“The level of deception my daughter has stooped to in order to avoid submission has dumbfounded her dad and me,” reported Janet.
Her daughter, Molly, is extremely intelligent and gets A’s and B’s on all her tests and quizzes. She scores in the 97th percentile on standardized tests. But, she doesn’t like homework, and in second grade decided that she didn’t need to do it anymore.
Her teacher, of course, didn’t think this was a good idea and began sending notes concerning Molly’s lack of obedience and submission. They never made it home.
Molly is currently in fifth grade. Janet and her husband have done everything they can think of to confront this issue and deal with their daughter’s heart, but thus far, to no avail.
So, at the beginning of each school year, Janet meets with teachers to explain her daughter’s problem with submission and to give teachers her cell phone number so they can call directly when Molly stops handing in homework.
That's a true story of a True Girl mom who attended our focus groups when I was writing Lies Girls Believe & The Truth That Sets Them Free. It wasn't an isolated story. Lots of moms were exhausted by their daughter's lack of submission.
So, I asked all of them if their daughters had a hard time with obedience. Then, I asked some of their daughters some questions to cross check. Here's what they said:
76% of moms said their daughter struggled to obey.
97% of their tween daughters said they struggle to obey.
I'm writing this to beg you to require your daughter to obey.
Last month, I was at a children's conference where a speaker shared a tragic story. A toddler was running between two parked cars towards the street. The parents called for her to stop but rather than obeying the girl went into teasing-mode and ran all the faster. She was giggling when a car struck her and killed her.
Man, I did not want to convey that true story to you. But I have not been able to stop thinking about the fact that tweens and teens and college age students are running into proverbial streets of danger because they never learned to obey. I see parents all the time who tell their child two or three times to do something. When the child never does it, there are no consequences not even a discussion. Sometimes there are bribes.
Here are four things on obedience that I think might encourage you.
1.) The Bible implicitly tells you to teach your child to be obedient. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1). If God requires children to obey parents that means He requires parents to teach obedience to their children. (None of us obey without being taught. It is completely against our natural bent!) It is part of your job to teach your children to practice obedience.
2.) Requiring obedience on inconsequential things prepares a child to obey when the consequences could be severe. I'm sure the parents of that toddler thought it was cute when she ran away from them when it was time to change a diaper, and then when it was time to take a bath, and then when it was time to go to bed. But those were blessed opportunities to train her for when obedience mattered!
3.) Teaching your child to obey you prepares them to obey God. Right now, the number one thing God expects of your daughter is to obey you. And did you know that most of God's commands contain the words obey or honor. It's the life long task of every Christian to master submission to the God of the Universe. Obeying you is practice for that.
4.) Requiring obedience does not equal requiring perfection. Not every disobedience should be punished. Some are noted and passed over. You're not looking for perfection, but progress. (After all, I doubt you're obedient to the Lord 100% of the time and He applies grace, doesn't He?) There is no precise manual for when to offer grace. Children should learn from our parenting that God demands obedience but also that he is patient and slow to anger (1 Timothy 1:16).
Now, if you just read those four things and feel like you need to push re-set, do it! There's grace for you! And we have just the tool you need to help.
Since I have been so burdened by the statistics from the Lies Girls Believe focus groups, I decided to build an entire tool box of discipleship tools around this topic. If you want resources to teach your daughter the importance of obedience check out the True Girl Subscription! This month we are focusing on the topic of obedience in The Barn Box!
Learn more about the True Girl subscription here.
The True Girl subscription is your toolbox to teach her to love her Bible! Every month your inbox can be filled with a coaching video on important topics and tools to draw your daughter into the Word. And our ultimate option includes a box delivered right to your door every sixty days! We select age-appropriate, Christ-centered themes for each box and fill them with ALL-NEW items that build the habits of spiritual discipline. Here’s what one mom is saying:
"The daily devo book is so easy to use, and gets my daughter curious and more excited about God’s Word. It’s getting me in the Word, too!"