I live in a county where we have only had 9 positive cases of the Corona virus. Six of those have recovered. Two are recovering in the hospital and one is self-quarantining at home. We aren’t personally feeling the impact of this virus. And yet for the next couple of weeks we and our children will still be shut down.
I’ll be honest, it’s hard to keep following social distancing rules. It’s difficult to see our church not able to physically gather while liquor stores stay open as essential. I get it. I understand that it’s apples to oranges. But it’s still emotionally taxing to continue not meeting together when we aren’t feeling a real danger “out there.”
But we’re going to keep obeying our governmental authorities as well as experts in the medical field who call us to remain cautious. And one of the big reasons we are going to do this is for our children. Not that they are particularly susceptible to this virus—but because they are susceptible to learning from really bad examples.
We teach our children that their obedience to us as their parents are not dictated by whether or not they agree with our decision. We’ll allow them to discuss, we’re fair parents. But their first step needs to be one of obedience. There’s a difference between agreement and obedience. And it’s absolutely vital for our walk with Christ that we are “obedient children” and not just “agreeable children”.
So if we rail against the government, communicate that we think these rules are stupid, thumb our nose at their spoken desire to protect us, and refuse to heed their orders or guidelines, then we are telling our children that we only listen to authorities whenever we agree. If we do this, we’re setting a horrible example.
I hear the contrary argument too. What about the constitution? What if the government oversteps? In our system of government it is the constitution which is our authority and therefore we aren’t rebelling from our God-given authority but from governmental overreach.
Fair enough. I disagree in part, but I’ll concede that point for a moment. Even if that is true there is also a way in which you teach your children to properly rebel from an authority. And it’s not based upon whether or not you agree. We don’t rebel because we disagree with their decisions. We rebel whenever they are actively working apart from our best interest and especially apart from the best interest of Christ. Our rebellion absolutely must come with mourning. We need to have a desire to obey and be broken-hearted when we cannot.
Our kids are watching and learning from us. The way we respond to this—especially if we don’t necessarily agree with every decision—is speaking volumes to how they’ll obey us as parents and their Father in heaven. There will come a time when the Word of God confronts their fallen inclinations. In that moment it’ll be vital for them to have established a pattern of thinking which defaults to trust and obedience.
This article originally appeared here.