I learned many years ago that parents should teach their children to obey the first time. When mom says, “Son, please close the door” he should close the door without question or back talk. Though it is hard to do and as parents we fail at it often, it is the right goal. Young children should learn to obey the voice of their parents without question. Teaching our children to do this is kindness. But it comes with its own set of dangers.
When I first tried to train my children this way my assumption was that the child was the problem. They need to obey immediately because they are sinners and need to be brought into submission to the parent. Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child. But this left out an important part the equation: my sin. Too often when teaching on parenting the teacher will assume that the only sin the parent can commit is failing to discipline and train their child. That is a sin, no doubt. But it is not the only sin. And if we assume that it is we will run into serious trouble. Continue reading