Session 6: Respect for Authority and Parents
We attended Growing Kids God’s Way today! It was a very practical lesson that covered important matters such as honouring parents, and respecting those who are in positions of authority, such as police, teachers etc.
Before the start of lesson, we each shared about our children’s personalities and character traits. From the sharing, we could all see that each child is different and uniquely made, and each child can teach us what we need to learn about God Himself, and what He wants us to learn from our children. In a nutshell, parenting in the mind of God is really a Kingdom issue.
In this week’s lesson, we are interested to achieve the ultimate purpose of character training in our children, solely because we desire that people will see God through us and our children, by seeing that we are different, that we are set apart for Him, so that His presence may be declared as we and our actions represent Him. Our collective character is to be a unified reflection of God’s moral law (which forms the basis of our morality). We communicate the character of God to the world as we put the biblical values into the hearts of our children. The way they live out these values will witness to the world wherever we are.
Parental authority and child training
The need for parental authority should decline as your child begins to exercise moral self-control. By the time your child has reached pre- and early adolescence, you will have exchanged rule-centered leadership for principle-centered leadership, because your children should know and understand what biblical virtues are and have been putting them into practice for a number of years by then.
- Lead your children by authority when they are young (in the early years).
- When they become a pre-teen or teen, lead them by the strength of your relational influence.
Obedience, Submission, and Honour
Obedience vs. Submission → Obedience is something you HAVE to do, while submission is something you WANT to do.
As a teacher, obedience brings a child from his selfish tendencies to self-control in life. Obedience acts as a schoolmaster that moves a child from the bondage of the law to the freedom of faith. Obedience takes the law written on stone tablets and transforms it to the law written in his/her heart, moving the child from extrinsic motivation to intrinsic control.
Submission to parents is doing what is right out of devotion to the parents. This attitude comes when a child begins to accept God as his ultimate authority. He then obeys to please God, which includes submitting to his/her parents’ headship.
Devotional Honour vs. Duty Honour → We have the power to determine if our children will honour us out of duty or out of devotion by the way we parent them.
Honouring a parent implies a deep respect given with love. Love and devotion legitimise honour. This love is based on time, knowledge, experience, and appreciation for all that the parents have done for and with their children. It is love that spills over to honouring out of devotion.
Establishing right motives for right behaviour is one of the primary goals of child training. We want to move our children to the place where they respond out of a devotion to principle (virtue) rather than out of duty to parents.
After the lesson, it took a little searching to find my little one. Eventually, I found her in one of the kindergarten classrooms with Cheryl’s helper and some of the AWANA Cubbies, Kayla and Ariel. As usual, Little E was delighted to see me after 2 hours. And I? I was simply blessed and felt blissful to cuddle her tightly in my gentle caressing arms. Awww… ❤
After the lesson, we headed to my parents’ home for a short visit and to gift them the butter cakes that I’ve baked yesterday. Was thinking of baking for their wedding, to make butter cakes as dowry pastries.
My parents were more than glad to see us, and so were my brother and VA! Little E had so much fun playing with VA as she simulated a spinning hula hoop for Little E. My little one actually believed that she herself was really working it, and so was elated as she spun round and round, much to the cheering of everyone! Lol!