We all grew up with sayings…
I’m sure you’ve heard the timeless:
“If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.”
My experience of today’s “We get what we get and we don’t throw a fit.” was a little more gruff:
“Well, life’s not fair. Tough.”
Perhaps the most non-politically correct of all was:
“I brought you into this world…I can take you out of it.”
(Because moms don’t really have the right to take their children out. Unless they want to do some serious jail-time.)
I chuckle as I think back on some of the sayings that I grew up with... Then I began to write down all the sayings that I’ve found myself using with my own children. I’ve deemed them shareable, so here’s the start of the Momma Says Series. I hope these will encourage you - and perhaps challenge you.
“OK, I’ll obey - right away.”
The Bible instructs us in Ephesians 6:1 that children are to obey their parents. It goes on to say that the children are to honor [regard with great respect] their parents. This is the first commandment with a promise! (see Ephesians 6:2)
Understanding your role as a parent, gives you the authority - as well as the responsibility - to have your children obey you.
It’s just right.
John 1:17 says,
“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
Jesus came with both of these attributes: Grace and Truth. We should parent with both of them as well.
Too much of one - and not enough of the other - will have negative long-lasting results…
If we parent with too much Grace and not enough Truth, our children won’t learn the consequences of their poor choices and bad behavior. When we swoop in and save them from receiving discipline and/or consequences, we forfeit them to experience the Godly sorrow that “brings repentance that leads to salvation.” (2 Corinthians 7:10)
If we parent with too much Truth and not enough Grace, we have the ability to break them. When we don’t hand out the Grace Card at times - in place of punishment - we have the potential to harden their hearts towards us (and God).
Ephesians 6:4 says it this way:
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.”
Jesus came with both. We must parent with both.
With that being said, my husband and I have a conviction that:
Delayed Obedience is Disobedience
We do not give instruction to our children and then count “1…2…3…” - awaiting our children to decide whether or not they will obey us. Because on principle, allowing them even three seconds of delayed obedience would be teaching them that disobedience is OK. Even appropriate. And it’s not.
Because children are to obey their parents. It’s just right.
So…when their own sin nature and selfish desire is at play - we have them respond with:
“OK, I’ll obey - right away.”
I teach this to my children - starting at a very young age. My desire is that this lesson would be ingrained [firmly fixed or established; difficult to change] in their hearts, so when God - their Heavenly Father - gives them an instruction - they would (without hesitancy) say, “OK, I’ll obey - right away!”