Obedience: 3 Reasons I Cringe at the Word and It’s Lessons

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Of course, I want my children to mind authority. I want my children to listen to their father and I, and I want my children to follow the rules. Yet, I do not believe in black and white. I also want my children to be free thinkers. I want my children to grow up and be independent and I want my children to work out problems for themselves. Obedience is used to imply to people of all ages, but especially children, that they should follow any authority blindly. Not question, not be independent, and just follow.

Obedience in Organized Religion

Because of this I hate the word obedience, and just that word alone tends to deter me from going to church. I am Christian but I’m not a fan of organized religion and the teaching of obedience. Why? Because I want my kids to question. I do not want them to just take what is taught to them and think it’s absolutely correct, because it probably isn’t. There are so many things that we do not know. I believe in God and I will teach them so. Yet, I question every day the validity of the Bible, the stories, the religion, the believers, and the faith. I do not believe blindly, I question. I hope to teach them to do so as well and obedience gets in the way of this.


I am a feminist and I hope to raise both my children to be too. My daughter will learn she’s just as capable at anything she wants to do as my son. My daughter will not learn that she is second. She will not learn that she is to be obedient to men and she will not learn that she must be subservient. I will teach about the equality in marriage, mutual respect, love and understanding. Obedience has nothing to do with it.



I do believe children should respect their parents. I do believe children should follow their parent’s guidance. Most often than not parents are telling children ‘no’ to keep them safe. Often times they do not understand that and often times they will not listen. But I also want my children to question. Perhaps my husband and I do not have all the answers. My children are young yet, they cannot question our authority yet, but when they do I will not deter it. I will have the final word, but I hope they come to me with discussion, answers to problems, and different perspectives. I don’t know how much they have to teach me yet. A simple ‘No’ without listening sometimes may hinder my own education in them, what they need, and how they’re able to come up with solutions. This is why I do not use the word ‘Obey’ when it comes to parenting, because I do not want them to simply obey all the time.


Do you teach obedience? Do you do so and still teach your children to question? How do you do so?




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17 thoughts on “Obedience: 3 Reasons I Cringe at the Word and It’s Lessons

  1. I totally agree that encouraging them to think through each process versus just obeying is key to them learning long term. Way to go mama!

  2. I love everything about this! I try to teach my children respect, rather than obedience. There is a way to be respectful of adults and still question authority. It takes some time to learn and often comes off as sass or attitude, but we’re working on it. Keep it up, mama!

  3. I absolutely love all the fabulous things you have to say and wholeheartedly agree with you! Your children are blessed to have you!

  4. I love this. I was raised in Catholic religion but I can relate to alot behind feminism. As for my children I am right there with you. I have two sons. It’s important for them to understand and respect women and men, mothers and fathers equally.

  5. I love your message. Yes, kids in the past were taught to obey all elders no matter what. I love that you have decided to teach your kids and encourage them to talk to you

  6. I appreciate your perspective on this. I agree that children should be encouraged to ask questions and formulate their own thoughts and feelings without fear of being labelled disobedient if they don’t follow what they’re told. I think folks confuse instilling respect with obedience.

  7. I cringe at the word Obedience too. I rate respect more than obedience. I would like to raise her to respect elders but not to brainlessly obey.

  8. I so appreciate this perspective and too cringe with the word obedience. I am all about giving respect in order to earn it, even from our children.

  9. I actually hate that word, so I understand where you’re coming from. Obedience implies training to me,…something I’d want from a pet. In terms of parenting, I don’t want my kids to strictly obey. I want them to be respectful, though.

  10. totally agree with the respecting versus obeying .. i tell my kids that while they don’t need to say yes to everything we say, they should learn to be respectful in interactions with us as well as with others in their lives too (no matter their age).. a little respect goes a long way in my opinion

  11. I don’t teach obedience. I teach my girls they can and should do what they want in life and not let assigned roles keep them from anything. I teach them about how women have been treated by men in charge for years. I consider myself a feminist as well and teach my girls to think for themselves.

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