Obedience, or Idolatry?

Thanks to Jesus’ sacrifice we are no longer in relationship with God based on our own efforts. Thanks to Jesus’ sacrifice we can stand before God and cry out ‘ABBA’ ‘Daddy’ and not only can we run to Him, but He runs to us. We have intimacy of relationship with God in Heaven thanks to Jesus’ sacrifice of atoning blood here on earth. Jesus suffered the consequences of disobedience to God’s Law, of which we are all guilty and which is referred to throughout the Bible as sin, so that we don’t have to.

Yet what does punitive parenting teach? Two things, I suggest, that violate all that these verses instruct:

Yet what does punitive parenting teach? Two things, I suggest,
that violate all that these verses instruct:

  • 1) Punitive parenting
    requires that atonement for a violation of the law be paid by the
    personal suffering of the individual guilty of the sin and
  • 2)
    Punitive parenting teaches the parents’ law ahead of God’s Law.

When I came to these realizations I was floored. I was shocked. My jaw literally dropped. The idea that our children will eventually learn to obey God if we require that they obey us is counter to all that Scripture says. It’?s counter to God’s instruction. And when we put our law ahead of God’s Law we are teaching our children to worship us-a worship where violations of our law are atoned for with the physical suffering of our children as they atone for their sins. This is idolatry.

Look again at the first 5 Commandments. Love of God and obedience to Him take up the first 4 Commandments. ‘Honor your father and mother’ doesn’t come into play until number 5. Children don’t learn to obey God by being required to obey us. They learn to honor us AFTER they have learned to honor God. We are not the end all be all and we are not even the means to the end. We are, however, the tools of instruction for the children to whom God has entrusted to us. We are, therefore, admonished to choose a style of discipline that truly teaches children the Commandments of God. God’s Law is summed up by Jesus in these two

  • ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength’
  • and

  • ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.

‘Teach your children these two things and you will be teaching them to fulfill all of the Law and the Prophets.

That is obedience.

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