Training Your Children to Obey

Training Your Children to Obey

Training children in the way they should go is not an easy task. It takes a full-time mother who is willing to sacrifice her time and energy for her children. It is not for the selfish or the me-centered. A mother must be intentional about how she is raising her children. I have seen too many mothers fail to teach their children to obey them when they were young and these children grow up to bring their mothers great heartache and shame. It’s a difficult task, mothers, but so rewarding in the end.

When you are training your children to do the right thing, make sure that when you are speaking to them you have their full attention. Make them look you in the eyes, then tell them what you want. “You are not to touch that. Do you understand me?” Make them answer the question and then repeat the command. Remind them of the consequences if they touch it again (disobey you) then have them repeat the consequences. Yes, this can seem laborious but it pays off quickly. The key is consistency and following through on the consequences. If you look them in the eyes and have their attention, they will be much more apt to obey you. They know you mean business.

If they choose to disobey you, follow through with the consequences and they must be painful whether it be a swat on the bottom or taking away a privilege. “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby” (Hebrews 12:11). The “chastening” must be “grievous.” The child must hate the pain of the consequences more than he loves the joy of disobeying. As you discipline and train your children to obey you, you are giving them the priceless gift of self-control and self-discipline. Disciplined children grow up to be disciplined adults. There MUST be consequences each time for wrong behavior. Be diligent in this, mothers.

After they have been disciplined, make sure they make restitution for their disobedience. If they took a toy away from a sibling, make sure they give it back and apologize. If they said a bad word to someone, make sure they apologize for the bad word. If they sinned against you by disobeying you, make sure they ask for forgiveness from you. This will clear the slate for them and teach them to be sorry for their sin.

Once they have done this, make sure to give them a lot of love and affection. They need to know that you are disciplining them because you love them so much. Many children aren’t loved enough to be disciplined. Some mothers feel like it would be mean to discipline their children. Young women, it’s not easy to discipline children but it’s what God calls you to do. He disciplines us for our good! We can do no less for our children. I can tell you from experience, if you are consistent in your discipline of your children, child raising will bring you pleasure. We rarely had to discipline our children after they were three to four years old. Thankfully, my husband and I were on the same team and knew we wanted to raise disciplined children. Any behavior that was obnoxious or annoying, we dealt with swiftly. We wanted others to enjoy our children, too.

The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
Proverbs 29:15

Children must not be left to themselves. If you are expecting daycares workers or school teachers to train your children in the way they should go, you will be sorely disappointed and your children will not bring you nor others joy.

20 thoughts on “Training Your Children to Obey

  1. Children obey best with love and a good role model who models the upright moral way to do things rather than just “because I said so!”… We must tell our children WHY things are the right thing to do, and show them….

    1. I completely agree the two issues are spending time with your children and setting a good personal example.

      It is also important in setting an example to teach boys and girls to understand as they grow up the godly role of husbands and wives.

  2. It’s also key to provide a good example, rather than being like Mother Crab in Aesop’s fable. Children naturally want to do what their parents are doing, so if you value reading, singing hymns, and accomplishing household tasks your kids are much likelier to share those pastimes.

  3. Yes! This is so true.

    My husband was far tougher on our kids when they were little than I would have liked him to be, but it has certainly paid off now. Our teenagers are polite, respectful, (mostly) make good
    decisions, are doing well in school, work hard, choose good friends, and are generally awesome young people. And they’re being excellent role models for their younger brother and sister. I’m immensely proud of them.

    If I could have young children again, I would be more supportive of my husband in being strict. It has paid off.

  4. I have a question, My husband is a command man thru and thru. So he pretty much doesnt do any housework at all. He has no idea how to do the laundry or run the dishwasher. And im fine with that for the most part. I cant be bothered arguing about it. However ive noticed my sons in particular ( the oldest is 13) have taken on a ‘well if daddy doesnt have to do any housework, why should i?’ So i spoke to my husband amd said while i hate to say anything, it would be nice if once every now and then the kids could see him do at least one thing to show them he could look after himself and wasnt afraid of housework, so to speak. Even if its just taking his dirty plate/bowl/cup etc to the sink and rinsing it. Or once in a blue moon cook a meal so mummy gets a break. Did i say the right thing? How can i help my kids get over this entitlement mentality? Im concerned the kids look down on my husband amd i because of it. Any suggestions would be great.

    1. My suggestion, is, since you have talked it over with your husband, follow whatever he decides. Pursue peace. If your sons end up not doing the “women’s work” like your own husband, and my own godly father, a lifelong missionary, never did, it isn’t the end of the world, however, if you teach them to defy authority and argue with their spouse, that is worse.

      Statistically, cultures that have more strictly defined sex roles in their labor (like the Amish and Mennonites) have far less divorce. The wife doesn’t spend every day resenting her husband for not helping with the dishes, she already knows it is a woman’s job, and has no desire to emasculate her own husband by making him function as a woman.

