Alright wise mama (and grandma) friends, I have a topic on which I would love for you to share your opinions, insights, and resources.
Obviously, we all want our children to obey when we tell them what to do. We want them to respect us and our requests because (in general) as their parents we know what is best for them.
Of course this starts with “blind obedience” initially; your toddler doesn’t listen out of the goodness of his heart when you say not to touch the oven. They learn to listen because you are the parent and the authority figure and you redirect or correct as necessary. (Although sometimes toddlers just plain don’t listen at all! Oh my trouble bear!)
But eventually, at some point in time, the big goal is that our children choose to obey because they have respect for us and our wisdom and authority. And most of all because they have The Lord in their heart and a desire to serve and love others. We aim for hearts that are loving, kind, and always seeking the wisest choice. At least we can hope, right???
So my question is, how do you foster heart obedience? Not a blind obedience to authority (because goodness knows there are plenty of times that an ‘authority’ figure might ask you to make a morally questionable decision or such) but a respectful obedience. A knowledge of when to listen and how to respectfully choose not to listen. How do you make the transition from “I’m mom so do it because I said so!?” And how do you do it with mercy and grace to protect the growing heart of your little one?
I’ve been focusing on this lately in my quiet time and I have lots of thoughts, but I really wanted to hear from other wise women!
Ultimately, I do think it comes down to making sure The Lord is in the heart of your child, because all wisdom and respect will come from Him. So obviously that is an important focus, but I do think there are other steps that start much younger than they can make the choice to accept Christ into their hearts.
What do you think??