born by the time they were twenty. I don’t remember a lot of rules growing up. But I do remember the expectation that we would obey.
I have often told my daughter there is only one rule she has to remember, “Obey.”
Scripture says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1 ESV). One of the greatest lessons of obedience is learning to yield. When I tell my daughter to clean her room, she is learning to submit her desire to watch TV to my expectation of her obedience.
Isn’t that what being a disciple is all about? Learning to submit our desires to the expectation of Christ.
We live in a world that doesn’t demand or even generally expect children to be obey. But when we teach our children to be obedient, we are giving them the opportunity to learn to yield to God. What a precious legacy to offer them!