Slightly over two years ago, we wrote and posted an article on Raising Godly Children. In that work, we concentrated primarily on how to train and prepare children to serve the Lord. We drew sharply from our own experiences and the successes we enjoyed as a result of our children's obedience and co-operation. In this article, however, we will concentrate on the blessings of obedience and the Lord's displeasure with disobedient children. This article is therefore addressing children and parents alike.
The Bible says, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise., that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth" (Ephesians 6:1-3; Exodus 20:12). This order of authority in the house has been instituted by God Himself. When the Lord issued this command, He added a promise to it and that is to reward the obedient with long life. Truly, there is no higher reward than life itself (Luke 12:23). Everything else in this world apart from life is considered vanity; indeed it is true! Life is the most precious in God's sight, which Christ Jesus offered to all who would accept and obey Him (Ecclesiastes 1:14; John 3:16-18; Romans 6:23).
Obedience is Not Automatic
As a God-fearing family, our aim is always to raise our children in His ways. Having being taught by the Lord Himself our children knows what He expects from them. However, we have observed as our children are growing up we noticed the change in their moods, attitudes and their sense of obedience. What we further learned as parents is that no one is exempt from tests and trials but we all have a cup to drink (Matthew 20:22) As parents, we are forced to pray hard as the enemy is hard at work to destroy our children through acts of rebelliousness and worldliness. Thus, none of us a spared from the wrath of Satan who is out to kill, steal, destroy and deceive (John 10:10; Revelations 12:9). Therefore, the weapon to shield and protect our children is the Word of God and persistent prayer (Joshua 24:15; Proverbs 3:33).
Now, obedience, as an act of respect and submission, is surely not an automatic or spontaneous response. Instead, we are taught to obey through words, actions and discipline. Without going into the entire psychological aspect of early childhood development, children often learn their behavior through the actions and words of others around them. As it is, children first experiment the things they learn around them to see if they are acceptable; they then adopt what is accepted and thereby learn new behavior. If an adoption of a bad behavior in a child goes unchecked or without correction, it results in a way of life. Therefore, systematically as we grow up as children, we resist correction and authority, thus resulting in disobedience.
Furthermore, let me clarify from the onset: I am not claiming to be an expert on this subject, but Biblically, and being a parent myself, there is something you could learn and apply. Also, remember the Holy Spirit of God is our teacher and He is a great help in matters like this (John 14:26 NKJV). I will therefore give account from my knowledge and experience.
A few years ago, I decided to take on two grown boys to come live with my wife and I. These lads were my own nephews (my sister's children). They were about 16 and 17 years respectively. I taught them all that was necessary for peaceful relations in the house and society at large. Like many of us, they “obeyed” only in our presence, but in our absence they behaved and lived at will, forgetting or disregarding all the good values we taught and disciplined them for. Does this sound familiar to you? Yes it does, and some of us still practice such hypocrisy when authority is not around to observe our actions.
Anyway, I started receiving some negative reports regarding the young men's behavior in our absence. On numerous occasions I would confront them with the reality of their actions, while exercising whatever reasonable means of discipline necessary. As it is, after sometime their rebelliousness shone through, which affected relations amongst us. They decided to return to their home and to their old habits and behaviors which they had suppressed while living with us. The clean, Godly lifestyle was usurped for worldly, pleasure seeking way of life. In regard to the above, the point I'm making is this: in the absence of nurturing God's Word as a foundation in a child, we have very little success in seeing them walking in obedience.
Disobedience is Rebellion
I have children of my own and I laid the foundation of the word of God in their lives through establishing it as a way of life (Proverbs 22:6). What is critically important is that what we teach, that we observe, so that we eliminate confusion and enforce spontaneously obedience. For the Bible says, "Furthermore, tell the people, this is what the Lord says: See I am setting before you the way of life and death" (Jeremiah 21:8). Therefore, we do not force our way of life onto our children, but through disciplined living and submission to God in humble reverence, they see and adapt to a life of joy that is burden free. In teaching our children obedience, we allow them to choose, while pointing them to the consequences of the choices they may make.
Scripturally, it is easy to walk and live in obedience to the Lord when we have had the Scriptures as a foundation (Proverbs 22:6; 2 Timothy 3:15). Generally, disobedient children give their parents grief and disgrace (Proverbs 10:1; 19:13; Genesis 26:34-35). This is the same spirit of disobedience they would carry onto their children and future generations.
Like I mentioned earlier, we lived with children that we taught in the ways of the Lord while they saw the way we lived (1 Thessalonians 1:5). Because the way of the Lord was in conflict with the way they were brought up, disobedience was an easy route. The Lord told us that disobedience is a demonic spirit that controls a person from the inside, resulting in rebellion against His will (Ephesians 2:2). Through various messages that came through Charis, the Lord encouraged our children to be obedient and He also warned them about Hell (Please see Dwight's Vision of People Going to Hell, given on November 9, 2013).
In conclusion, last year the Lord blessed a girl of 12 years with beautiful words of encouragement for her obedience to Him. When the Lord gave her the words, we could literally sense that the Lord was happy and well pleased with her. Parents, don't be afraid or ashamed to teach your children the Word of God; He will reward you and their obedience will be your delight (Proverbs 23:24; 29:17). Children, always remember that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Proverbs 9:10 NIV; Psalm 119:9). Obey your parents and submit to their authority; this is the right thing in the Lord, for the Lord has promised long life for the present and eternal life in the age to come (1 Timothy 4:8).
Vision of Muslims
Given to Charis on June7, 2014
"After our 06:30 morning prayers, I received a vision from the Lord. I saw myself standing in a weed field, surrounded by beautiful long, green grass. My eye sight appeared to be enhanced as I could clearly see things about 700 to 800 meters away. I saw hundreds of Muslim people bowing down in worship on withered or dried grass.
I then heard the Lord said, "Those people love the Lord Jesus Christ, but they are afraid and they are being forced to do what their hearts don't desire. I love all the Muslim people and I love everybody in the world and no one must think I don't care about them". After the Lord said these words, I felt a deep pity and love in my heart for those people I saw in the vision and for the unsaved people in the world, and I started crying while closing my face with my hands, and I said “thank you Lord for this message and vision". End.
This vision is not an attack against the Muslims; the Lord loves them and He wants to save them. The Lord Jesus Christ is calling Muslims around the world to come to Him and accept Him as Lord and Saviour. He loves them and all other people and He died for the sins of all humanity (John 3:16-18).