Teaching our children to obey is a crucial step in preparing them to live a life of obedience to the Lord.
Here is a fun and effective way to teach and reinforce four vital aspects of obedience.
Imagine a door that has four different locks, each requiring a separate key. Though each one of these keys will work, all four keys are required to open the door. Similarly, true obedience is comprised of several different keys and all four keys are necessary to attain obedience.
The 4 Keys:
Delayed obedience = disobedience! Children must be taught to respond quickly to direction and instruction. Instant obedience may even save your child’s life! Consider a toddler running toward the road, into the path of an oncoming car. If he fails to obey when commanded to “STOP”, it could cost the child his life.
A cheerful attitude can make a difficult chore seem much easier to accomplish, while a bad attitude makes simple tasks harder.
If a child is asked to gather the trash and immediately responds with a joyful heart, but then fails to replace the trash bag in the trash can, he is missing the vital key of thoroughness.
4. Without Complaining
No grumbling or arguing is allowed. This includes statements such as “That’s not my job” or “I always have to do that”.
How to make the keys:
First make a key template from cardstock for each child.
Have the children trace a key on four different sheets of colored paper.
Children who are proficient with scissors can cut out their own keys.
Write one aspect of obedience on each key.
Write Ephesians 6:1 on a square of cardstock.
We laminated our keys for durability (our children enjoy playing with their new keys). If you don’t have access to a laminator, you can use clear contact paper; it works just as well!
Hole-punch the large end, stack the keys, adding the Ephesians 6:1 tag and insert ½ of a pipe cleaner. Twist the end to secure.
Plan to have many Obedience quizzes over the next few days! I’ll randomly ask, “Who can name all four keys to obedience?” If I give a child a command and they seem pouty, I’ll ask “Which key are you missing?” Or if I find an incomplete chore, I’ll say, “Looks like we’re missing a key here.”
As our children learn to hear and respond to our instruction, we are also preparing them to listen for their heavenly Father’s still, small voice and to obey His promptings.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. ~Ephesians 6:1-3
What creative ways have you discovered to teach obedience to your children?
*Obedience Keys original idea from Character First.