Respect and obedience: training our children

`You don't have to always understand something to respect it."  Respect and obedience are qualities {characteristics} that I tell my children they will have to posses be they young or old.

Sometimes when they are feeling "unjustly" treated they will murmur to a sibling, "I'm not going to be like that with my kids, or that's why I will be glad when I become a lady" {or man as in the case of my little eight-year old boy}.

The world we live in today is littered with consequences of the young and old not holding God, others and themselves in high regard—lacking respect.

"A nation of fierce countenance who will have no respect for the old, nor show favor to the young". ~ Deuteronomy 28:50, NASB

This is the world we live in today.  Social programs are not the answer, though they help, they are not the solution.

The love, fear and reverence of God first is what our nation must get back to.  The reverence of God  is what's needed.  It needs to be taught by the parent at babies first breath.  It needs to be demonstrated through actions and talked about in the comings and goings of daily activities.

Our children need our time.  Our ear.  Our conversation.  Not always our reprimanding.  Not always our money and gifts.

Our children need us, their parents to give them limitations.  To set boundaries.  They need us to mean what we say, and to say what we mean.

When my husband shares childhood stories of him growing up, he always tells the children and me that at 12 he was out roaming the streets.  He said sometimes he would even be in a totally different city without his parents knowing.  Both of his parents worked and his older siblings were off in college.
My 16 year-old daughter laughed just yesterday when he retold his stories to us and she said, "We can't even go to the next street without letting mom know and getting permission first."

What she said is a very accurate statement of me.  I want to know who they are with and where they are going?  Who is the child's parents?  Where do they live?  What is their number?  And the list goes on.  My children are my responsibility.  They are gifts given to me by God.  They were cried, fasted and prayed for.  I don't take parenting them lightly at all.

Granted at their ages now, I've had to loosen up the reigns a lot.  They need freedom.  They even need the freedom to make mistakes.  It's how they learn.

Our neighborhood has become scary to me.  We are desperately praying to find property and move.  When we first moved here ten years ago we saw families.  We all strolled the neighborhood together, walking, riding bikes, roller blading, talking, smiling and waving.  Although some of that still exist, I am now seeing more and more young men who wear their pants down so low they can barely walk properly.  As if that isn't disgusting enough, they now think that everyone who beholds them want to know what kind of underwear they are wearing.  Disrespectful is what it is.  "Where are their parents?"  I often wonder.  "Where is their fathers?"

In all likelihood, a lot have not been taught. They are children who have been left to themselves.  Children who must fend for themselves.  A child left to care for himself most often will become a person who doesn't trust.  They will especially find it hard to trust those in authority, which makes it almost impossible to get them to see the need to obey the law of the land and to understand how a loving God desperately wants to have an intimate relationship with them.  This way is difficult for a lot of individuals to grasp because of how they were trained as children.

For many parents it becomes easier to not discipline.  To allow the child to go his own way—to not  be respectful becomes better for some of us momentarily. In doing this we don't have to hear the unpleasantness of the child being vocalized or see their unhappiness  acted out in their behavior.

Sometimes a parent just doesn't want to deal with the attitude and the drain that comes with training children.  It's hard work. Training our children isn't always a bed of roses.  Thus the easy way becomes the road taken more and more today: leaving the child to themselves to figure it out.

I tell my children,"It is better to get the training now at home while you are young so that you may learn and experience these truths... Truths which are preparing you for life.  Truths that are being taught to you from someone who loves you more than she loves her own life.  Someone who wants to see you soar to your greatest potential.  But most importantly, be a person who takes responsibility for your actions.  Don't hide behind someone else or excuses.  If you did it, you did it ... be it good or bad."

Just as we warn our children to stay away from bad places, people, things and situations, God, our so gracious loving Father warns us to stay away from dangerous actions.
The natural law of God's universe makes it clear that wrong doing toward others or God has tragic consequences.  Consequences that may not come for years after the wrong action has been committed.
God is merciful enough to tell us this truth plainly.  Motivated by love and not anger, His strong words help us avoid the serious consequences that result from neglecting God or wronging others.
Thankfully, God does not leave us with only curses or their consequences.  If you read Deuteronomy 28:1-4 you will discover the positive consequences—blessings, that come from living for God.

"You don't have to always understand something to respect it."


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