Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Obedience to who? Or is it "whom"?

Obedience weighs heavily on my mind as my eldest child of two goes roaring about in toddlerhood. I have decided to share some of these heavy thoughts with you. They may be sporadic and non-cohesive; bear with me.

Isn’t it funny how God can humble you so quickly by showing you your own self-righteousness? We, my husband and I, can walk about smug about how we got it all together. We’re doing a pretty good job. And then God takes some really godly folks and smacks us right in the face. That is totally what has happened to us. By the world’s standards, we seemed to be going in the right direction with disciplinary issues. We were providing consistency, stability, and routine. That’s what is important, right? After all, we have a pretty mild specimen on our hands that we are working on with this child called Lily. And then we attend a little place on Watauga Street every Sunday. The place where two year olds know the definition of sanctification and infants have been trained at six weeks old to sit up tall and listen to the pastor present his message. I watch as a mother merely holds out one finger on each hand and her two year old and three year old are there in a moment as if they sensed the movement of her hands in the air calling them. And then I see a mirror and catch my own reflection. I have a squirming eleven month old begging to be let down in my arms so he can find something to eat and my other arm is running before my legs to catch my two year old before she decides to hang out spread eagle at the pulpit. Meanwhile, I’ve dropped the diaper bag and my darling husband has forgotten our bibles…again. And did I mention, the father and mother of the sitting up, trained infant and sanctified two year old have an average of four other children?

So, I realize how together we don’t have it. Luckily, these folks have apparently, (or so they say), all been here before. I watch the teenagers as they gleam with respect for elders and each other. I see the priorities in their lives are much different than what’s out there in the world. And I see, God is the major difference. They are not just saying they are Christians; they are living it. And this gets me to obedience.

I want my children to obey. I want my children to stand out because they are godly. But lately I have been questioning my motives. In my spirit, I want my children to obey and respect those in authority over them because it is a sin against God not to obey and respect. But in my wicked heart, I want my children to obey so others can see how set apart they are. I desperately need God to change my heart. And I know He will. Because I know what sets those families apart is that God has the reigns in each and every aspect of their lives. And they’ve been here before…

4 comments:

Tony C said...

I've heard James Lehman's Total Transformation commercial repeatedly say parenting does come with an instruction manual...but he couldn't be more wrong. He just needs to sell Bibles instead of some liberal, bogus program.

Use 'who' when referring to the subject of a sentence and 'whom' when it's an object (i.e. I want to be obedient to God from Whom I draw strength). FYI. :)

Mike said...

Well...as a parent of an extremely jubilant (there's a good biblical word for an aggressive child) 4 1/2 year old boy who is ALLLLL afterburner from the moment his feet hit the floor in the morning until the time his head crashes on the pillow at night, I can tell you PARENTING AINT EASY!

I have a hunch you are doing the right things as you raise Lilly. If you weren't concerned about doing them, they wouldn't be on your mind...and therefore, you probably wouldn't be doing them.

Keep in mind, that other godly family may happen to have the right DNA for polite kids. Mine has the right DNA for a short temper (my side) and stubbornness (wife's side). But he's extremely passionate about some very technical things that other children his age have no clue about. All that to say, just because your child isn't as well behaved as A's child, doesn't mean your child won't excel at something that A's child will never grasp...and they will each need the other as they grow up together. Does that make sense?

As strong willed as my child is, I take pleasure in the fact that his strength of character (polite way of putting it, eh?) will be (with our godly direction) a tool he can/will use to stand up for what is right and defend the defenseless...even if it means he gets in trouble more often for acting out in school. For it may be the defenseless child who is well-behaved in school who will be in need of a friend like my son.

Don't give up hope! You're most likely doing the right things.

THE OLD GEEZER said...

I read your profile over at Mike's blog and added myself to follow you.

God bless you, Ron

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

You're awesome. I have seen this in myself too. It's a hard pill to swallow, but the fact is that I get embarrassed when these boys don't "do right" because it reflects on ME. Ugh. That inner self-motivation constantly conflicting with my spirit's motivation for godliness seems never ending. Maybe by the time we have grandchildren, we'll have it right. :-)