II John 1:6: “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands…”
Argue…debate…rationalize…manipulate. I think we could agree that most families are made up of at least one child (if not more) than does this a little bit better than the rest. When given a direction, instead of just saying, “Yes, mom,” and fulfilling the request, a long list of reasons why it should be done later, shouldn’t be done at all, or how it could be done better follows.
One of the characteristics my husband and I stress in our household is that by obeying your parents, you are in reality learning how to obey God, our ultimate authority. One of the reasons we stress that rule is so that I have the assurance in an emergency and my children needed to stop or be quiet when I tell them to, they will obey first, ask questions later. By obeying my authority right then, it could very well mean my children avert a disaster instead of getting hurt or even worse.
Isn’t it like that sometimes in our relationship with God? He gives us clear guidelines in the Bible for our own good. The rules in the Bible aren’t there because He was bored one day and needed something to do. No, the rules are there to help us live a purposeful, fulfilling, and at least as much as possible, peaceful life here on Earth. He put them there for our own good. It is our responsibility to obey first, ask questions later.
But how many of us actually do that? How many of us, in reality, are willing to step out in faith and just obey God? Yes, it’s easy to follow the Big rules: Don’t murder, Don’t steal, Don’t commit adultery. What about the little rules? Are we really following those when we are jealous of our friend’s 3000 square foot house compared to our 1500 square foot house? What about when we rationalize that taking office supplies from work and using them at home for your kid’s school project really isn’t stealing – it’s owed to you? Lastly, what about when we fudge on the time sheet a little bit, since “no one will notice anyway.”
My challenge today is twofold. First of all, as parents, we need to teach our children how to obey our authority, so that in turn they get lots of practice to obey God, their ultimate authority. And second, how about examining your life and asking God to show you one area where you need to maybe say, “Yes, God, I will obey” more instead of rationalizing, manipulating, debating, or arguing the situation. You just might find that you feel more peace as a result of that decision. Try it and then let me know.