Parenting and Obedience

Every parent has expectations for his/her child. Every parent defines obedience and disobedience somewhat differently (what matters to me as a parent may not matter to you and vice versa). What I view as funny, you may see as disrespectful. What you overlook as normal childishness, I may see as disobedience which demands correction. Thinking through these issues from the perspective of discipleship can be helpful. Consider this quote from Andreas Kostenberger:

Parents who neglect to hold their children accountable for rendering obedience fail them in that they do not help them along the path of Christian discipleship, of which obedience is a central component. Hence the primary importance of obedience is not for parents to receive their children’s obedience, but for parents to help children to learn to exercise obedience ultimately in their relationship with God. The fact that proper obedience is possible, for children as well as for adults, ultimately only as a result of a faith commitment in Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit, suggests that introducing the child to a personal relationship with God in Christ ought to be a burning fire in the heart of every Christian parent (primarily because of their concern for their child’s  salvation). Nevertheless, obedience should be demanded and obedience punished, even in non-Christian (not-yet) children.

Andreas Kostenberger, God, Marriage, and Family, page 106

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