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Why I Teach My Son to Obey and Other Thoughts on Obedience

When I am teaching my son to obey, right away, all the way, and in a pleasant way, there are three reasons for it:
  1. Honestly, it makes my life a lot easier if I don't have to try to convince him to do what I want him to do.  It also makes his life easier because he knows that he doesn't need to fight me on things, he just needs to do them.
  2. I feel that I am training him to obey God as I train him to obey Michael and I.  Now don't take that the wrong way.  I am well aware that I am as far from being God as everyone else.  But first of all, Ephesians 6:1 tells children to obey their parents, so by requiring Little Guy to obey me, I am helping him follow the one commandment that God gives specifically to children.  Secondly, I am trying to teach him a lifelong habit of obedience.  Our lives are usually much more joyful when we are obeying God than when we are trying to do our own thing.
  3. It is good training for when he is an employee.  No one wants to keep someone on the payroll that isn't willing to do what needs to be done for the company to stay afloat.  Nor do they want to deal with someone that has a poor attitude about doing the tasks they are given.
Common Objections to Complete Obedience
  • Children taught to obey adults without question are more likely to be sexually abused.
    • This is something that worries me too!  Since my son has been old enough to talk, we have discussed that his private parts are his, and that no one should touch or look at them.  We have practiced what he should do if anyone ever wants him to do inappropriate things.  I have told him that if anyone tries to do anything involving private parts he needs to scream at them and say no, hit them, kick them, bite them, whatever he has to do.  I have also emphatically stated that he would NEVER, EVER be in trouble if someone did something bad to him, and he should never be afraid to tell me.  We also use the correct words for our body parts, despite my husband finding that to be awkward. 
  • If I teach them to obey without question, they will not stand up for themselves or what is right.
    • I would never want my son to do immoral things because his superior told him to.  I want him to stand up for what is right, no matter the cost, if his boss tells him to lie on an expense report or something, he should say no, and be willing to lose his job to do the right thing.  Often when we are talking about obedience, I bring up dangerous, or wrong things that someone might tell him to do, and we discuss that although obeying is important, it is more important to obey God than man.  As he gets older this is something we will discuss more thoroughly. 
  • How will they become leaders if they are taught to obey just authority without question?
    • Well, in our industrialized world, the likelihood is that they won't be leaders, at least not at their jobs.  It is just a fact that unless they are going to live a self-sufficient lifestyle, they are more than likely going to be someone's employee.  Also, as my son (and other children if I happen to have more) gets older I intend to give him lots of opportunities to be a leader, make decisions, and be responsible.  Obeying the authorities over you is not necessarily contrary to being a leader.  We all have rules to follow and consequences if we choose not to follow them.


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