Wow, I am amazed at the patience of our heavenly Father. I have learned what an incredibly slow learner I am. He has shown me how weak I am in being patient, when I actually thought patience was something I was pretty good at…(that darn arrogant pride). How is the Lord showing me this? -Through the efforts of teaching our kids obedience. Simple tasks become enormously difficult and stressful! You just want to scream, “JUST DO WHAT I ASKED!!” I mean really, “JUST DO IT!”
I am reminded of what high importance obedience is to the Lord.
“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22.
Saul lost his place as king over Israel because of disobedience to God.
“Noah did everything that the Lord commanded him” Genesis 7:5. “By faith Noah, after he was warned about things that had never happened before and motivated by godly fear, built an ark to deliver his family. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” Hebrews 11:7.
So by obeying the Lord, Noah became an heir of righteousness which blessed his descendants and many generations to come. Noah blessed his future generations with his obedience to the Lord, while Saul hurt his family with his disobedience. His son lost his chance to become king because of his father’s disobedience. I want to bless my family with obedience to the Lord!
In teaching my kids obedience (without complaining!), I’m convicted to examine my own heart and life with the question, “Am I living obediently to the Lord?” I can think of many times I reason in my head to convince myself that I am doing “the right thing”, but am I really doing what I have been asked to do?
Another thing brought to my attention through the exercise of teaching the importance of obedience is our real struggle with sin/flesh and the compassion our Father pours out on us. When I see one of my kids melt down at the request of a simple task, it breaks my heart. MELT DOWN: collapsing to the floor, thrashing about with arms and legs, whining, crying, or yelling. It’s a scary sight! But we’ve all been there, right? Sure, it is incredibly frustrating, but I look again and see that struggle, that fight against ourselves, our own flesh robbing us of joy and peace, separating us from our Creator.
But oh that wonderful HOPE! We have a Savior ready to HELP us. “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17. That is such GOOD news I want my kids to hear! A lot of times, I know the correct response to things and I try by my own might to “behave” correctly and to my surprise, it just doesn’t work out. I mean, again, I am such a slow learner! Trying by my own might ends up a big fail. Choosing to ask for the Holy Spirit to help me in those times is not always easy but is so worth it.
Lord, please work in the hearts of my children as well as mine and Phil’s to be obedient to your will for our lives. Soften our hearts, that we may carry out your will with happy hearts full of thanksgiving. Increase our faith and help us know you more. Thank you for your surely goodness and loving-kindness. In Jesus name, Amen.