The Inheritance: Honor and Obey
Heart to Heart

Dear Families,      

How do earthly beings come to revere a heavenly Father they have neither seen nor touched? How does the sinful nature vow allegiance to a God Who requires absolute obedience? Born into rebellion and wanting our own way, it is a miracle indeed that we can honor a King other than ourselves, yet the scripture clearly tells us that if we “train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6).     

In looking back I see so clearly the path my parents paved right to the throne of God—a straight course bearing no detours, all boundaries clearly marked.     

My parents got my respect and obedience because they demanded it; nothing less was allowed. No questions asked, no suggestions accepted, only “Yes, sir” and “Yes, ma’am” were allowed. Even the “I’m doing this because I have to, but I don’t want to” look or a “humph” were followed by the strap. The rules were very simple indeed, just honor and obey.     

The rebellious nature of man always thinks it has a better way and is never satisfied, so the line must be drawn and kept. I am always telling our children: “There’s only one thing God requires of you, that you honor and obey your parents. If you don’t, you’ll never be useful in God’s kingdom because you’ll never be able to honor and obey Him. We’re in a spiritual battle. When fighting in a war, you must be obedient to the commander-in-chief, or you get shot and jeopardize everyone else around you. God can’t use independent thinkers who think they know better than Him. Also, if you are outwardly obedient, but not inwardly obedient, you are not being obedient at all. For God looks at the heart.”     

When I die, will my children be able to carry on in the battle? When they hear the battle cry, will they look to their Commander trusting His judgment to be the only direction they take? If they do, I will have successfully completed my job as a faithful servant of my Lord and Master.     

About twenty years seems like a long time, yet somehow those years just slip on by. As life gets busier, it becomes easier to give in and let some things slip on through the boundary markers. However, “The child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother” (Prov. 29:15). I should know because I am reaping the consequences of my negligence.     

Life became so much more demanding, and so was my last child—so demanding, so persistent, so difficult. While I was taking care of the needs of so many, the greatest need of my youngest to be held accountable for his defiance was often ignored. Shame on me! He requires so much more vigilance than all my others, but if that’s what it takes, so be it.     

Forgive me, Father, for giving in to rebellion when I was tired. Gird me up for every rebellious battle. Make me ever mindful that my most important mission is raising godly children, and my most important task is to teach my children to honor and obey You.     

A yoke of obedience becomes the crown of life. May all my children wear one.      

Our love to all of you,     

Jon and Candy