Where does love originate? Can a child obey out of agape love? I have listened to people who say that our children should obey us out of love; that spanking promotes fear, thus we should not spank them but we should rationalize with them, put them in ‘time out’, and lead them to the Lord so their heart can be changed. I have watched and listened to people teach that Christians should obey God out of love, consequently, to speak on hell, which can instill fear, is not appropriate any longer.
Dear saint, pop psychology, humanism and philosophy is running rampant throughout our churches today and the wisdom to just trust in the teachings of the Lord in how to raise our children is sadly lacking. Refer to my first article in this series and read the scriptures concerning using the “rod” to instill love, thus obedience.
The Bible tells us clearly that you and I are still in the process of learning obedience through the “chastening” of the Lord. Intuitively, it is clear that on this side of heaven even adults do not always obey God out of agape love but instead follow their own carnal nature (selfishness) and God is forced to chasten them.
A person can love lions, but if one does not also fear and respect the lion, their carnal love of the lion will get them mauled or killed. Mature agape love respects and fears the Lord and those who represent the Lord, such as parents, thus honoring and obeying them. People who operate out of immature or fleshly love constantly challenge the boundaries and the authorities that God has placed over them. These people learn obedience through discipline (Please read Ephesians 6:4). Let us look at what the word of God tells us about the word “fear” and how it produces love in our lives.
Genesis 42:18 And Joseph said unto them the third day, This do, and live; for I fear God
Exodus 18:21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:
Leviticus 19:14 Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD. Leviticus 19:32 Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.
Leviticus 25:17 Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 25:36 Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee.
Leviticus 25:43 Thou shalt not rule over him with rigour; but shalt fear thy God.
Deuteronomy 6:2 That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.
Deuteronomy 6:13 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.
Deuteronomy 6:24 And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day
Deuteronomy 10:12 And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul
Deuteronomy 10:20 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.
Deuteronomy 14:23 And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always.
Deuteronomy 17:19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:
Deuteronomy 31:12 Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law:
Deuteronomy 31:13 And that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.
Joshua 4:24 That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.
Joshua 24:14 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.
1 Samuel 11:7 And he took a yoke of oxen, and hewed them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the coasts of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, Whosoever cometh not forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done unto his oxen. And the fear of the LORD fell on the people, and they came out with one consent.
1 Samuel 12:14 If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God:
1 Samuel 12:24 Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.
1 Kings 18:12 And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from thee, that the Spirit of the LORD shall carry thee whither I know not; and so when I come and tell Ahab, and he cannot find thee, he shall slay me: but I thy servant fear the LORD from my youth.
2 Kings 4:1 Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.
2 Kings 17:28 Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the LORD.
2 Chronicles 14:14 And they smote all the cities round about Gerar; for the fear of the LORD came upon them: and they spoiled all the cities; for there was exceeding much spoil in them.
2 Chronicles 17:10 And the fear of the LORD fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat.
2 Chronicles 19:7 Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.
2 Chronicles 19:9 And he charged them, saying, Thus shall ye do in the fear of the LORD, faithfully, and with a perfect heart.
Job 1:9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.
Psalms 15:4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
Psalms 19:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
Psalms 22:23 Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.
Psalms 27:1 <<A Psalm of David.>> The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalms 33:8 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
Psalms 34:9 O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
Psalms 34:11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
Psalms 66:16 Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.
Psalms 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
Psalms 115:11 Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
Psalms 115:13 He will bless them that fear the LORD, both small and great.
Psalms 118:4 Let them now that fear the LORD say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
Psalms 135:20 Bless the LORD, O house of Levi: ye that fear the LORD, bless the LORD.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 1:29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
Proverbs 2:5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
Proverbs 3:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
Proverbs 10:27 The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.
Proverbs 14:26 In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.
Proverbs 14:27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
Proverbs 15:16 Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.
Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.
Proverbs 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
Proverbs 19:23 The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.
Proverbs 22:4 By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.
Proverbs 23:17 Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.
Ecclesiastes 8:12 Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him:
Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
Isaiah 2:10 Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty.
Isaiah 2:19 And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.
Isaiah 2:21 To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.
Isaiah 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
Isaiah 11:3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
Isaiah 33:6 And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.
Jeremiah 5:24 Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.
Jeremiah 26:19 Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him at all to death? did he not fear the LORD, and besought the LORD, and the LORD repented him of the evil which he had pronounced against them? Thus might we procure great evil against our souls.
Hosea 3:5 Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.
Amos 3:8 The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?
Jonah 1:9 And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land.
Luke 23:40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
Acts 9:31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.
Acts 13:16 Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience.
1 Peter 2:17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.
Revelation 14:7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
In his book Spanking: A Loving Discipline, Roy Lessin writes, “God has instructed parents to spank with a rod because, in His wisdom, He knows this is the most effective way of providing the loving correction children need. The reason for this is that spanking, although an outward act, ultimately deals with the heart issues within a child. A spanking is not an enjoyable experience but rather a character-changing experience. Through a spanking a child is to be brought to the place of repentance over the wrong he or she has done... Other forms of discipline such as putting a child in a corner, depriving him of supper or privileges or sending him to his room are not effective because the issues of willful disobedience and wrong attitudes within a child’s heart remain untouched. When children are put in a corner or sent to their room, resentment and bitterness have opportunity to fester within their hearts. Spanking, done properly, is over and done with quickly, before resentment can grow...A spanking should be given as soon as possible after the child has done something that needs correction. If delayed, younger children may forget or be confused over the reason for the discipline. A mother shouldn’t put off spanking until Daddy gets home...Another reason a spanking needs to be given promptly is because of the negative issues that can develop in the heart of a child. It is easy for hardness or resentment or bitterness to grow if discipline is delayed. ‘Discipline your son while there is hope; do not set your heart on his destruction’ (Proverbs 19:18). Spanking also develops the proper kind of fear in children-not a fear of parents, but a fear of sin and its consequences. There is a work the Holy Spirit does within the heart... As parents obey the Word and God’s ways within the family, the work of the Holy Spirit within a child creates sensitivity to what is right. ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding’” (Proverbs 9:10) (Pages 67-71, 78-79).
When a parent operates in agape love, they take the time to “...rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4 AMP). This means that through much diligence and patience, with consistency a parent will talk, counsel and correct their children to obey and fear the Lord and those in authority. They patiently teach and correct the child to live within godly boundaries, consequently helping them to survive the lusts of their flesh that would destroy them if left unchecked. A baby knows no fear until they experience it. Many children are permanently disabled or killed in accidents because their parents will not break that rebellious attitude by immediately spanking them when they deliberately disobey. Discipline gives them the protection that a mature Christian would enjoy by living a life with agape love.
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