Saying the memory verse together at suppertime will imprint it on the hearts of your children forever.
To obey is better than sacrifice.
Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.
She was only six years old, but she didn't want to wear the outfit her mother choose for her, so she covered it up and hoped her mom wouldn't notice. A small seemingly insignificant act, or was it?
When you talk with your children, or when you reprimand them, do you use the language of obedience? Sometimes I think obedience is a word that has fallen out of fashion. As we learn more about developmental issues, we know that things that our parents would have identified as disobedience are actually things that children of that age are unable to understand or do. As we understand the needs of children, we become reluctant to call rebellion disobedience, calling it normal acting out, or testing the limits. So, is there still behavior that we can identify as disobedience?
When suitable, naming disobedience opens the door for us to offer gentle age-appropriate explanations that put behavior in the context of loving and pleasing God. God wants us to obey Him. In fact, He says our love is demonstrated by our obedience. Helping children see that will help them evaluate their behavior in relation to God and motivate them to repent and change with His help.
JUST THE FACTS
How well did you listen to the story?
Q. What prize did Lucille receive from Grandpa Anole?
A. A music CD.
Q. What job did Liz have to do?
A. Watch his aunt's dog, Lemuel.
Q. What was Liz's dilemma?
A. To go to Amos Obadiah concert, or to stay home and watch Lemuel.
Q. What does Liz decide to do?
A. Go to the concert.
Q. What does he find when he gets home?
A. A missing dog, a torn up back yard, and an angry mom.
This question is meant to help the children develop a biblical understanding of God, who He is and what He does. The "answer" is not meant for parents to read to their children. Rather its purpose is to assist parents in guiding the conversation to this biblical understanding. We encourage you to use an open Bible in this conversation, building biblical literacy and well as a biblical theology.
Why should we obey God? How does obeying our parents or teachers show our love for God?
Samuel reminded King Saul that "to obey is better than sacrifice." God considers obedience a more genuine sign of worship and love than sacrifice. We can offer sacrifices and still be disobedient. Obedience itself can be a sacrifice. Sometimes we have to sacrifice time, recognition, or resources in order to obey God. But that is a small thing compared to the reward—the smile of God. Obeying parents or teachers connects with our obedience to God because this obedience is a part of the obedience that God requires. See Exodus 20:12, Colossians 3:20, Ephesians 6:1-3, Romans 12:1, 2.