Obedience is probably the greatest struggle any parent has with their children. Often, though, we will get wrapped around the axle on our children complying to make our day easier rather than teaching them the value of obedience to authority and as an opportunity to serve another and God. Nightly we hope to teach our kids that by repeating the sign “Will to Obey”.
Just like our other signs there is a complexity to this phrase. Often it’s thought that obedience is working itself through the desire to do what we, as the authority, wants. Obedience, however, is a virtue that we must instill in our children by teaching them about it and living it out. It surely is not something that we are free from as adults, in fact, the stakes are higher and truthfully can be more difficult to have a will to obey.
Hebrews 5:8 says that Jesus, “Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered”. This verse depicts the incarnation of God living within the confines of time in this world as he grows from childhood to adulthood and even as he discovers his ministry to be the salvation of the world. And what does it take for him to learn obedience? Suffering. If God incarnate has to learn obedience through suffering then we can imagine that it will be through difficult trials that we will learn obedience as well.
Now add to it a child that comes from a hard place who doesn’t have the coping skills to handle difficult situations well. In those times, when we are connecting with the child and in tune with their brains we can see this as a way to help them with the difficult times to bring about a will to obey. In the moment you may not have compliance but we want more than that when we are talking about their heart. If you are like us, we are looking for a heart that can recognize a moment to serve and do what God is calling them to do.