On Teaching Obedience


Dear Liza,

You were asking some tips on how to raise an obedient child.   I am not an expert on child rearing, but through years of raising my own children, I observed some important realities that every mother should consider in training their children

Realize that man is inherently sinful. Children left to themselves are inclined to be disobedient.  If you will not take effort to discipline your son John, don’t get surprised if he grew-up to be ill-mannered and disobedient. That is his natural tendency.

God has mandated parents to bring-up their children in “the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”    Children have natural resistance towards the good, making the teaching of obedience extremely difficult.  Since you spend more time with your child, compared to your husband, you should be more responsible in disciplining and teaching  him.  Don’t wait for your husband to deal with your son’s  misbehavior.

You must inculcate in his young mind that whenever he obeys, he is glorifying God and this will make him happier.  But you must know the Scripture fully well so you can impart its wisdom to your child. “And these words which I command you  today , shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your son and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Deut. 6:6-7).

Neglecting your parental duty dishonors God’s name. If You and your husband are followers of Christ.  But if John is growing up like a bully, ill-mannered and disobedient, you are putting a snare in the name of Christianity.  Your neighbors will not be attracted to the Gospel that we proclaim.

An obedient child will find it easier to obey God’s commands and submit to His work of providence.  Being trained at home to be respectful, he too will be respectful/courteous to his teachers and other older persons.  It will not be hard for him to follow rules and regulations in school and in the community. An obedient heart will keep him from complaining and becoming discontented.

Being obedient will keep your son from a lot of troubles. Obedience will shield your child from the damaging consequences brought about by rebellion.  It will make his life more meaningful and productive.  Thus the reward for faithful parenting will take years to reap, but it is sure and sweet.

Do not take any act of disobedience  lightly.   An ignorant mother thinks that it is petty if her little boy makes faces, pouts or stomps his tiny feet when asked to share his toy. But NO, it is not petty! As this little boy grows older, this “petty” disobedience will breed its ugly head of answering back, slamming doors, or rebelling against the very mother who has been taking care of him.

Persevere to correct a child’s (every) mis-behavior. You will be tried sorely. But realize that as you win each battle for control; as you bend the will of the child to yield to what is right, you are making it easier the next time around. If you have been faithful in training him to obey, your job will be easier as he gets older.  This will make you and your child happier, your house at peace, and God’s name honored in your family.

I hope these helps.


With love in Christ,

Tita Haydee




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