Obedience Protects You
An article specially designed for parents to read with their children
WOULD you like it if you could do anything you wanted? Are there times when you wish that no one would ever tell you what to do? Now, be honest and tell me.
But which is better for you? Is it really wise to do anything you want? Or do things turn out better when you obey your father and your mother? God says that you should obey your parents, so there must be a good reason for it. Let’s see if we can figure it out.
How old are you? Do you know how old your father is? How old is your mother? They are much older than you are. They have lived much longer than you have. And the longer a person lives the more time he has to learn things. He hears more things, and sees more things and does more things every year. So young folks can learn from older ones.
Whom do you know that is younger than you are? Do you know more than he does? Why is it that you know more? It is because you have lived longer. You have had more time to learn things than he has.
Who has lived longer than you or I or any other person? Jehovah God has. He knows more than you do and he knows more than I do. When he tells us what is good for us, we can be sure that it is right. If we do what he says, it will protect us. We should always obey him.
So you see, I need to be obedient too. I need to obey God. It is for my own good. And it results in good for you when you obey God. You want to obey God, don’t you?
Let’s get out our Bible and see what God tells children to do. Can you find the book of Ephesians? We are going to read from Ephesians chapter six, verses one, two and three. It says: “Children, be obedient to your parents in union with the Lord, for this is righteous: ‘Honor your father and your mother’; which is the first command with a promise: ‘That it may go well with you and you may endure a long time on the earth.”’
That is in the Bible. So it is Jehovah God himself who is telling you to be obedient to your father and mother.
What does it mean to “honor” your father and your mother? It means that you are to show them respect. You should listen to them and do what they say without complaining. Obedience protects you. And God promises that if you obey, it will “go well with you.”
I know a story about some people whose lives were saved because they were obedient. Would you like to hear it?
These people lived in the big city of Jerusalem long ago. Most of the people in that city were bad. They did not listen to God. Jehovah sent his own Son, Jesus Christ, to teach them. But they still did not listen. What would God do to them?
Jesus warned them that God was going to have their city destroyed. He said that armies of soldiers would camp around the city and ruin it. He also told the people how they could escape if they loved what was right. This is what he said:
‘When you see armies all around Jerusalem, you will know that the destruction of the city is getting near. Then is the time to get out of Jerusalem and run to the mountains.’—Luke 21:20-22.
It happened just as Jesus said it would. The armies of Rome came and camped all around Jerusalem. Then for some reason they left. Most of the people thought that the danger was past. They stayed in the city. But what had Jesus said they should do?
What would you have done if you had been living in Jerusalem? Those who really believed Jesus left their homes and ran far away from Jerusalem into the mountains. Not only grown-ups went; children went with them.
But were they really protected because they were obedient? For a whole year nothing happened to Jerusalem. In the second year nothing happened. And in the third year nothing happened. Some people may have thought that those who had left the city were foolish. But then in the fourth year the armies of Rome came back. Again they camped all around Jerusalem. Now it was too late to escape. This time the armies destroyed the city. Most of the people inside were killed and the rest were taken prisoner.
But what happened to those who had obeyed Jesus? They were safe. They were far away from Jerusalem. So they were not hurt. Obedience protected them.
If you are obedient, will that protect you too? Yes. Let me show you how. I may tell you never to play in the street. Why do I do that? It is because you might be hit by a car and get killed.
But someday you might think: ‘There are no cars right now. I won’t get hurt. Other children play in the street, and I have never seen them get hurt.’
That is how most of the people in Jerusalem thought. After the armies of Rome had left, it looked safe. Others were staying in the city. So they stayed too. They had been warned, but they did not listen. As a result, they lost their lives. How much better it is to obey!
Let’s take another example. Have you ever played with matches? It may seem like fun to watch the fire when you light a match. But playing with matches can be dangerous, so never do it. It is like playing with a poisonous snake. The snake may not bite you, but it could! And the matches may not burn you, but they could. They could burn down the whole house and kill you! So obedience is a protection, isn’t it? Obeying just some of the time is not enough. But if you always obey, it really will protect you.
Who is it that tells you, “Be obedient to your parents”? It is God. And, remember, he says that because he really loves you.