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Unprepared for Parenting (Ezzos, Pearls, Etc.) *Public* Support and information for those affected by the Ezzos, the Pearls, and other punitive and adversarial methods of child-rearing.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:12 AM   #16
6boysmom
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Default Re: A quote on obedience from an Ezzo teaching video

I just want to mention that what Jesus teaches about obedience is so far from Ezzo. My kids and I have had some discussion this week about God's commands and they were wondering what the Bible says.

Obedience and commands have to do with LOVE and JOY.

This is what Jesus said about HIS commands: John 15:9-17 says:

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit —fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other. "

Also 1 John talks about how Jesus commands are not burdensome.

It seems to me that Ezzo and others like him are trying to instill fear into our children. Jesus preached obedience in the context of relationship. It is so rare that I demand my kids do something. They usually listen to me because we have a close joyful relationship. We help each other.

I feel that if I forced obedience on my kids the obedience wouldn't be genuine and there would be underlying anger and fear toward me. God said that perfect love casts out fear. As adults we manage our relationships based on mutual love and kindness- why is it any different for our kids?

It's preaching like Ezzo and Pearl that takes the gospel and makes it what they want instead of what Jesus REALLY said.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:58 AM   #17
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Default Re: A quote on obedience from an Ezzo teaching video

I guess I'm confused. I do *not* support Ezzo. But I've taught my children that song and not thought a thing about it. And we did discuss what it meant first. I don't teach them that God doesn't love them if they don't obey. But I do teach them that God says if we love Him we will obey his commandments and the above verse in the other post about 'you are my friends if you keep my commandments'. I tell them that God loves us no matter what, but He wants us to obey Him. I tell them that we will be happiest and most joyful when we are living in the perfect will of God and doing His will. Is this wrong?? I do think that obeying God is a good way to show that we believe in and agree with His commands.

I'm not trying to defend anything, I am truly confused. If anyone wants to enlighten me I'd appreciate it

In Christ,
Joy
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:44 AM   #18
forty-two
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Default Re: A quote on obedience from an Ezzo teaching video

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyanne View Post
I guess I'm confused. I do *not* support Ezzo. But I've taught my children that song and not thought a thing about it. And we did discuss what it meant first. I don't teach them that God doesn't love them if they don't obey. But I do teach them that God says if we love Him we will obey his commandments and the above verse in the other post about 'you are my friends if you keep my commandments'. I tell them that God loves us no matter what, but He wants us to obey Him. I tell them that we will be happiest and most joyful when we are living in the perfect will of God and doing His will. Is this wrong?? I do think that obeying God is a good way to show that we believe in and agree with His commands.

I'm not trying to defend anything, I am truly confused. If anyone wants to enlighten me I'd appreciate it

In Christ,
Joy
For my part, I don't believe that we do things for God - not by our own lights, anyway. All the good we do, all the fruits of the Spirit we exhibit, are the result of *God's* work in us.

And God is not a narcissistic God - He doesn't work in us just so we'll then do stuff for Him . No, God works in us for our sake and for the sakes of those around us .

God loves us, and our response to His love is to let His love overflow and spill out of us to bless others. "God doesn't need our good works, but our neighbor does."

But while is it a matter of obedience, it is primarily a matter of love. Obedience without love is nothing. We are loved, and we want to share the love . And God has told us how to best share His love - we obey Him because of love, for the sake of love. Obedience is merely a means to an end - it is meaningless outside of love.

As well, we do not obtain any merit for our obedience - we are worthy and have merit because of God's love and His grace at work in us . Our obedience - even our love - is not something we do *for* God . It is something we do *because* of God .
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:58 AM   #19
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Default Re: A quote on obedience from an Ezzo teaching video

I totally agree that obedience without love is nothing. Perhaps I am just dense. I don't think I've taught my children any differently. I am not seeing the issue clearly. I'm truly not trying to argue, I am striving to understand.

