Parents, Require Obedience of Your Children
By John Piper
Taken from Pastor John Piper’s article, Parents, Require Obedience of Your Children.
Nine observations on obedience that “may rescue parents and teachers from the folly of laissez-faire” discipline.
1. Requiring obedience of children is implicit in the biblical requirement that children obey their parents.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1). It makes no sense that God would require children to obey parents and yet not require parents to require obedience from the children. It is part of our job — to teach children the glory of a happy, submissive spirit to authorities that God has put in place. Parents represent God to small children, and it is deadly to train children to ignore the commands of God
“Requiring Obedience is Not the Same as Requiring Perfection” - John Piper
2. Obedience is a new-covenant, gospel category.
Obedience is not merely a “legal” category. It is a gospel category. Paul said that his gospel aim was “to bring about the obedience of faith” (Romans 1:5). He said, “I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience — by word and deed” (Romans 15:18).
Paul’s aim was “to take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). He required it of the churches: “If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him” (2 Thessalonians 3:14).
Parents who do not teach their children to obey God’s appointed authorities prepare them for a life out of step with God’s word — a life out of step with the very gospel they desire to emphasize.
John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books, including A Peculiar Glory.