Today as we continue our series A Family that Prays together, Stays Together, we will be looking at Obedience by Choice.
I remember growing up, all my mother had to do was give us “the look” and we fell into line. Honestly, it seems to me like those of us who are 30 years or older were more “obedient” than this younger generation (saying this just made me feel old…).
I often wonder why this is? Why were we more obedient than this younger generation? Is it because we obeyed because of fear? Is it because our parents were stricter? Is it because we were more respectful of our parents and others in authority?
I ask myself these questions a lot as I look at my children.
I read somewhere about a “method” some parents use to gain implicit obedience from their children (I am totally against this and so I will not even post a link or the name)
Everyday, I talk about obedience as the children never fail to create a situation where it must be said. And everyday, I keep praying about their obedience too.
But, I have realized that my prayers are not to be focused on their obedient behavior.
I pray for them to have an obedient heart and a heart of love.
My children can modify their behaviors on the outside, but they could still be disobedient in their heart. I remember many times complying with instructions, but being angry and defiant in my heart.
I don’t want this for my children. I believe that no parent should.
So I pray that my children CHOOSE to obey, not out of fear but out of love.
As Christians, we recognize that we are not perfect and that God is still working on our hearts. Our children are not perfect either, and God is still working on their hearts too. And just like we realize that our struggle to obey is a matter of the heart, theirs is too.
So as we pray our children, let us pray for them to have a new heart, where Jesus reigns, so that they will choose to obey because of love, and not out of fear or force.