I agreed with your entire post.

In Christ,
Joy
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:07 AM   #20
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Default Re: A quote on obedience from an Ezzo teaching video

WRT "happiest and more joyful when in God's perfect will", the key word there is "perfect" . Obedience to good rules is good; obedience to bad rules is bad.

So the point is to do good, whether that requires obedience or disobedience.

Granted, the default *is* to obey all lawful authorities unless they are actively wrong. So if a lawful authority says, "Don't do <good thing A>", we should obey them unless God has *commanded* us to do <good thing A>. If God has merely allowed us to do <good thing A>, but has not commanded us to do so, then we should obey our lawful authority and not do <good thing A>, even though it is not a universal law.

So a habit of thinking obedience is a good thing, but it's not *the* good thing. *Love* is the ultimate Good Thing.

---------- Post added at 12:07 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:02 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyanne View Post
I totally agree that obedience without love is nothing. Perhaps I am just dense. I don't think I've taught my children any differently. I am not seeing the issue clearly. I'm truly not trying to argue, I am striving to understand.

I agreed with your entire post.

In Christ,
Joy
I've no doubt you've taught your dc rightly .

It's just that mostly, people who use songs like that are *not* using them rightly . They are using them to elevate obedience over everything else, to make our standing as a Christian dependent on what we *do* .

Anything can be misused, and many things can be used for both good and evil. For many GCMers, songs like this are too often misused, and so they prefer to avoid them outright, seeing the potential good as outweighed by the too-frequently-seen harm .
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:12 AM   #21
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Default Re: A quote on obedience from an Ezzo teaching video

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsJacks View Post
One thing I just thought of, as I was sitting here pondering why some Christian parents assume if their children won't obey them, they will never obey God. As an adult, who has experienced God's grace numerous times in my life, I know that when God asks something of me, it's absolutely for my own good and to the benefit of the Gospel. It doesn't mean it won't be uncomfortable or that it would never put my life in danger, but I know God's motives are always pure and with my eternal soul in mind. I cannot say the same for any other human being. Even if a parent isn't being deliberately malicious toward their children, the parenting methods they employ or the standards they expect their children to live up might not exactly be for the benefit of the children. They might believe it is, but is what they expect of their children really beneficial, or does it more so serve their need for convenience?
I love this! And I totally agree!
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:50 PM   #22
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Default Re: A quote on obedience from an Ezzo teaching video

I see. Ok. I do strive to explain things like that to my children. For example the song :

I'm in right
Outright
Upright
Downright
Happy all the time
Since Jesus Christ came in
And cleansed my heart from sin
I'm inright
Outright
Upright Downright
Happy all the time

Drives me NUTS. But, the children's song leader has the kids sing it and my dh doesn't see it as a big deal so I just explained to the kids that while having *Jesus* makes us happy all the time, that doesn't mean everything in our lives will be happy all the time. etc.

I was raised with all those songs and I guess I didn't think much about them b/c my own mother always made it so clear that God=love etc. But then as an adult I started attending legalistic style churches and I'm having to re learn all that again. Trying to keep my mind on Christ and not all the 'rules' I have to follow to be worthy etc.
In Christ,
Joy
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:04 PM   #23
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Default Re: A quote on obedience from an Ezzo teaching video

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyanne View Post
I see. Ok. I do strive to explain things like that to my children. For example the song :

I'm in right
Outright
Upright
Downright
Happy all the time
Since Jesus Christ came in
And cleansed my heart from sin
I'm inright
Outright
Upright Downright
Happy all the time

Drives me NUTS. But, the children's song leader has the kids sing it and my dh doesn't see it as a big deal so I just explained to the kids that while having *Jesus* makes us happy all the time, that doesn't mean everything in our lives will be happy all the time. etc.

