by Fr Frank Papa
We all are commanded to obey the Ten Commandments because they were given by God the Father to Moses for all of us to obey. Jesus, the Son of God, repeated the Ten Commandments and the requirement for all to obey them. We all are required to be obedient to all of God’s commandments.
Sin is disobedience to the laws of God. Everyone needs self discipline to be obedient to God’s laws. Self-control promotes obedience. The commandment to honor your father and mother demands obedience in every home.
Through the Fourth Commandment, God commands parents to expect and even demand obedience from their children. Today, too many parents are afraid of their children not “liking” them. But it is better to be too strict than to be too lenient because of the possible loss of the soul of the child.
Parents must demand what is right and good by their children, and demand that their children reject what is wrong and evil.
The key to successful homeschooling is that the father and the mother must be obedient to God’s laws. The Fourth Commandment appoints parents as responsible agents of God. Parents must be sure that the truths of God’s laws are taught in the home.
Don’t hide the normal consequences of disobedient actions. The parable of the Prodigal Son is often lived out by teens today.
A seventeen-year-old boy leaves his home because he believes his parents are too strict, demanding he obey certain house rules such as not staying out late, and keeping parents informed about his whereabouts. The parents refuse to allow their son to disobey the house rules.
The boy wanders about, but finally realizes that other people are using him for their own goals, and don’t care about him. He finally comes to realize that only his own family cares about him.
Parents, have the courage to tell your children when they are wrong. Successful families have courageous parents who discipline themselves by demanding what is right and good from their children. Trust in God and pray, pray, pray for your children. God hears the prayers of parents for their children.
Children should be brought up by parents as God commands them to bring up their children. Parents must be obedient to God by demanding obedience to God from their children twenty-four hours a day.
Fathers must serve the family
The father in the family is God’s representative in the household. A father must fulfill his role to demand obedience as God the Father demands obedience. The father must be a role model as a husband and father.
Many children today grow up without a father in the home; thus the children don’t know the responsibilities of a father and husband. The father has the right and the responsibility to represent God the Father in the family. It is his obligation to be obedient to God.
The mother must be a role model as a wife and mother. Children need to see and learn the responsibilities of a wife and mother. Every mother and father, especially in a homeschooling family, are showing their children how to act as parents.
Education is not just training to live in this world. Knowledge is important, but wisdom is more important. Wisdom is living the Catholic life; wisdom is understanding we live for eternal life. Wisdom is living God’s commandments.
Parents need to give clear expectations for their children. The parents must be “on the same page.” Rules of discipline must be agreed upon and be consistent. The children must see the same response from both parents.
Parents need to pray together every day and take time to discuss the happenings of the day. There must be unity in their decision making. Children will take advantage of any disagreements between their parents, and may make their own choices when they see parents disagreeing.
The home should be a place of peace and love. The home should be a place of fresh air in a crazy world. It should be a place where people care about each other.
Parents should delegate responsibilities to the children as part of the family community. The older children can help teach the younger children.
As the older children teach the younger children, academic lessons as well as Catholic lessons and virtues are re-enforced in the older children.
Mothers should not do it all alone
Mothers should not try to do everything themselves. Everyone should be willing to help the others in the family. Fathers need to help design the household rules and regulations. Each child should have family or household responsibilities according to his or her age and ability.
Children need to feel wanted and important as part of the family. Children need to feel needed. Everyone should be involved in preparing the meals, doing the laundry, and running errands.
A successful homeschooling family includes active involvement and the taking on of responsibility by the father and the children. A successful home school is a place where mothers and fathers and children all care for each other, all show love and concern for each other, all strive to help each other.
All members of the family encourage each other, protect each other, embrace each other, pray for each other.
Pray to God the Father and to Jesus to give you, your spouse, and your children the grace to understand the importance of being obedient to the laws of God and thus keep harmony and order in your home.