When Josh was somewhere between 2 or 3 years old, he was playing in the living room in our apartment in Lake Forest, Illinois (an apartment within a mansion – another story). His toys were scattered on the floor, and I noticed that he was stepping on the little trucks and such. Fearing that they might break, I warned him, “Hey buddy, don’t step on your toys.”
I’ll never forget. While holding my gaze, he slowly lifted his foot up and placed it on one of the little playthings, never breaking eye contact.
The little sinner.
But it was okay, because it turned into a wonderful opportunity to teach my son about his need to obey me. It’s the first thing that every child needs to learn:
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Ephesians 6:1 (ESV)
I heard James MacDonald teach once that this verse is not written to children, but parents. Good thought…in actuality, it’s probably both. But of course, it is parents who must first understand this truth and then teach it to their kids.
“Son…daughter…you must obey me. No ifs, ands or buts.”
If they learn this, they can learn a whole host of other wonderful things from us, like
- The fear of the Lord and
- The truth of God’s word, and
- Be nice to your sister, and
- Oh yeah…the gospel!
But if they miss this first and most simple truth from Paul to the Ephesians, they may very well miss it all. So it all starts here with this one truth that the Apostle thought was pretty important and that parents must therefore be absolutely vigilant to pass on:
****For more on disciplining the young ones, our two favorite books on these issues were, Shepherding a Child’s Heart and Don’t Make Me Count to Three.
For Wednesday, July 1, it’s back to the gospels: Luke 1