Parenting isn’t easy.
Countless times, I have found myself frustrated when the boys disobey. Let’s be honest, with a 5-year-old son and almost 4-year-old son, disobedience is a common occurrence. Often it seems as though there is a streak of disobedience. No matter how many times we tell the boys not to do something, they do it anyway. It’s really a pain (sometimes I wonder if the troublesome thorn in Paul’s flesh was a secret kid he didn’t tell us about… maybe his son’s name was Thorn).
However, there are times God uses my own mouth when speaking to my boys about obedience to speak directly to my heart.
A few weeks ago, I had to discipline Liam for disobeying. It was one of those times when speaking softly didn’t work so well so I pulled out the stern, from the chest, oh-junk-I-better-listen-cuz-daddy-ain’t-playin’ kind of voice. Now I had his attention. I don’t remember what it was about, but after I said what I had to say, Liam said, “But I love you, daddy.”
“I love you too. And, buddy,…”
As the next set of words were leaving my mouth I knew they were not my own because as soon I heard my voice say them I was convicted of my own (or lack thereof) obedience.
“…if you love me, you’ll do what I say.”
Those words are straight out of John 14:15. Jesus is speaking to His disciples about the way to the Father. Jesus says, “If you love me, obey my commandments.”
Check out these other verses about obedience:
Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us. – 1 John 3:24
Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. – 1 John 5:3
Have you ever found yourself wondering if your children love you? Do they obey you? Are you teaching them about obedience? Do they see you obeying what you claim to believe? Could God be trying to get you to do something new in your obedience through your disobedient children? He did it to me.
God really has his way of working. He uses the discipline I give my own son on myself. I’ve been broken in those moments and discovered that I needed to repent of my disobedience as well.