Monday, July 29, 2013

Train and Obey

I gave the boys one instruction before they went outside:  Do NOT get into the mosquito-infested, swamp-looking swimming pool.  After 20 minutes, it came as no surprise to find Daniel standing at the back door, soaking wet.

There are moments in parenting that pass me by, and I don't take the opportunity to teach or train as God would have me.  However, today, as my blonde-haired, strong-willed child was covered in gnats and dirty pool water, I literally felt as if the Lord had sent me back to Genesis 3 where the fall of man occurred.  Sure, Daniel's disobedience wasn't the same as Adam and Eve's, but my heart was burdened, imagining what God must have felt as his children deliberately neglected His Word.

At first, I admit I was angry.  I knew he had heard my instruction, as I had repeated three times before they headed into the backyard.  The fact that he had played so well without getting into the pool for twenty minutes then decided to break the one rule I gave him really frustrated me.  Why, oh why, would he jump into the pool at all?!  All I could muster up to say to Daniel was, "I'm sorry!  You can't play outside anymore today."  No explanation was really necessary in my mind, AT FIRST.

Standing on the patio, I told him to take off his disgusting clothes and bring them to me.  Daniel was mad, but I was livid.  As he gathered his wet items, he muttered complaints and then got very quiet.  He walked into the house and back to his room to get clean clothes.  I cared nothing about going to his room before getting hit hard by the Lord to go straight to him.

Water dripping off his little frame, I got down on my knees in front of him as he was asking what clothes he could wear.  "Daniel, do you know why you had to come inside?...  why Mommy is angry with your actions?"  He put his head down, then looked up and said, "Yes."  "Why?  What rule had Mommy given you before you went outside?"  He answered quickly, "Not to get into the pool."  He had heard me.  I knew he had.  "Why did you do that?"  He didn't really reply.  He just stayed quiet.  I told him that he had disappointed God by disobeying his Mommy.  It must have "clicked" with him because he then quoted Colossians 3:20, "Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord."  He received his consequence, cried, apologized, got dressed, and headed to the living room.

Now, I am relieved...  yet convicted.  I'm relieved because I truly believe he heard me and was truly repentant.  However, I'm beginning to understand the hurt I cause my heavenly Father when I disobey Him and His Word, and that is crazy convicting.  I want my children to understand the pain and disappointment that disobedience causes, and I realize that it won't happen overnight.  Take it from me, at thirty years old, I'm still learning to obey God.  I'm learning to take the time to train my children as He has instructed me.  I'm learning to communicate with Him in prayer as He has called me to.  I'm learning to serve Him and His church with grace and commitment as He commands.  It's a constant battle we all face, but if I don't teach obedience and expect it from our children, they will never understand the importance of following God, respecting authority, and being trustworthy.  This world won't expect this from them, but I will.  I pray that doing so will please the Lord and encourage others to do the same.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

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