One of my greatest desires for my kids is obedience. I want them to respect the authority and the Lordship of God. Though it is my desire for them, it is a process of learning and can take years to grasp. But how do they learn obedience?
We read in Hebrews 5:8, "Though He was God's Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered. After He was perfected, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him."
Jesus learned obedience through suffering, through trials and through temptations. Even God's own Son had to learn to be obedient in His earthly body. I wonder how many times God the Father wanted to intervene and keep Jesus from suffering. Did He feel the anxious emotions that I feel when I am parenting after my child's poor choice?
The fact that God allowed Jesus to walk through trials demonstrates two things. 1.) There was no other way - or God would have made it so. 2.) God had confidence in His Son to stand firm under temptation.
This verse beckoned me to consider not only that Christ understands my temptations because He was tempted too, but also to consider the characteristics of a Father who imparted on His Son the desire for obedience, even when obedience cost Him is life.
I have to believe that Jesus recognized the beauty of being aligned to the Father. He had experienced the heart of His Father. He knew the kind of Father he was and is, patient, full of mercy and a giver of all good things.
Can I also have confidence in my kids to desire to be in alignment with Truth? Perhaps their obedience starts with me and my own obedience.
I believe that as I focus my energy on being obedient to God, that my example will speak for me to my children. I pray when my children hear me say "no", when they really want me to say "yes", they will know my heart for them. My "no" is not to withhold but to protect and grow them.
I invite you to sit with me in these questions below and with Hebrews 5:8 this week :
Am I the kind of parent that my kids desire to obey because they know my heart for them?
Where do I need to practice a better example of obedience?
How can I best demonstrate to my kids the blessings that comes from saying "yes" to God and "no" to the world?