The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart…1
Welcome to a time of enlightenment as we delve into God’s word to see what to do when faced with some life situations in the family.
The Christian family is not immune from the everyday issues of life and living. The assurance we have is that of VICTORY over all that might come against us in the world. However, for a victorious walk, we need to display wisdom, Godly wisdom coming from the one by whom every family in heaven and earth is named.2
We cannot afford to neglect God’s offer of wisdom by His word and turn to worldly means for solving problems; God’s word contains the complete and perfect solution for anything you might be going through as a family.
This week, we’ll be considering ‘what to do when you have a disobedient child’.
Disobedience is simply a willful decision to go against orders. It can also be described as non-compliance, defiance or breaking the rules. In our context, disobedience is when a child deliberately does the exact opposite or a variant of what his /her parents instructs. We see disobedience at varying degrees and extents in the lives of our children, but what do we do about it as Christian parents?
You need to first be able to say if your child is born again or not. There was a physical birth that made this child yours, then, there ought to be a spiritual birth which makes the child that used to be natural, God’s own NEW creation. He that is born of the flesh is flesh and he that is born of the spirit is spirit3. It will be wrong to assume that children born into Christian homes are automatically born again, the new life is not inherited, it is only by faith in Jesus Christ and the work of the cross.
Do not expect the same behaviour from a child who’s born again and one who is not, because disobedience is natural to anyone who has not partaken of the new birth (see Ephesians 2:2).
These few steps are generally useful when giving instructions to children:
- State clearly what you want your child to do.
- Give the reasons for your instructions or desires. (Don’t just expect compliance because you call the shots, Children these days want to know why and they deserve to know. It kills your child’s individuality when you just give instructions and the only reason it has to be obeyed is “because I said so!”)
- Entertain questions or suggestions (if your child is old enough for this)
- Agree to a reasonable punishment for disobedience with your child.
- Reward obedience, but do not bait your children!
You would notice that interaction is key to achieving compliance or obedience in children. Disobedience needs to be punished in order to discourage future occurrence. Remember, obedience can only be complete in the new creation; So, if your child is not yet born again and it’s not due to the constraints of age or understanding, log in next week when we’ll be discussing ‘Ministering the New birth to your Family’ and you’ll learn to apply God’s panacea to disobedience.
(Scripture references: 1-Psalm 197-8, 2-Ephesians 315, 3-John36)
– Dr ifelayo ojo
I have had cause to witness many families weathering stormy periods. Few people take it in their stride, while many others fall apart at such periods.
A member of the family is ill or is not living up to our expectations; worse still, someone may have been diagnosed with an incurable illness.
Our worst characteristics get to show-up at such times, we fear, we fight back, we snap at people around us and concern ourselves with every other thing save that which we should. ‘Entertain no worry, but under all circumstances let your petitions be made known before God by prayer and pleading along with thanksgiving.’ (Philippians 4:6)
For those going through stormy periods at the moment; I have this to say: the storm is only for a while, it has come and it will pass, you can either sit it out or command it to stop. Remember, Jesus slept while a physical storm raged during a boat trip he had with his disciples; his response to the storm was to command it to BE STILL when the disciples woke him up for fear that they would all perish. No storm can withstand his omnipotence. We know the end of the story from the beginning- we are more than conquerors. The struggles of day-to-day may not look like it, especially with family life but it does not change the mind of God concerning us and our life’s story- “whatsoever is born of God overcomes” (1John 5:4)
Take charge and exercise the dominion given you by virtue of sonship, you too can remain calm in a storm and better still, you can also calm storms.
– Dr. ifelayo ojo
I bring back to mind your sincere faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and I am convinced, in you as well.(1Timothy 1:5)
A legacy is a birthright or inheritance bequeathed upon an individual by virtue of family placement. It is something you get by default; no one asks your opinion before handing over a legacy. Much greater than any legacy we come across in scriptures is this legacy of faith handed down from Timothy’s grandmother-Lois to his mum and then him. A fact worthy of note is that Paul was so sure that the sincere faith which he’d noticed in Timothy’s grandma lived in him as well.
We all ought to pay particular attention to the kind of legacy we hand down to our children. It’s not all about the property, stocks and material resources we leave behind. Some say the best legacy you can give to a child is education; although education is good and indeed desirable, it is not the best legacy. A greater legacy is found in this verse of scripture- ‘sincere faith’.
Remember, you cannot give what you do not actually possess, so if you want to breed a lineage of faith, you have to work on your faith! Sounds strange right? Working on faith? “I thought works were supposed to be produced by faith and not the other way round”, you say.
Well, working on faith here simply means making up your mind to trust God better than you’ve ever done before. You would have to consciously walk by faith and not by what you see around you. Let your children see that you trust in God by your actions. Let God be a part of your home talk; you can gist about Him and how He demonstrated His might in your day by dinner time so the legacy is passed on to the whole family. For those who have not started their own family yet, the time to build a legacy for your unborn children is now- develop yourself in your faith-walk and ‘see’ yourself, your spouse and the children the Lord would give you living a life of faith and trust in God.
The Israelites referred to God as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob because Isaac picked up the knowledge of Jehovah from His father Abraham and passed it on to his own son Jacob. Isaac trusted God would keep his son Jacob in a strange land because he’d seen how his father … – Abraham’s trust and obedience had yielded a replacement sacrifice in his own stead when he was but a boy. Demonstrations of faith are easier to replicate when one has seen it displayed; therefore, to produce faith filled offspring, parents and would-be-parents need to walk by faith!
– Dr. Ifelayo Ojo