The 1 Peter 1:13-16 passage has been great to clear out the fog and help me refocus my mind!
The New Living translation paints the next verse in a very practical light that helps us see
ourselves and our children more clearly.
“So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to
satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then.”
I can picture my children as 18-month-olds being disciplined for doing something wrong they
didn’t know was wrong. I can still see big eyes looking up at me in shock that they had done
something that made me angry or afraid.
I shouldn’t knock the other baby down in nursery when he takes my toy from me?
I shouldn’t throw a rock at a car?
I shouldn’t roll my stuffed animals down the stairs and leave them there?
They don’t know better until we teach them what’s right. They are ignorant.
Our children rely on us to train them to do what they should and to become who they should
become. When they learn the right things to do and do them, they are obedient children. When
they disobey and do what they know is wrong, they give into their old ways of living to satisfy
their own evil desires.
When your son is three and, in his anger, hits his younger brother for taking his toy, he is going
back to the old way of living. However, he is no longer ignorant; he is disobedient because he
knows hitting is wrong. A different lesson must be imparted to discipline (teach) him, so he
understands the consequences of disobedience. These lessons progress until your son
understands what is expected of him when someone takes away his things. Eventually, he will
know who the proper people are to inform and seek help from to receive justice. If he learns
this lesson at a young age with the help of your consistent training, when someone steals
something from him as an adult, he will go to the proper authorities to seek justice instead of
trying to take vengeance on the offending party personally. We are training adults when we
train our children.
Consistency in parenting is key to training and preparing our children to do the right things as
adults. Not conforming to our old lives by giving into our evil desires (seeking vengeance
without going to the proper authorities, driving away from a fender bender because there
seems to be no damage, etc.) takes a clear mind, self-control, and hope that there is something
better than giving into our evil desires!
I pray that as you live as an obedient child to God, making right choices that honor Him, your
children will follow your example and training, following you right toward Jesus.
What is the hardest thing for you to be obedient to God about?