I was raised with all those songs and I guess I didn't think much about them b/c my own mother always made it so clear that God=love etc. But then as an adult I started attending legalistic style churches and I'm having to re learn all that again. Trying to keep my mind on Christ and not all the 'rules' I have to follow to be worthy etc.
In Christ,
Joy
That song drove me nuts as a kid. I knew in my heart it was wrong. I knew that it wasn't possible to be happy all the time. Once again though, my MIL thinks that song is THE BEST song ever!
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:00 AM   #24
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Default Re: A quote on obedience from an Ezzo teaching video

Quote:
Originally Posted by katiekind View Post
I hear you. Ezzo is really big on the idea that children's obedience to their parents is a beacon that attracts the unsaved.

The problem -- one of the problems -- is that Christianity is not set apart from other religions by having a code of conduct, it is set apart from other religions by GRACE. While we were yet SINNERS Christ died for us, the righteous for the unrighteous. In that act, it was God who showed obedience, and his children who, although sinners, reaped the benefit. Ezzo's moralism is turned on its head in Christianity.



Precisely.
Absolutely. This is soooo good. THANK YOU katiekind for that good summary of what GOD . did. for. us !
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Old 05-26-2012, 06:24 PM   #25
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Default Re: A quote on obedience from an Ezzo teaching video

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyanne View Post
I guess I'm confused. I do *not* support Ezzo. But I've taught my children that song and not thought a thing about it. And we did discuss what it meant first. I don't teach them that God doesn't love them if they don't obey. But I do teach them that God says if we love Him we will obey his commandments and the above verse in the other post about 'you are my friends if you keep my commandments'. I tell them that God loves us no matter what, but He wants us to obey Him. I tell them that we will be happiest and most joyful when we are living in the perfect will of God and doing His will. Is this wrong?? I do think that obeying God is a good way to show that we believe in and agree with His commands.

I'm not trying to defend anything, I am truly confused. If anyone wants to enlighten me I'd appreciate it

In Christ,
Joy
I don't believe I need to teach my children that if they love God they will obey him. I just need to present God's love to them and present God's commands to them. Then when THEY choose to love him, they will obey him on their own.
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Old 05-26-2012, 06:36 PM   #26
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Default Re: A quote on obedience from an Ezzo teaching video

As always, an enlightening and encouraging post from Kathy. Thank you for sharing this.
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Old 05-26-2012, 06:57 PM   #27
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Default Re: A quote on obedience from an Ezzo teaching video

I wish I could quote, but it's tough on my phone.

To saturnfire: I do want to teach my children that if they love God they will obey him. But not because they are children. And not that obedience to God = obedience to every little thing mom and dad say. Just like the verse that was quoted about obedience being about love.

To Joyanne: when I was a kid, the word obedience was taught to mean obeying your parents and you will be obeying God. So with that in mind, the lyrics are really untrue and harmful. Obey your parents is basically THE WAY kids follow and exemplify a life in God. Like someone else said, nevermind the fruit of the Spirit. It is yet another example in our culture of how all we want of kids is for them to be well-behaved. That is the most important "virtue" on our culture.

But if you teach the proper meaning of obedience, Joyanne, like you explained then that is a beautiful and rare thing.
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:31 AM   #28
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Default Re: A quote on obedience from an Ezzo teaching video

Quote:
Originally Posted by everydaygrace View Post
I wish I could quote, but it's tough on my phone.

To saturnfire: I do want to teach my children that if they love God they will obey him. But not because they are children. And not that obedience to God = obedience to every little thing mom and dad say. Just like the verse that was quoted about obedience being about love.
I might not have explained what I was thinking very well.

If they love God they *will* obey him. Every time, right away? No, of course not. But that *will* be the desire of their hearts.

So my goal is not to teach them that if they love God they will obey him, because that will come natural when they DO love him.

So I think my job is to parent in a way that does not get in the way of them loving him, and teach them his commands so they know HOW to obey him.

THEN when they grow to love him themselves they *will* obey him.
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