At some point it is the desire of just about any living parent to have their children abide by “first time obedience.” To have our kids react and obey “the first time” they are asked or given instruction would be such a blessing. Occassionally this happens and you pinch yourself to make sure it isn’t a dream. Most of the time, however my children have to be asked more than once to do something.
I am blessed by having good kids, so in their defense, sometimes it is because they don’t hear me and sometimes because they don’t want to hear me. Sometimes they have their own agenda on their minds. There are times I have the patience to recognize what the problem is and find a calm or creative way to deal with it. On other occassions my agenda and impatience prevent the presence of calmness or creativity.
The other day was one of those rather rare creative moments when the Lord provided me with an option after the kids didn’t obey. I realized that I had always told the kids, “the Bible says, ‘Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.’ Ephesians 6:1,” without ever explaining the benefits or consequences of obedience.
After some Bible study I took time to do this, and I have noticed a bit of difference in my oldest child. This is not the last time we will have this lesson. I know there will be many more moments together reminding them (or myself) what the Bible says about obedience. It was a great reminder to me, to look to the Lord first when I don’t know what to do (2 Chronicles 20: 12). But more than anything, it was proof that practicing obedience to God does yield Godly results in my family. So the moral of the story is that demonstrating obedience will yield obedience. Christ says in John 15:5, “Apart from Me you can do nothing,” – that includes obedience.