God expects unconditional obedience from His children. Can you imagine God saying, “If you will obey my voice, I will give you $100”? How absurd would it be if our Heavenly Father purchased compliance from His children through bribery? And even if He did, what purpose would it accomplish? The obedience would be the result of a satisfying promise of reward and not the product of love, respect, submission, or fear. Every instance of obedience would be contingent upon the favorableness of the reward, and no pattern of obedience to God would be established.
The same concept applies to raising children. Like God, I, too, expect unconditional obedience from my children. This means that when I give my children a command, I expect them to obey without conditions (i.e. without the promise of a new toy, a yummy snack, etc.) Granted, this does not always happen naturally or easily–after all, we are talking about sinful human beings–but it can be accomplished through proper training and discipline! Training and discipline are necessary steps on the path to obedience as well as an investment in the heart of a child. Obedience should not come as the result of the promise of reward; it should be an outpouring of a proper posture of the heart. I want my children to obey me unconditionally because they love and respect me. When submission out of love, respect, and even fear becomes the posture of their hearts, they will not only obey their parents unconditionally but also their Heavenly Father. And that is why I do not bribe my children.