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The Blessings of Obedience – Tips for Christian Parents

Laura Kuehn, LCSW
Written by Laura Kuehn, LCSW

It is our job to help them see that obedience is more attractive than disobedience. Here are some suggestions on how to talk to children about the blessings that come from obeying Mom and Dad.

A parent’s job is more than just discipline. It is more than just making sure our kids are always happy. It is more than a list of arbitrary rules. Parenting is a proactive, preventative, purposeful activity where a child’s character is pursued over his happiness.

Today we are going to explore another parental role: encouraging our children with conversations and illustrations about the blessings that come from obedience.

Deuteronomy 28: 1-14 is our model for this concept. In the preceding books, the nation of Israel was miraculously freed from slavery in Egypt, saw the mighty hand of God at work in their protection and sustainment (remember the Red Sea, manna from heaven, the cloud by day and pillar of fire by night?) and experienced God dwelling in their midst (the tabernacle). It is with this backdrop that God shares the multitude of blessings they will receive if they obey. These words take place during a time of peace and when the nation has a soft heart toward God.

Let’s now apply this to our role as parents. Today, we will look at the blessings your children can expect to receive if they choose a path of obedience.

You will notice that these blessings are not in the form of material rewards, gifts or treats. While there certainly is a place in parenting for these types of rewards, as a general rule they are a cheap substitute for the substantive, internal blessings that come from obedience. Feel free to add your own ideas for blessings in the comments section below. Here are some things you can point out to your child regarding obedience:

You will hear more yes’s than no’s

The next time your child is in a good place of obedience and asks for a privilege, say “yes.” Then say to him, “See how much more likely I am to say ‘yes’ when you are being obedient?” Help him connect the dots.

You will feel joyful

Obedience actually feels better. Point out to your child how you see an obedient heart reflected in their overall mood. You can say, “I have noticed that you smile more when you are obedient.”

You will enjoy a positive family mood

The old saying, “one rotten apple can spoil the whole bushel” is true in families as well. Ever notice that even one family member can affect the mood of the whole family? You can say, “The whole family mood seems happy and upbeat when everyone is making good choices.”

You will be trusted to do the right thing

Children who are choosing obedience are more easily trusted. Tell them, “Yes, you can take that package to the neighbor’s house. I can trust you to be where you are supposed to be because you have been making good choices lately.”

You will experience forgiveness

Everyone makes mistakes. Soft, remorseful hearts are easy to forgive. When you see repentance personified, tell them you notice it. You can say something like, “The way you apologized really showed me how sorry you are. I can tell that you have a sad heart about what you did wrong. I accept your apology.”

A note to parents

Notice that all of these acknowledgements of blessings come during times of peace. Using them as a threat or a “carrot” will be less effective (ie: “Well, if you listened to me, I would be able to trust you more, but since you don’t listen, I can’t.”). These truths are just that: truths. They are not intended to manipulate your child into compliance. It is simply another way to disciple your children and to teach them that God’s way is best and is the path that brings the most peace.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for treatment from a qualified mental health professional. Cornerstones for Parents is not liable for any advice, tips, techniques, and recommendations the reader chooses to implement.

About Laura

Laura Kuehn, LCSW

Laura Kuehn, LCSW

Laura is a licensed therapist who offers individual and parent counseling to residents of Connecticut. Cornerstones for Parents is the place she combines some of her favorite things: writing, parenting and God's word. She is happily married with a young adult son and a teenage daughter.

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