      One thanksgiving just after I graduated from university, I was at my father’s Mennonite older brother’s house. After the meal, I took my plate into the kitchen and started to rinse it. My aunt gasped in horror and then hollered at me to know my place, and get out of her kitchen. The other ladies all agreed men are not allowed to be in the kitchen but are to talk in the parlor while the dining room is cleared. They said I was trying to show them up, by doing their job, and they’d beat me with a rolling pin if I set foot in there again. I had clearly crossed a cultural line. They wanted to make sure their menfolk were entitled to enjoy the thanksgiving meal the womenfolk had made for them, served to them, and would clean up after as well.

      My mom wasn’t Mennonite, but one of ‘dem English’, and had apparently raised me all wrong.

      1. Thankyou Elias. My concern is girls arent being raised to do all the housework these days. Even in christian homes its expected that boys/men at least know how to do basic household tasks. They see a boy/young man who expects a potential spouse to do everything and they run the other way. Ive lost count of the number of times my husband called me home early from the hospital with a newborn because he didnt know basic functions of the home and wasnt coping. I knew a couple where the wife literally did everything, and when she died unexpectedly and left two very young boys behind, her husband knew nothing when it came to the logistics of the home. He didnt know where their insurance was with, he didnt know where the boys were taken for check ups, he didnt know how to cook,run a washing machine, he didnt know what bank they were with, nothing. A mutual friend of ours kindly went in and showed him the ropes. He was a nervous wreck, just about had a breakdown. I never want my boys to be put in that position. Basic household tasks is something every boy should be taught. Even if they dont use it later on.

        1. I’d still go with whatever your husband decided. However if he hasn’t told you what to do, then I’ll try to offer some more advice.
          ‘well if daddy doesn’t have to do any housework, why should I?’
          Because you are not the head of this house. And your role as a child is to obey your parents. (Ephesians 6:1-3) As your mother I want you to learn how to do all of the household chores, so you will be learning to do them, and practicing them whenever I assign them to you.

          Your concern is overblown. Whether or not your son attracts a mate has zero to do with whether or not he would make a good mom. Women are foolish, and the young are extra foolish. Your son will be rated as a potential mate based upon his attitude,(extra points for cocky and entitled) appearance and stature, and his perceived chances of success. Unfortunately, the more narcissistic, psychopathic, and Machiavellian he appears the more young women will be vying for a chance to be a part of his drama. No young woman is going to get turned on by domestic skills. They’ll follow their emotions. When your son does meet women who (although they aren’t looking for it) expect him to do a large share of the domestic work, he should ditch those lazy entitled problems before one of them becomes his ungodly ball and chain. How can he follow God’s call for his life, if he’s constantly running around the kitchen in an apron as a full grown man? Don’t reverse his God given role, and set him up to be the helper to a usurping woman. She won’t respect him. He’ll be at home doing the dishes while she’s at the divorce lawyer’s office. Oh well, he’ll be well trained to live as a divorcée! You’re better off making sure he is successful at (plan A) being an effective man for God, than good at (plan B) living alone after personal tragedy. Sometimes people wind up gravitating to what they were best prepared to do. If you teach your daughters how to live successfully without a man, after they have their two kids, into elementary school, they’ll ditch their man just because they don’t feel they need him any more, and the courts will give her his money while she is off romancing the next guy, on the tab of the last guy she used. Unfortunately you often reap what your parents sowed, not just what you sowed. If I were you, I’d be primarily encouraging your husband to train your son to be a successful and stalwart man, and not be as concerned about his domestic skills. Perhaps your husband is already showing him how to stand up against a wife’s never ending demands that he become her domestic servant. It sounds like he has wisely dodged the bullet so far. You should look up to him for that wisdom. After all, you fell in love with him, when he is a “command man” who “pretty much doesn’t do any housework at all. ” Don’t fool yourself, the girls of this new generation will just as quickly fall for your son, if you don’t domesticate him into Mr. Mom.

        2. Diamond in the Rough – I absolutely agree with you that boys NEED to know how to do household tasks. They NEED to know how to run a home. My own husband is able to manage perfectly well without me, when I have to fly around the country taking care of my sick father. It’s just something that all men need to know. They don’t necessarily have to do it, but they need to know HOW to do it.

          My main concern with your son’s attitude about not doing housework because daddy doesn’t, is the disrespect. In our house, disrespect is not tolerated. And refusing to follow your instructions because “daddy doesn’t do housework” is blatant disrespect. It doesn’t actually matter what daddy does – daddy is an adult and has his own responsibilities.
          The Bible tells children to honour their father and mother. That’s what I would be asking my hubby for help with the most – nipping the disrespect in the bud.
          (I have teenagers – I know disrespect happens, but they need us to keep on their case. They’re much happier if we do.)

      2. Elias, I enjoy reading your insights on Lori’s blog. Thank you for sharing this story from your youth.

        It is a reminder that Eve’s task is ADAM. (Gen 2:18)
        Adam’s task is the WORLD. (Gen 2:15)

        Do deny the ladies of the house their gift to the men is quite the dishonor to their charge. I hope they set you straight!

        1. Not trying to be rude though, I agree women should do most of the work. I avoid asking my husband for help. I guess i just need to have further talks with him to clarify.

