One of my goals as a mother is to teach my children to obey:

1. right away, 2. all the way, and 3. with a happy heart.

It’s a lofty goal, and we often fall short, but it is the goal nonetheless.

I expect them to obey without asking, ‘but why?’  I expect them to obey quickly.  When the speed of their obedience is lacking, I sometimes ask, ‘how quickly would you do that task if you knew I was going to give you a candy bar.’  Not surprisingly, there is a difference.

They are children, I am mom…I owe them no explanation for anything they are told to do…BUT…I have come to realize that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t sometimes share with them my reasoning.

I have come to see that while they do need to learn to obey, with or without any justification, I don’t have to create more difficulty to the already difficult task of obedience.  Their sinful little hearts will rebel plenty to provide the opportunity for correction.  So for the times when it isn’t an issue of danger or immediacy, it may be a-okay to give an explanation along with my instruction.  And, when I offer that explanation along with the instruction, it disarms their natural tendency to question or complain.

So kiddies, finish up your breakfast so we can clean up the house before we head to the park.