We all struggle as parents to know how to best teach our kids obedience. We’ve all felt the embarrassment when a child pitches a fit in the grocery store over wanting some item you don’t want them to have or when they ignore the direction you give them in front of your friends at church. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to teach academics to kids who just won’t listen and cooperate with us. We’ve all been there.
It’s easy to react to our kids instead of remembering what our God-given responsibility is. It’s not just to get them to be more compliant to us and thus make our life easier, but to teach them to recognize and deal with sin in their hearts. When they learn to obey us as parents, it is training them to have obedient hearts to the Lord later in life and THAT is why it’s so crucial.
Kids learn so much more effectively when they are given a story to help them relate to the experience of others. Kids will forget information, but they won’t forget stories. Over our many years of training our 14 kids, we’ve found stories to be super effective in teaching obedience.
Bible Story about Obeying Your Parents
Here are some examples of what we found worked:
Bible stories – I Corinthians 10:11 in speaking of the Israelites, it says, “ Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” In other words, events/stories from the Bible were written so that others coming later could learn from the consequences, experiences, and lessons that God used to teach the Israelites. Psalm 102:18 says, ” Let this be written for the generation to come, so that a people not yet created may praise the LORD.”
We are to teach our kids lessons from people’s stories from the Bible, moral stories from our lives or lives of people we know, and true stories of obedience from history- real people who made real choices to be obedient.
This was our aim with our kids and we have created resources with stories that do just that for you to use with your kids. It wasn’t easy coming up with stories as we were raising the kids at the same time. I would have loved to just be able to pick up a book to help me out, so that was our intent on creating these resources- to make your job easier with lessons we knew to be effective.
Moral Stories on Obedience to Parents
So, I’ll briefly share some examples of those stories with you so you have a better idea of what I’m talking about.
- Crossroads of Character: Learning to Make Wise Choices contains everyday life stories covering 12 basic character qualities EVERY child needs to know. One of those is obedience. For this, we tell the story of two of our grandsons who went with Granddad for a fun day at the farm. They grapple together with a moral decision to obey or disobey as they wait for Granddad to come back with the tractor. They face the temptation to go feed the horses’ grass but have been warned not to go close to the horses as the fence is electric and may shock them. When they choose to cheerfully obey, they are later rewarded by Granddad taking them for a ride on the horses. This story provides you with a simple kid-friendly definition for obedience and a Bible verse as well as a real-life example.
Also in this book are 11 more examples of character choices. (appropriate for ages 3-12) Purchase Crossroads of Character
- Character Trails: Learning to Walk in Paths of Righteousness covers 12 more character qualities providing for each a story from the Bible, a moral story from real life, and a true story from American history.
For example, they learn joyfulness from Paul and Silas and Fanny Crosby, compassion from David and Mephibosheth and Florence Nightingale, and attentiveness from Samuel in the Bible and Lydia Darragh during the War of Independence as well as real-life stories from kids their own age. (appropriate for ages 5-12) Purchase Character Trails
Christian Stories on Obedience
Here are some more stories we provide about obedience:
- Portraits of Integrity- A Family Treasury contains a story about Sergeant Alvin York during World War I who started out as a conscientious objector and ended up receiving the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Medal, and the Legion of Honor medal for silencing 35 German machine guns and capturing 132 prisoners in an amazing and heroic way thus illustrating obedience in a way kids won’t forget. This is one of 45 true stories illustrating character to kids and adults as well. (ages 7- adult)
- Last, but not least we tell the story of Judy the English Pointer( and only official canine prisoner of war) who because of her obedience to her master in World War II saved the lives of many men as well as received the Dickin medal after the war. Purchase Portraits of Integrity
Kids of Character Bible Study offers youth devotions on obedience, providing short answer questions to look up the answers from the Bible to see what God’s Word has to say about obedience. It’s not just something mom and dad are telling them to do -see what God has to say about obedience (and 44 other character traits)and the blessings of choosing it. This study also gives you several application questions we called “If”s” to prepare your kids in advance for real-life situations involving obedience that they will face, guiding them to choose wisely. Purchase Kids of Character Bible Study
So, I hope this provides you with the practical help you need to teach your kids why to obey and how to obey and concrete examples of those who have made the hard choices and received the blessings of obedience in their lives. Enjoy the stories!!
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I loved reading about your family’s story. I believe it was 2 years ago, at the beginning of the pandemic, is when I really thought about homeschooling. It was so nice having the kids home (except we really didn’t do much “schooling”). I’m a part-time RN so I work 2 weekend nights, while my husband works with his parents small business. We have a great team work having to trade shifts when we’re working opposite schedules. Even though I work 2 nights a week, my kids go to school the 5 days during the week and by the time they come home, they have to do homework/chores/etc. and by the time they are done, I have to make dinner at a reasonable time so I can finally get to hang out with them which is only for a short while. Just last week, I almost didn’t get to see my son on a Sunday but I got to give him a kiss before I went to work. I don’t want to live the rest of their school lives like this because then they’ll be soon out of the house. I know what my purpose is as a mom and wife and I don’t want those precious moments to pass by and then regret it.
I love reading your story, it’s encouraging, and the main thing is that you wanted to center your homeschool around teaching biblical truths and how to be adults one day who are made in the image of God and to live it out. I don’t want my kids to just go through the emotions. I want them to know what we believe is real and it shapes every being of who we are made to be. I’m so nervous, scared, a bit frantic when it comes to choosing a curriculum, I feel that I may just over-do it. I feel like I’m jumping from Christian website to Christian website and have all these things to read, but so little time, that I’m getting myself lost in it all. So when it comes time to actually sitting my kids down for learning, I’m scared how they will adjust/listen/understand the content and most of all if they are having fun learning. I want a relaxed, go-with-the flow type atmosphere that puts Jesus in the middle and every other subject are the sides on the dinner plate. Well, sorry to rant. I’m at work and I’ve been reading to stay awake but most of all get good info of course. I need all the encouragement I can get. Thanks for all the blogs/content you put out their. Please pray for me and my family. Especially for patience, grace, and the ability to teach truths and other subjects correctly.
Jane, You are so right about time with your kids going quickly and you can’t get it back. I agree about the relaxed atmosphere that includes fun. I was too stiff when I started and thought they had to do everything in every book. Choose something that looks fun to use. You can even get their input on it. Whatever you choose, make sure you have interaction with them. The relationship aspect is so important and time with your kids so precious. If you choose something that ends up being frustrating, don’t hesitate to change. Each child is so unique. What works for one may not be the best for another, but God will guide you. Your heart is where it should be. Enjoy the journey!