I was driving in the car with my oldest son who is five years old. He and I were going grocery shopping together. As I drove, he was telling me all about what he learned at Sunday school. I stopped at a stop sign then continued driving down the street, and my son said from the back seat, “Mommy, you are so obedient.”
This made me smile. My husband and I have been trying to teach our son about obedience. We tell him that we’re teaching him to obey us so that one day he’ll know how to obey God. God will be able to bless his life only when he is obedient to God’s direction.
I wondered what obedience my son saw in me. Did he notice how I try to always keep the house clean so my family can have a peaceful home? Did he see me volunteer for our church and understand the sacrifice I made? Or did he watch me take time out of my busy schedule to read the Bible and talk with God?
What my son said took me by surprise. He said, “You are obedient when you drive. You don’t break the rules so that the police officers don’t pull you over.”
After he said that, I had to take my foot off of the gas. I was driving faster than the speed limit and, thereby, breaking the law.
My son’s perceptions of my obedience even in the smallest of circumstances made me realize how important it is to obey the laws — God’s laws and man’s laws. My son notices every little thing I do, and he can sniff out a double standard anywhere.
How can I teach my son the importance of obedience when I’m disregarding laws that I don’t really care for? I’m sure my son doesn’t care for a dozen of rules that I enforce (brushing his teeth, washing his hands, picking up his toys), but he still has to do them for his own good.
I want to model to my son how to obey the rules out of love. I don’t want him to see me obeying the laws because of some guilt-trip or out of legalistic duty. I want to obey the laws out of respect and love for my God. I want my son to see my obedience in every facet of my life – not because I have to obey but because I want to obey. As long as the laws correspond with the Bible and are for “my own good,” I should strive for obedience.
If I want my son to obey and brush his teeth when I ask him to, I better take my foot off the gas and slow down!
“The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb” (Psalm 19.9-10 NIV).
Are there any small laws, like the speed limit, that you have not been taking seriously? How can you strive to obey the laws with an attitude that would be pleasing to God? Will you try meditating on those laws, imagining them to be “sweeter than honey”? Ask God to give you a compliant heart and change you from the inside out!
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