The Problem With Explanations

God has not called parents to explain but to train. Explanations often lead to frustration and anger for both parents and children. Children are not in need of lengthy, compelling explanations. What they are in need of is the understanding that God must be obeyed. Ephesians 6:4 addresses this issue: "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."

Explanations tend to focus on getting someone to agree with you. The logic for explanations runs something like this: If I can just get my children to understand the reason for my direction, then they will be more likely to follow my instruction. While this may sound like solid reasoning, it is not. Explanations are more consistent with gaining approval and winning arguments. Neither of these are appropriate goals for biblical parenting and can lead to anger in your children as Ephesians warns against.

This doesn't mean your parenting is to be arbitrary. You must use kind and pleasant words to instruct your children. You must be patient. You must be sensitive to your children. But you are not attempting to secure their approval for your instruction. This can easily lead to manipulation rather than discipline and instruction.

With young children and toddlers, lengthy explanations cloud the real issue. Obedience is a response to God's authority. Biblical obedience is not a matter of winning a debate. Young children must be trained to obey right away, to do exactly as they are told, and to obey with a good attitude.

[Read the rest of the article at Shepherd Press. Click here.]