          1. Diamond in The Rough – Why do you avoid asking your husband for help? There’s nothing wrong in asking (respectfully) and most men, when they know we need assistance, are more than happy to oblige. I am yet to meet a man who doesn’t like to help his wife. Just as I am yet to meet a wife who doesn’t like to help her husband. Just because we each have different roles, doesn’t mean we can’t support each other and help them out when they need it. Helping is each other is part of what being in a loving marriage is all about.

            I don’t believe any man wants his wife to struggle, when he can ease her load. I don’t mean him taking over everything so she can live a life of leisure, but when she is genuinely struggling and her burden is too heavy, if he can help her, he will willingly do so.

        2. Thanks Brian.
          I like your posts also, and the posts of most of the folks on here. It is rare to find a group of people who actually want to try to live according to all of God’s word, and not just some parts.

          1. Thanks Elias,

            I will admit, i chuckled a bit at your boldness. Ill think about what you said. I can just imagine ,y husband agreeing with you and adding, ‘ its just exposing your lack of faith in God to take care of it’. Fair call. We recently had ‘friends’ scold us because my husband doesn’t help around the house. I just shrugged. If i need him to help a) im probably not doing my job as well as i should and b) if a kid can do it, then why am i asking my husband to do it? However this ‘friend’ just pressured her husband into buying a 5 acre farm in the country, take a 45 minute train ride in to work 5 days a week, work there for 12 hours, then make the same trip home then work on the farm once her gets home from work. She homeschools their 7 children and tends their garden. But i can already see the trainwreck coming. She will run her husband into the ground (literally) i wasn’t sure if i should feel horrified, saddened or repulsed at her demands she was putting on him. We see them maybe once a year. We live about 4 hours apart. So maybe distance is a good thing. But this woman has been hospitalized twice for mental illness.

            My husband works 12 hours a day, sometimes up to 6 days a week. Hes tired when he gets home. I normally take his shoes off and get him a drink when he gets home. I don’t expect him to bend to my will. If he offers to help, i don’t argue. I consider it a blessing. Thank you for your insights. It wasn’t a child training question in its entirety. But its helped answer my question. God bless you and yours.

          2. It’s sad when women are the one who decides where to live like this woman on the farm. Debi Pearl wrote a story about this and it didn’t end well. We are to follow our husband’s lead, not vice versa. It sounds like you have a good, hard-working husband! What a blessing.

          3. Diamond In The Rough,
            Yes, I was trying to be bold, because I know the world will be bold in trying to get you to fight with your husband over this and everything. I’m glad that your husband would be in agreement with my comment, because it was my intention to support his headship, and not to undercut it. I’m also glad that you are so wise and teachable. Most women today would reflexively argue back to justify further rebellion against their husband. It sounds like you have a hardworking husband, and he has a compliant wife. You are both blessed in that regard.

            KAK is right about your son’s attitude. He needs to be put in his place. He is not to usurp and behave like the head of the house. He is a child. He can only act like your husband does when he himself becomes a husband, and has left your home to start his own household.

    2. You got it a lot of heavy responses about gender roles. What you’re trying to ensure is self sufficient children which is important. My mother liked to highlight it was important for her to know I was capable of looking after myself and my father if a) she couldn’t and b) I found myself alone. Granted I’m a female and an only child so this was specifically effective for me. Having multiple kids you can try to divide household tasks evenly between all your children and reiterate that this is the home their father and you work hard to provide and you expect they all serve in the smooth running of the household. I think if you as a Christian mother hold them to having a spirit of service in their work ethic you will be able to impart a really positive attitude in your children. Its important to be practical, as much as the comments below drive home how women will view your sons knowing how to do domestic chores, this line of advice doesn’t take into account if your son has to go off to college for a career in medicine/law/engineering? It also doesn’t take into account if he gets planted somewhere far from home in ministry. Men and women need to know how to look after themselves for the glory of God and the life of service they will be called to whether this be in their own households, or their careers or ministry.

    3. Regardless of what your husband does, the children are to obey their mother and father as long as they are under their parents’ authority. So what I would say to teenage sons is that they don’t have to do any household chores in your house when they have a household of their own. For now, they’re children and must be obedient to their parents.

      You could also point out that their father works a full-time job and that’s why you handle the household chores and your husband does not do them. You each have your own work to do. If your sons don’t have a full-time job and aren’t contributing to the family financially, then they contribute by helping with the chores. Everyone has to pull their weight. Nobody gets a free ride. They can stop doing household chores when they begin contributing money to the family instead.

      So it’s not about boys copying what the father does. It’s about everyone contributing to the family. The father of the home contributes by earning an income rather than doing dishes and laundry and so on. It’s not because he’s male. It’s because he has different work. Your sons don’t have jobs yet, so this doesn’t apply to them yet.

  5. Yes, having well behaved children doesn’t just ‘happen’ by accident. I have heard from others that we are ‘lucky’ to have a well-mannered, well-behaved daughter, but of course it doesn’t just happen, it takes time and effort, consistency. I’m quite shocked by some of the disrespectful bratty behaviour that parent’s are enduring because they refuse to discipline their children these days.

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