So that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything!

4 Keys to Healthy Family Dynamics, Part 3. Obedience


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 a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

Healthy family dynamics are not only the responsibility of the husband and the wife (or mom and dad), but are additionally the role and responsibility of the child who is a part of the family (this living and growing organism).

However, apart from parents doing their jobs to lovingly teach and encourage health, it will not happen by sure will or through overly disciplining/controlling them into compliance.  Our kids don’t just wake up one day and magically desire to be completely obedient (which is a good thing).  It is vital for our kids to witness mom and dad living in a loving, submitted and obedient life with each other and with God. This is part of God’s work in them to make them COMPLETE as He is doing in us.

Now, it seems feasible and reasonable for a small child to obey their parents, but if any of you have had or currently have a 2 year old (like me) you know that it is easier said then done.  I as I write this I have 3 little ones 6 and under and on some days it seems like I obey them more then they obey me or my wife.  They are strong willed little beasts that want what they want, when they want it.  For those of you who have older children or even children out of the home, the lines of “obedience” become pretty fuzzy and unclear to say the least.  Much grace and patience is needed.

As parents, we must always keep in mind that our goal is not to create compliant kids who jump when we say jump etc.  This is not blind, stupid, obedience.  Just as God does not desire mindless followers, but instead passionate and informed followers.  There is a difference between honor/respect and obedience.  If your parents are causing you or others harm then seek the counsel of a trusted adult who can help you walk through that situation.

Otherwise, children (even adult children) are called to love and honor their parents.  Eph 6:1-3 gives us insight into why. 1. It is right (it honors God) and 2. The Promise of a good and long life.

Simply put this means that as children (and we were all children before we were parents or “in charge”) that you listen, understand and respond appropriately.  Easier said then done!  Once again fathers (and mothers) it is an easier sell to our kids to trust what we say when what we say matches the way we live.  “Do as I say, not as I do!” is a bad practice and parenting.

If you still live at home and your parent asks you to do something… 1st Listen and 2nd try to understand (if you don’t, ask for clarity – “what did you mean?”  3rd respond appropriately (w/o attitude).   Remember a dirty “look” is a response too!!!  This means good life for you!

How does/has “obedience” looked and functioned in your home?  If you don’t have kids… share how your family dynamics growing up formed who you are today and your understanding of the role of obedience in the family. Let’s learn from each other!

Leave a comment – would love to hear from you!

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