Here is the latest Coffee & Pearls:

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The number one rule in my house is: obey. That’s it. Everything else falls under that rule. I don’t expect my children to magically know what needs to be done around the house but I do expect that once I ask them to do something, they will do it right away.

A classical school near our house has a school saying about this. Obey, right away, all the way, cheerfully, every day.

Now to be honest, I don’t care about the cheerful part. I don’t accept sass or whining but I also don’t expect them to be chipper about doing the laundry. I’m still trying to cultivate a positive attitude while doing housework!

I do like that saying though and we’ve been trying it on for size as a family. It’s given me a really easy response to children who don’t do what I ask right away or all the way.

I’ve really come to see that my role as their parent is to ensure that know who Jesus is… who He is really is and how to have a real relationship with him. And it’s also my job to teach them obedience. After all, they’re going to leave my house and they must make their own choices. They will get to choose whether they want to obey the teachings of the church or not.

Obedience is painful.

Obedience is not fun.

Obedience is necessary for real peace.

If I don’t know them how to obey when they don’t feel like it, how will they know how to do that when they are tested in the world? The world makes it so easy to chase pleasure, money, and fame.

Here are three quotes that inspire me to teach my children obedience.

Love to be real, it must cost—it must hurt—it must empty us of self. -Mother Teresa

I want them to know that love is about serving those whom we love. It is not about warm, tingly feelings. It’s not about having fun. It’s not about who we like to hang out with. Love is about seeing someone else’s true value and because of that value, we choose to serve them.

To love God is something greater than to know Him. -St. Thomas Aquinas

We can have them memorize scripture, take religious classes, and learn what the catechism says but if we do not teach them to love God… to really love him in their hearts and with their actions… then the studying is worthless. Religion is not school, it is a lifestyle… a series of choices we make every single day.

Be a good child, and God will help you. -St. Joan of Arc

I feel yucky when I give into temptations and turn from God. We all do this in small ways every day. We choose the lesser path. We avoid doing something good because we don’t feel like it. When I am a “bad child” I feel it deep in my soul. What a gift then, that we can give our children, using these short years that we have them, how to obey God with childlike simplicity. I do not do that because God told me not to. It really is that simple.

I want my house to be a training ground of sainthood. Like turning out good soldiers, I want to turn out good saints. And to the outside world, we’re going to look bananas. I get that. God’s economy is almost always the opposite of that of the world. If God values it, it’s likely the world will stomp on it. It’s important that we understand WHY we are teaching our children obedience. It is through this that they may learn how to obey the Lord. And hopefully, along the way, this teaches us better obedience as well!

I’ll leave you with this verse from Ephesians 6:1-3:

Children, obey your parents [in the Lord], for this is right. “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise, “that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life on earth.”

 

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