What character qualities are riding along on the obedience train, singing in harmony? I’m rather embarrassed to tell you how many, in my opinion, of our 57 character qualities fit on this train. I went down the list and checked off 19! I must lack discernment or judgment! But then, maybe there is something to this! In our last post, I said that love is the entire enchilada – all 57 qualities rolled into one, describing the perfections of Christ. Obedience as a subset of love also has its entourage. Remember that obedience means, “listening and following instructions, with a good attitude, without excuse or delay” (John 14:15; Eph. 6:1).
It makes sense to include attentiveness and faith because like obedience, they involve listening. Here are a dozen more I think have seats on this train: respect, carefulness, decisiveness, helpfulness, humility, integrity, love (of course), meekness, perseverance, promptness, reliability, and self-control. When you obey, aren’t you normally showing some aspect of these?
Often obedience involves courage, but it always demonstrates virtue and wisdom. And it must display thoroughness. Well, it’s best when it is genuine, but you can argue that one. What’s my total? Hmm, did I list 19? I think so. You can debate these, and that would be good! Check out the list of the 57 which you can access through Renweb or through a teacher. Hang a copy on your fridge!!
Why don’t you turn this into a family table talk topic at dinner tonight or tomorrow night? Parents, find out what your kids are thinking, and share what you think! Consider each other’s viewpoints. Affirm your child’s wisdom and insight whenever you honestly can. What does obedience look like, sound like, feel like? What does it take from deep inside to obey? Evaluate real or hypothetical situations.
A heavy topic like this would be better approached in a way that won’t put anyone on the defensive. So, for instance, by throwing out the question, “Do you have to be genuine in order to obey?” you could stir discussion without turning off someone. Another approach could be, “Do you ever need courage in order to obey?” A parent could share an “I remember when” story. Then a child may want to share his or her story. Prayerfully, go with the flow and see how the conversation moves.
I’d like to be a fairy in your pocket listening at your table! I invite you to share a comment on this blog. And I’ll be praying for God’s blessings on your family!
Obedience is the very best way to show that we believe.
Thanks for reading this post.
Your character quality this week (Obedience) goes right along with my Ladies’ Bible study at church. We are studying Judges. I’m going to share your message with them. As a grandmother who likes to share with her grandchildren, I will use some of your suggestions to add to their spiritual training. Thanks for your work on the character qualities. I like the ideas you’ve shared and will be looking forward to reading more.