Sari and Macie were both given ring pops by their daycare providers the other day. Nothing unusual. They typically get a “treat” at the end of the week if they have been good.

Usually I slip these weekly treats in my pocket before the girls see them so they don’t whine and fuss over them before dinner, but this time I let them take them and place them in their pockets.

As we were pulling out of the driveway, Sari is pondering in her seat staring at the packaged ring pop:

“Dad, I can’t stop thinking about this ring pop.”

“That’s okay,” I said. “I can hold the ring pop for you so you don’t have to think about it or worry about it.”

“But Dad, you can’t make me stop thinking about it!”

It frustrated me at the moment because she is right… I can’t really make her do anything. Sure I can still (for the time being) pick her up and force her (because she is still small enough), but it is only obedience on the outside and not obedience on the inside.

I realized at that moment that Sari is now wise to her will and she is testing pitting that will against another’s will (mine). I realized that Amanda and I are going to have to start “training” Sari’s will instead of just controlling it.

Parenting is about to get even more interesting!


  1. when a parent teaches or trains or makes their child submit or surrender their will to them as parents –does that some how imitate -assist -prepare–train the child to better or make it easier for the child to submit their will to Christ later in life???

    • Absolutely! I think that’s a huge part of what our job as parents is… Not just preventing injuries, or stopping them from annoying us, rather to teach them to obey, even when they don’t want to on the outside, b/c that trains their character and heart to receive Christ and His intent for their behavior and eventual life…

  2. A child convinced against her will is of the same opinion still.

    You have some convincing to do to help the child change her mind.

    Children must come to understand . . . And then choose to obey.

    It must become a habit to obey.

    • I’m gonna hang on to this quote from you, Ben: “It must become a habit to obey.”

      That is awesome!

      • is it really about obeying and teaching our kids to obey –is it about making obeying a habit?? or is more about or should it be more about teaching kids to make a habit of surrendering their will to the person (christ) that they are to obey—? is there a difference between the two?? are submit and obey the same?? is obeying and trying to obey of our old selves?? and surrendering of our new selves –when try and obey and be holy are our eyes on ourselves and when we surrender are our eyes on Jesus??? is there any true and pure obeying with out true submission?? –do you have to obey to submit to christ or can you only truly obey after you have surrender to christ ?? I think I am getting dizzy –I have found in my own life and relationship with Christ after many many unsuccessful futile attempts at willful obedience -I have decided to start directing those energies in to willful submission to christ –so that He can live a obedient life through me –because I know I can’t –and this has proven to be a much more successful method for me to live a life pleasing to HIM -letting go , yielding, submit, surrender, submission of all things in all areas of my life instead of struggling, fighting, trying,manning up -get in it done-whatever–Romans 8:28 –grown to love this verse and what it says about “all things”-the second part of the verse is the often missed KEY to this verse in my opinion -“of those who LOVE me and WHO HAVE BEEN CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE!”– this verse makes things very simple in my life, that if I want all things (good or Bad) that happen in my life to work for my good –I must put my energies into loving HIM and make sure I am called according to his purpose –then it is all good literally –there is were you have true rest and peace

        • Wow. I think you’re right, Dave. I wonder if a marriage metaphor works. I’m faithful to my wife because I love her and am committed to the relationship, not just because I’m bound to obey. My marriage vows reflect the intent of my heart for a lifelong commitment. It doesn’t stop at just “these are the bare minimum I need to follow to sustain my marriage.” Maybe obedience is the beginning and submission to the relationship grows out of that?

          • no I think the opposite that SUrrender is the beginning and obedience grows out of that…I know I can’t obey unless I surrender first maybe I am just backwards –which very well can be the case

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