Dr. John Piper asks and answers the deeply theological question of the value of obedience for children who are not yet regenerate. His answer is insightful, instructive, and very helpful.
Some of the highlights are:
- For children, external, unspiritual conformity to God’s commanded patterns of behavior is better than external, unspiritual non-conformity to those patterns of behavior.
- Requiring obedience from children in conformity with God’s will confronts them with the meaning of sin in relation to God, the nature of their own depravity, and their need for inner transformation by the power of grace through the gospel of Christ.
- The marks of devotion, civility, and manners (“please,” “thank you,” and good eye contact) are habits that, God willing, are filled later with grace and become more helpful ways of blessing others and expressing a humble heart.
There is also a strong word of warning to parents about the limits of advice such as this. Take the time to think through this most important issue for the lives of our families. Read the blog here.