Ivory soap – it says 99 44/100 % pure. OH that I could attain to that kind of obedience! I am not even talking about cheerful obedience, I’d just be happy to have 99 44/100% obedience, in general, IN ME.
The question was: Is it reasonable to expect 100% cheerful obedience?
My response to that would be…reasonable? No. Should we expect it anyway? Yes. When we remember that our goal is to always be directing our children to the Lord, then we should always expect them to respond in obedience. That is how we are to respond to Father, yes? Do we? No. That to me, would indicate that we should respond in the same fashion. It should be expected and grace should be extended when it is not received.
So, what happens when we get decidedly unjoyful obedience? At my house you get reminded that to serve is an honor and that complaining is a sin. If it continues, then we go to the next level of correction. (Canings.) ; ) So, you say, you don’t do canings at your house…what should your next option be? That is something that you have to take to Father. It depends on which child is demonstrating the behavior as to what the next step is. With some children, a discussion is all it will take. With others, they may need some time to consider their heart attitude. With some, I’d say, we might have to deal with it with some physical discipline, but it would all depend on all the circumstances surrounding the situation.
(I want to stop here for a moment. I worked (man, I really didn’t think I had worked all that many places, but it is beginning to sound like I couldn’t hold a job for doodle) with autistic children at a local center. When I did that, we had to have clearly pre-defined consequences for infractions. Did that make it any less Spirit-led? Welllllll, in my situation, that would be the case. I was a teenaged girl doing what the directors told me to do. Does that mean it would be that way in a home? No, it wouldn’t need to be. The key, in my opinion, would be the state of the heart of the mother as she is dispensing the discipline, IN MY OPINION…and some days that’s not worth the ink it would take to print it!)
What about disobedience, cheerful or otherwise? Disobedience will not get a reminder at my house. Being disobedient – openly, defiant disobedience – will result in a swift response from me. (or Jeff) It will, by God’s grace, be a kind and loving response, but we daren’t allow our children to get in the habit of disobeying, if we’re training them for Father.
This brings up the next question for me – and it’s one that tl didn’t even ask – how then, do we motivate our children unto obedience? Motivate, not manipulate – and that is my temptation. That is how I learned to parent and it is a constant battle for me.
I am not desirous of entering into a discussion of how to discipline our children. For the sake of this discussion, the how isn’t the issue – it’s the why. But, (you heard that coming, didn’t you?) I would ask, if you have chosen to eliminate physical discipline from your child training array, please check your methods for manipulation. Many times the people who have shared with me their methods have exchanged corporal punishment for manipulation. I fear the long term consequences of that choice are very serious, indeed.
So Ladies, how do we motivate our children unto obedience?
(edit: I am totally joking about the canings comment!! I just didn’t want anyone to think I meant it, even for a moment.)