“Calling Robert’s Bluff”*

Posted: November 30, 2016 in Gospel, Parenting

The Scriptures are clear. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right…And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:1, 4).

“Take ‘Em Off.” Upon arrival for his dentist appointment, a rebellious ten-year-old named Robert refused to get in the patient chair and threatened to take off his clothes if the dentist made him sit. The dentist’s reply? “Son, take ’em off.” Robert did—and then, completely naked, settled into the chair and cooperated for the rest of his visit. When cavities had been drilled and filled, Robert said, “Give me my clothes now.” “I’m sorry,” the wily old dentist said. “Tell your mother that we’re going to keep your clothes tonight.”

Clothes. An embarrassed Robert was forced to walk in his birthday suit through a waiting room filled with snickering patients. The next day, Robert’s mother came to retrieve the clothes—and to thank the dentist. “Robert has been making unreasonable demands and blackmailing me about taking off his clothes in public for years,” she said. “You are the first person to call his bluff, Doctor, and the impact on Robert has been incredible!”

Boundaries. Children such as Robert need boundaries. If you don’t provide them, they’ll threaten and push until someone else does. If you are easily “blown over” in times of confrontation, your child will not learn to yield to authority. Not only will he later defy you, but he is likely to misunderstand the ultimate authority of God. The two sources of leadership, parental and divine, are directly linked in the minds of your kids.

Questions. Do you have a “Robert” in your home? Are you enforcing clear behavioral boundaries for your kids? Are you yourself obedient to the Lord and His Word? Are you a defiant parent who disregards God’s laws? Lawlessness is sin (1 John 3:4). It has severe consequences (Romans 6:23; Revelation 21:8). Do you know which part of the Bible is for you and which part is to you (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; Titus 1:9)? Have you placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day? If not, you’re acting lawlessly toward God. What happens to those who won’t obey the Gospel (2 Thessalonians 1:8; John 3:18, 36)? How does God discipline His own children (Hebrews 12:5-11)? What can happen to God’s unruly children (1 Corinthians 11:30; James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16)?  Where do the devil’s children end up (Matthew 25:41, 46)?  Do you know the difference between our “potential years” and our “actual years”? “The Lord will judge His people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God” (Hebrews 10:30, 31). “…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

PRAYER. Dear God, just as You gave us clear boundaries for living in the Scriptures, guide us to do the same for our children. And when they cross those boundaries, grant us courage and wisdom in our response. Amen.

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15). We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If you have been helped from this article, please let us know and share it with others. To receive future articles a they come out, click on “Follow.”

Clear Gospel. http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

Clear Gospel – Audio: http://www.duluthbible.org/the-gospel-audiobook/

*Adapted from Dr. James Dobson, http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/daily-devotions-for-parents-by-dr-james-dobson/dr-dobsons-parenting-devotional-dec-6.html

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