Parenting opportunities often come unexpectedly. It struck me the other day that the shelter in place order Williamson County has issued provides a unique parental opportunity. As parents seeking to honor the Lord in our parenting, we are constantly seeking to teach our children the value of obedience. Since our children are still young, much of our day is interrupted with reminders to “obey the first time, ” “obey with a joyful heart,” and “obey all the way.” Our children, like most, sometimes struggle with the idea that they are under our authority, that God requires them to obey us, that obeying us is actually obeying Him. And this is why our shelter in place order is a parental opportunity. In talking about the coronavirus and government mandates with our children, we have a chance to explain that we, as parents, are also under authority. Of course, we might have chosen to stay home anyway right now, out of prudence and love for our neighbors. But it is also the case that we can discuss and model the reality that we, Dad and Mom, are OBEYING right now. (And hopefully we are obeying “right away, with a joyful heart, and all the way” as well!) Children learning that every human being is under the authority of some other human being (and often more than one!) is a helpful lesson. This lesson can guard them from the potential of bitterness toward authority, or the thought that obedience is unique to their season of life. It can help them understand obedience as a lifelong requirement of godliness.
So, if you have children at home, take the opportunity to explain to them that you are staying home more often right now, not just because you want to serve others, but also because you are…obeying! (And, in addition to helping the kids, the reminder that I am still called to obey is good and humbling for my independent heart as well! I’ll never outgrow the call to obey human authority.)
Right now, the Lord has given us a fresh reminder and opportunity to teach and model the call to obedience. Let us use it well.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. Romans 13:1-2
Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 1 Peter 2:13-14