While it's true that children should honor and obey their parents (Ephesians 6:1-2, Colossians 3:20), that doesn't mean that children should obey everyone. Obedience that pleases God means choosing to do what someone God has put in authority tells you to do because you trust and love God (Philippians 2:8, John 14:15, Romans 6:17), Being obedient is not the same as doing good. Children need to be taught who to obey and who to disobey. Knowing what to do is called discernment, and it's important for kids to learn discernment in order to be safe and make good choices. Sometimes disobedience is the best choice. Brave heroes throughout history have disobeyed when someone told them to do wrong.
According to the Barna Research Group, 87% millennials who don’t go to church say they see Christians as judgmental. And they aren't wrong. Many of the most outspoken people who identify as Christians buy into the idea that speaking condemnation will somehow turn a sinner to God. But scripture declares otherwise. God made mercy His catalyst for repentance.
In John 18 we hear the story of Jesus' arrest. One of the themes is the issue of power -who has it, who tries to claim more than they have, and who gives theirs up.
I was 16 years old sitting almost at the top of a small tree near Jinja, Uganda when my mission trip leader started the countdown: "10, 9, 8..." in a panicked scramble I lost my footing and fell about 6 feet landing flat on my side. The wind knocked out of me, I dragged myself up and hobbled through the door of the hut by "1" and was greeted wryly by the leader "Was it worth it?" Still breathless from the fall I fought back my tears and nodded yes. I had preserved the one hour a day I had as "privilege" to either take a cold shower in a door-less building or wash the two outfits I wasn't wearing using a bucket. But for me it wasn't the fear of losing a shower that drove me to choose obedience over my safety, it was the fear of the condemnation. And not just what I might experience from others in my public punishment. What I really feared was being whipped by my own sense of shame, which looked for any opportunity to shackle me in the chains of self-condemnation.
Hi and welcome!
I'm Christina Dronen, a writer, wife, and mom passionate about following Jesus in the way I parent. My posts focus on pursuing Christ and letting Christ live through me in my parenting.