I have observed and talked with many parents of young children who believe that not requiring obedience of their children is a way of showing grace to their children. A recent article by John Piper refutes this and urges parents to require obedience. He gives nine thoughts with comments.
1. Requiring obedience of children is implicit in the biblical requirement that children obey their parents.
2. Obedience is a new-covenant, gospel category.
3. Requiring obedience of children is possible.
4. Requiring obedience should be practiced at home on inconsequential things so that it is possible in public on consequential things.
5. It takes effort to require obedience, and it is worth it.
6. You can break the multi-generational dysfunction.
7. Gracious parenting leads children from external compliance to joyful willingness.
8. Children whose parents require obedience are happier.
9. Requiring obedience is not the same as requiring perfection.
Young parents, you stand in God’s place. To train children to obey you is to train them to obey Christ when they are older. This is serious business. Show them grace by training them to obey.