Most parents, for the long-term benefit of their children and for their own sanity, train up their children to be obedient. It takes a lot of work at first because it is human nature to rebel. Starting from young children, humans want to do their own thing their own way usually resisting commands and demands. A child who does not follow commands can be very unpleasant to be around. And children who can’t follow commands usually (and unfortunately) turn into teens and adults who can’t follow commands, which then becomes very unpleasant for teachers and employers. A tactic for parents to encourage obedience often becomes “benefits” such as extra privileges or rewards. But do we really want our children to obey out of a motive to earn something from us? Or do we want their obedience to be simply in response to our love for them? For the Christian, most of us are familiar with the Ten Commandments and probably do a decent job of attempting to obey them. But why? Why do we obey God’s commands? Is it to earn something from God, possibly even to earn His love? Yes, there are many benefits in the Word of God to those who obey His commandments. But those benefits shouldn’t be the reason we obey. The reason we should obey is just simply because He loves us!
97 Oh, how I love your instructions! I think about them all day long. Psalm 119:97 (NLT)
9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! John 15:9-11 (NLT)
15 “If you love me, obey my commandments. John 14:15 (NLT)