“Because I’m the mom (or dad), that’s why.” “Because I said so.”
If you are a parent, chances are you’ve said this, or wanted to say this. But it seems lately in our society, that is frowned upon. I’ve heard the reasons: it doesn’t allow your kids to think for themselves, how will they learn to make good choices when you aren’t there, it doesn’t value your kids’ thoughts and opinions, it’s not respectful towards your kids, your kids will likely rebel when they get older.
I am not going to dispute the validity of those reasons. But, I’ll admit that I am a “Because I’m the mom” or “Because I said so” mom. When I give my kids directions, I expect them to follow without me having to explain why. I teach them that they are to obey immediately and then they can approach me out of curiosity, not defiance, and ask why they had to do so and so or couldn’t do so and so. And I will explain. Sometimes they come to a point of understanding, and sometimes they do not. Sometimes, our conversation will make me realize I was a little too rigid and I will admit to that. Sometimes it will make me change my mind for next time.
I have taught my kids the verse, “Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” I have explained to them that I will have to stand before God and be held accountable for how I have raised them. Therefore they can trust me. I have apologized to them when I was wrong – so they do know that I’m not perfect. But still, I expect them to obey me. I have taught them to obey teachers and other adults in authority. (The one exception being if they are ever asked to go against God – to lie, cheat, steal, hurt someone…)
Society may tell me I’m wrong for having this attitude, but reading through the Bible encourages me to continue. My pastor has encourage our church to commit to reading through the Bible in a year. For those of us who have been faithful, we are in Leviticus (I’m still in Exodus… but am trying to catch up!) One of our youth pastors posted this on his Facebook page:
“I am the Lord your God.” In the book of Leviticus God says this statement 19x for the reason why the Israelites should listen and obey Him. Is that enough said for us to listen, follow, obey, trust, and love Him?”
So I jumped ahead to Leviticus – a very hard book to read filled with laws upon laws upon laws. God didn’t give reasons for the laws. (Interestingly enough, when scholars have studied the laws, they found that they make a tremendous amount of sense in terms of keeping a society healthy and just. But God didn’t go into those explanations.) His reason for the Israelites to obey was, “I am the Lord your God.” Sounds a lot like “Because I said so.”
I’ll be honest, there is a lot in the Bible that I don’t understand why it’s that way, or I think I would have chosen to do differently if I was God, but I’m not God. And I need to listen, follow, obey, trust and love Him through it despite my lack of understanding. Because I believe God is who He says He is, and I believe that God loves me and I love God.
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) One of the ways we can demonstrate our love to God is by obeying Him. A friend pointed out that she started looking at the 10 commandments not as a list of rules, but as a list of how we behave because of our love to God. If I love God, I will not have any other God before him. If I love God, I will not misuse the name of God. If I love God, I will not commit adultery. If I love God, I will not steal. If I love God, I will not lie. If I love God, I will not covet my neighbor’s ____. If I love God, I will honor my father and mother.
Just as I display my love to God by obeying him, I believe that my children demonstrate their love to me when they obey me. So I will continue with my “Because I’m the mom” or “Because I said so” parenting. And I will continue to expect them to listen, follow, trust, obey and love me.
♥Becki, the mom
By the way, I have taught my kids that they are not to blindly obey peers, that their peers are not in authority over them. They should always question what peers ask them to do.