The first most obvious answer to this question is that it will keep them safe. A parent normally makes rules in order to achieve a positive outcome, most notably, a child’s physical safety, but also their emotional and spiritual safety too. Generally, a child who listens to their well-intentioned parents will get into fewer scrapes than one who doesn’t.
Second, training in obedience teaches a child that there are other people out there who they can learn from. To obey means to humble yourself to the authority of another. ‘Obey’ and ‘authority’ can come across as strong overbearing words, but in the proper context of good intention and godly standards, they have a deeper meaning and strength. It is a gift, in fact, to teach a child that there is always more to learn, and that there are people out there who can answer questions and have knowledge and experience to impart. A child or young person who learns to humble themselves early on will be open to learning throughout their life; they will know when to ask for help, and they will have the strength of character to put aside their own pride in order to submit to the experience of another.
Essentially, obedience is a means to strengthen and grow characteristics in a child that will benefit them way into adult life.
It has to be said, obedience and wisdom go hand in hand. Just as much as obeying well-intentioned and godly people will bring reward, choosing to follow and obey sin and ungodliness has the opposite effect. The truth is, we will always be in submission to something (whether it feels like it or not). Throughout our lives we must submit to parents, educators, leaders, evidence, the laws of the land, ideals, and practices. However, we do have the choice.
In the Bible, God has given us a standard and a choice. Wisdom is gained by using the Bible as a tool to measure what is right and wrong, what is godly and what is ungodly. THROUGH wisdom we can learn to discern who or what we should submit to. Ultimately, it is this, submit to God and godliness, and reject sin and sinfulness.
By informing children about the authority and love of God, we are teaching them to submit to and obey Someone who will NEVER let them down and Someone who will teach them and lead them in righteousness and love.
Parents fail, laws fail, educators and leaders fail, but God never fails.
By learning about obedience through the Bible, a child is learning about a characteristic that is recommended by a loving, all-encompassing, infinite God. When obedience is learned through the eyes of God, it becomes a pathway to success and true joy, rather than a tool that is used to force you to submit to the whims and fancies of the powerful.
In conclusion, here are some verses to encourage you as you teach your children about the rewards and benefits of godly obedience:
Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.
1 John 3:24
Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.
Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine;
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
Know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. Therefore you shall keep his statutes and his commandments, which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for all time.
Deuteronomy 4: 39-40
For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
John 13: 15-17
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.