In the midst of the early morning shuffle to get out the door on time, I asked my 6-year old to complete
her attire by putting on her silver church sandals. She immediately pointed out the fact that she was
wearing long leggings. When I asked why that mattered, she explained that long leggings were cold
weather clothes and sandals were warm weather clothes and the two pieces of apparel should not mix.
Who told her that?! I reassured her that the legging/sandal combination was perfectly acceptable from
a fashion standpoint. Not to mention, her outfit would be just right for the 65 degree day ahead of us.
She came with another rebuttal pointing out that the leggings were gray and the sandals were silver. I
continued with my style advice that gray and silver are actually very complimentary. She challenged
again, “Why do I have to wear my church sandals?” I replied with the tried and true response, “Because
I said so!” In that moment, what I wanted from my daughter was obedience. I wanted her simply to
obey my request without argument, interjections, or questions. As I look deeply at the issue, though,
there may be something I want even more than obedience. I want her to trust me. I want my daughters
and son to trust that I’m always looking out for their best interest. I want them to believe deep down
that I won’t purposefully make them look silly or lead them somewhere that’s not beneficial to them.
From the trivial things like what sandals to wear to the bigger, more important issues in the future, I
really just want their trust.
When we as parents teach obedience, we also teach trust. The two concepts go hand-in-hand. When
my husband and I took Growing Kids God’s Way the first time, the concept of First Time Obedience
jumped out like a treasure. We began practicing with our kids from the littlest on up. We role-played in
the mornings and did our best to hold them to a high standard of obedience throughout the day. As
they have grown and matured, obedience is becoming easier for them. With obedience, they are also
learning to trust us as parents. Of course, disobedience still rears its ugly head from time to time like
when we have fashion dilemmas over sandals, but overall calling our kids to obedience has paid off.
Even more than obeying us as their parents, we want our kids to obey and trust their Heavenly Father.
As children learn to obey and trust their earthly parents, it will naturally become easier to obey and trust
God. And who is more worthy of our trust? Paul reminds us in his letter to the Romans, “And we know
that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” We can obey Him because we trust
that He’s always working for our good. Even when we don’t understand what He’s doing, we can obey
Him because we trust Him.
How are your kids doing with First Time Obedience? I know our family goes in spurts, doing really well
for a while and then slacking off from time to time. There’s always room for improvement! How is your
level of trust? Do your kids trust you? Have you proven yourself trustworthy? If so, persevere! If not,
it’s never too late to work diligently at building up trust with your kids. As you do the hard work of First
Time Obedience within your earthly families, you are laying the groundwork for your kids to trust and
obey their Heavenly Father. That’s something worth striving for!
As the familiar song says, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust
Author: Jamie Wyse