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If we are to teach obedience then we must be obedient!
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A Biblical Theology of Parenting (III)
( Our First Priority )
Feb 1998 Alan S.L. Wong
Revised Apr 2006

A Biblical Theology of Parenting (III)

In Christian parenting, our first priority is not our children's obedience but our own relationship to the Lord. Look carefully at Deut. 6:4-7a and you will discover our first priority as parents.

Our First Priority

Moses declared that the LORD is the only God (in contrast to the multiplicity of gods of Canaan). From declaration, flows the first and foremost command to love the LORD wholeheartedly (c.f., Matt. 22:36-38). The LORD is the one and absolute God who demands our total devotion. Our first priority is to love and obey the LORD then we can teach God's commandments to our children.

In the song, "Love You with My Life" Steven Curtis Chapman said,

How do I know whether I love the LORD? Is it a feeling?

A love for the LORD is not something nebulous but distinct. It is expressed in obedience to the Word of God. Jesus said, "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments" (John 14:15). The question, "Do I love the LORD?" becomes "Do I obey His Word?"

Our relationship with our children cannot be separated from our relationship with our Heavenly Father. If we are to teach obedience then we must be obedient! As we get close to the Father, we learn of His ways and draw upon His love and patience to bring up our children.

As Christian parents, we are to demonstrate in our own behaviour what we want our children to adopt. We simply cannot impart truth that is not first made real in our own lives. Modelling is one of the features of Christian parenting.