In the last write-up I proffered the new birth as God’s panacea for disobedience. Nevertheless, you say, at the risk of sounding renegade- “I thought a panacea was supposed to be a cure-all, a universal remedy, final answer to all problems and a perfect solution; well, my child is born again yet he is very disobedient”.
For such parents, guardians or care-givers, this short article is targeted.
Godly living is a result of a submission on the part of an individual to the spirit born after God. The fact that a person is born again does not mean he/she will automatically toe the line of God’s word. True, God is at work inside, but He will not fuss or force subjection to His will. Therefore, what you need to do is to help this child understand more about the life of God and you’ll see that child walking in obedience perfected in every good work.
For the saving grace of God has appeared for all people, training us to renounce godlessness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present world.1
The solution to sins and every form of disobedience lies in recognition of God’s grace. The same grace by which we were saved is sufficient to keep us doing right. Do not attempt a reversal to the law in a bid to enforce obedience. The law did not work for the Israelites for which it was established, how much more the new creation?
For what the law was unable to do, weakened as it was through the flesh, that God did by sending His own son in the likeness of sinful flesh and on account of sin; He thus condemned sin in human nature.2
Does this mean that any and everything goes in the Christian home because of grace? NO! It does not mean that you do not have principles guiding your children in the home but that you carefully teach your child God’s word in recognition of grace and the righteous nature bestowed by the new birth. Then, you will see right living result in this child and your child will work out his salvation with fear and trembling because he recognizes that it is God Himself who is at work within, both to cause him to desire to do and to perform God’s pleasure. This will certainly be your pleasure too.
Scriptures: 1 Titus 2:11-12 2Romans 8:3
– Dr ifelayo ojo
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