Continued from Part I
Obedience is a Blessing.
The book of Proverbs is filled with admonishments to listen to your father, seek wisdom, and shun folly. Proverbs 4:1 “Here ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.” According to Proverbs 3:1-2, Obeying your parents will bring you peace and good life. "My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity."
For one, obeying parents brings you physical protection. Rules put up borders that keep you out of dangerous situations. “Don’t sit on the railing” is a good rule to have when you’re 15 stories above the pavement.
I remember when one of my daughters was a year and a half and we were camping at Glacier Park. Anyone that's camped at Glacier knows that sometimes you're lucky to get any kind of spot at all, let alone find a perfect one. Our campsite was not only close to the road, but cars came around a tree lined curve and couldn’t see us until they were right in front. While we were setting up the tent, I kept an eye on little girl, just waiting for her to make a move toward the road. As soon as she did, I spanked her once, good and hard. Then I went back to work and watcdhed her again. Sure enough, when she saw one of her older siblings start walking toward the bathroom, she followed. So I spanked her bottom hard again. After a few minutes, we did it a 3rd time. She didn’t try it a fourth time.
Why did I spank her hard right off the bat? To possibley save her life. I'm only human and while I can make a concentrated effort to keep my eyes on her for periods of time, I know there is no way I can do it 100% of the time. I knew I wasn’t perfect enough to be able to spend two days at that camp without ever taking my eye off her for a moment, so I wanted to set up the only kind of fence I could, an emotional one. I wanted her to know from the start that going that direction meant pain. Best to get business out of the way as soon as possilble. She didn't understand at the time, but it was a lot better for her to feel that pain on her butt then for her to get hit by a car.
Believe it or not, even at the age of 14, 15 and 16, childen still need fences and boundaries that they may not understand. And it’s okay for kids not to completely understand them. Obey anyway.
Emotional protection; Through obedience, kids not only have the comfort of knowing their parents care enough about you to make rules, but they also have the comfort of the rules themselves.
As long as parents have laid down a rule, you are protected. You don’t have to make up an excuse for your friends as to why you can’t do something. You have the comfort of being able to say, “My Dad won’t let me.” Period. No other explanation is necessary. You can feel safer with rules. Limits can be a comfort.
This is something else I know from experience. I grew up without parents who watched me close or gave me rules. When I was eight and the parents of my friends were telling them they couldn’t cross the highway and they had to be home in an hour, I thought I had it good because my parents didn’t care where I went. But the key phrase here is “didn’t care.” When I was a teenager and could go where I wanted, I still thought I had it good. But in my heart, a lot of the people I was around really scared me. I hung out with them, but truth is I didn't really like most of them. I was being asked to do things that scared me. I thought I was happy and having a good time, but in truth, I was a scared little girl who actually felt worthless. How great it would have been to have parents that set boundaries and kept me safe.
Spiritual protection: A third reason to obey is simply because God tells you to.
Proverbs 6:20, 23 “My son, keep they father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother…for the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.”
Most of the time your parents aren’t harassing you just because they haven’t got anything better to do. Most of the time they harass you because they Love you and know they only have a few more years left to teach you before you turn 18 ...and go out and fall on your face.
A) Eph. 6: 1-3, “Children, Obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honor your father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”
B) 1 Sam 15:22 says obedience is better than sacrifice. Why? Because obedience in itself is one of the greatest sacrifices. When you make the decision to be obedient, you are deciding to follow the wishes of someone else, and not follow your OWN desires. You are sacrificing your own yearnings. This is the same kind of thing as fasting is. Giving up what YOU want, for the sake of someone else’s wants.
C) Romans 6:18, Obedience brings Righteousness. You feel it. Things change in your life and in your heart. There are very real, tangible Blessings from being obedient.
D) Romans 6:19, “You are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have come slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
More to Come... Hey Parents! Think About Your Kid!