God is the Trustworthy Sovereign
When the issue of accepting God's design for our life is settled the stage is set for the most difficult battle for the human spirit. If God is faithful in His design and plan for my life then He must be worthy of my trust. If I place my trust in Him then that means I am yielding my position as the final judge and ruler of my life. Yet, our basic human nature is to exert all effort in maintaining the position of control of our life. Therefore, the fight in this area is worth all effort and concentration to be sure your child understands, accepts, and follows this insight.
The major question in life: Will you trust God?
At the root of all sin is this basic struggle of who is in charge. The spirit of pride is the well spring for the major roots of sin and disobedience to God. If that spirit can be rooted out and replaced with the Spirit of God then there will be victory and success in the person's life. It is interesting that the words for trust and obedience are directly related in the original languages in which the Bible was written. If we are unwilling to obey God then it is likely that we have not learned to trust Him. There is some reason why we prefer to trust ourselves rather than Him. That struggle is really a matter of understanding that first insight of design. If God is the good and righteous designer and He is the sovereign of the universe should we not trust Him? If we trust Him then we certainly can obey Him. From Genesis through Revelation, obedience is the key issue throughout the Bible.
Once this issue of trust has been settled, it takes time to train our thought process. Whether the person is 60 or 6 months there is a need to train the human spirit and mind to listen to the voice of authority, sift through what that means, and then obey it. Like all creatures we choose to obey or disobey whenever there is a choice. It takes practice and patience to learn how to obey the voice of God. There will be times of failure and consequence. There will be times of victory and joy. If the heart of the person yearns to trust and obey, then there will be progress and a growing spirit of consistency to submit to God. The spirit of pride will diminish.
How can you obey God whom you cannot see?
If obeying God were a simple matter of obeying some invisible, intangible, subjective form of ideas then it would be easy to say we have been obedient. However, God who is invisible has left some tangible, objective forms of authority. He has given us His written Word, which reveals His mind, set of absolute truths, and indisputable commands. There is also a wealth of insights, character studies, and perspectives that His Word dispenses freely to all who would come and drink of it. Therefore, the highest form of authority that God has given us to obey is the Bible.
Under the umbrella of Biblical authority, God has instituted several human forms of authority. The Word does not hide the fact that these human institutions have defects. They will make mistakes. They will have moments of failure. Yet, God somehow uses these institutions to reveal His will and test the heart of people affected by them. If one of these authorities moves out from the direct intention of Biblical truth then God looks to those under that authority to respond in a godly and correct manner. This then becomes an issue of learning to appeal to that authority to do what is right. The person may witness a change or experience suffering as a result. God is more interested in the obedience of His people to Him and His purposes than He is a flawless record of an authority.
The Bible tells us that God has placed visible authorities over everyone's life: The government, pastors and elders, parents, employers, teachers, and others. Our job as parents is to teach our children how to obey and respect those in authority. The ability of our children to obey the authorities whom they can see will shape their ability to obey the Lord God whom they cannot see.
How does this insight affect our children?
The Scriptures teach us that children need discipline and training because "foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child" Proverbs 22:15. Children are not going to naturally be obedient. It requires discipline. It demands patient instruction. It calls for wisdom and discernment. When properly applied, this insight will ensure a better life and healthier relationships for your children. The true crown of your parents will be the attitude your children have toward them and the Lord. They will reflect what is really in your heart.
When your children abide under the proper authority structure God has ordained they will experience a fence of protection from the unscreened attacks of the evil one. As Satan asked Peter's authority permission to attack him (Peter), so he must pass through the authority God establishes around our children. If the authority structure steps outside of God's will, then the enemy can send his fiery darts at them. Those attacks are God's signals to get undercover! When our children are obedient and they suffer then they are on the same path that Jesus trod. They are going to take a leap towards the development of character and love in their hearts.
Contrary to popular opinion, duty and obedience to authorities are essential to a growing heart of love. True love is an act of the will. It is an attitude of devotional duty to the Lord and those around us. Jesus said, that when lawlessness increases, the hearts of men grow cold. Jesus said that He will declare to those who practiced lawlessness that He never knew them. Therefore we should not shrink back from consistent and thorough lessons in obedience. Our children's ability to obey proper authorities as well as ourselves is essential to their well being in all their relationships; most of all with the Lord.