Today’s Scripture: And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a perfect heart. 2¬†Chronicles¬†25:2

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.” (Ephesians¬†6:1) This commandment is often used to show our children that the Bible teaches they need to obey us. However, physical compliance is not all that is required. There is a difference between a child who obeys and a child who doesn’t, but there is also a difference between a child who obeys and a child who regretfully follows your command.

The reason this is important is because a child who gets away with inward rebellion will often continue to press to find the limit of your tolerance and show outward rebellion. When our children show that their attitude is wrong, we need to deal with it before they get to the point where they won’t listen at all. A child who resents being told what to do is a child who is putting their will and desires above those of the authority over them.

You don’t tell a two-year old not to put his finger in the outlet because it will shock him. You just say, “NO!” if they try. Children must be taught to obey when they are young, and when they get older and have questions about certain rules, you can explain why that rule is for their protection. A child who knows his parents love him and the rules are for his protection will accept the commands and obey even if he may not understand why they are important.

You may be reading this and ask yourself, “Why does this matter to me? I don’t have children.” or “My children are all grown.” The reason this matters is because we all need to obey Ephesians 6:1. We are the children of God. He is the parent who has told us to do many things. Are you obeying His Word? You may be following what He said to do, but are you obeying willingly? Do you serve God because it is expected of you, or because He loves you and you know He wants the best for you? Do you obey because it is right, or because you fear certain unwanted consequences?

Obedience is better than disobedience, but God knows our motives. King Amaziah may have done what was right, but it is forever noted that his heart was not where it should have been. Determine to obey Him “for this is right,” and you will be blessed.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder