Critiques of the 'First-Time Obedience' Principle


'First-time obedience' has had a foothold in Christian fundamentalism since the days of John Wesley's mother, who had fifteen children. She famously wrote, "Seldom is the odious noise of children crying to be heard in the house."

The concept is taught by James Dobson, the Fugates, the Ezzos, and the Pearls. In the Geftakys Assemby Ginger Geftakys advocates first time obedience even for infants in her pamphlet on child training.

Advocates of instant obedience believe spiritual principles are at stake. Children are born with hearts full of self-will and rebellion. This must be trained out of them as early as possible so they will become obedient to God. 

Those who disagree with this approach raise several issues. 

The following websites and articles present alternative views on child training:

First Time Obedience?

Joanne Ketch, MSW, GOYB (Get Off Your Butt Parenting)

First Time Obedience, Really?

Revisiting First Time Obedience

Does Discipline Really Produce Godly Character?


Menu ·  Top of Page