Mother to Mother : Afraid or Fear-What should my child have?
For a long time I made my son obey me, by making him afraid of being punished; I always threatened him saying, “If you do not obey me you will be without TV” or “You’re grounded because you did not do what I asked you to…” And that, of course, made him complete my orders quickly. And I thought: “He is obeying me.”
However, he began to grow, to have new attitudes and become more confident. He reached the phase of “I know everything” and found himself old enough to be able to answer back to me the same way his “little friends” did with their parents.
That day, I saw an urge in him to be my size and tell me: “I’m not afraid of you!”
Then God spoke strongly with me.
What was I doing?
How much longer will my son be a child? Until when could I frighten him?
After all, I controlled him because he was afraid of me and of the punishments, but one day he would be bigger than me and also stronger, and then, what would I do in order for him to continue to respect me?
Then and there I saw my mistake! And now I am going to pass it on to you:
We cannot think only in the present, saying: “My son obeys me and respects me because I am firm and rigid with him…” No! This child will grow to the point that you won’t be able to “tame him” anymore, and the only way for him to respect you today and continue to respect you forever, whether you are present or not, will be by “Fearing God.” Yes, your child should fear God and not be afraid of you.
Today I teach my son the commandment of God:
” Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” (Deut. 5:16)
If our children are taught to obey the word of God and to love Him wholeheartedly, they certainly will respect and honor us. Not by merit, but by keeping the word of their Lord, whom their mother taught them to Fear and Trust.