We can widen and press this into family and parenting. If you’re a father, try this scenario. You’re in one room working on something. Could be your job, could be the honey-do list. From the other room, you hear the quarreling break out. Or you hear your kids talk back to your wife. And you listen for a minute to see if it will resolve itself. And it doesn’t.

And so now you must interrupt your work to go deal with it. You’re the head of the home, and it’s your responsibility to reprove, correct, and discipline. You’ve resolved to obey God. But will your obedience shine? Are you going to walk into a big mess of sin and bring more sin? Because grumbling obedience, frustrated obedience, exasperated obedience is disobedience.

As parents, we’re called to bring up our children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, in the teaching and admonition of Christ. Do we pursue that task with joyfulness and gladness of heart? Do we do it heartily, as unto our Lord? Or are we regularly asking irritably, “How many times do I have to remind you to pick up your room or take out the trash?” Well, how many times does God have to remind us to shepherd our children with joy, to be his smile to them?

The same standard applies to our children. Children, do you honor and obey your parents all the way, right away, with a happy heart? Or do you wait to obey until your parents have answered all your questions first? Does your obedience come with a side of back-talk?

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