The hard floor is pressing into my weary knees as I look eye to eye with my ever growing toddler. It is nap time and we are having another “talk”. Once again my toddler does not want to nap. She is still “paaying”.
Looking into her dark brown eyes I explain how naptime is part of every day. Naptime is needed. Naptime is good. And sometimes we have to do things we really don’t want to do like stop playing and have rest time. She jumps up and down, screams acting as if I am sharing some kind of ridiculous news with her.
After her physical episode subsides we talk again. “Obedience is important. Mommy and daddy also are asked to be obedient. God instructs us to obey Him. Sometimes God tells us to do things we really don’t want to do but it is important that we listen and follow through. God knows what is best for us. And mommy and daddy are trying to do what is best for you.”
She seems to be taking it all in. A fog behind her eyes.
Next, I am able to use distraction. “Where do your feet go?”
“Do they go here?” Pointing to the head of the bed.
“No! Head goes.”
“Oh, can you show me?”
And just like that, she is in bed.
Feeling a sense of victory I leave the room after tucking her in. However, I am pricked.
Do we as Christians really, truly seek to obey first and always? Are we listening well and following through? Are we throwing tantrums? Are we standing firmly planted in stubbornness?
I can relate to my toddler more than I would like to admit. I have thrown my own adult tantrums. I have planted my feet and refused to move. I have wanted to do things my way, plain and simple.
Parenting teaches us about our relationship with our heavenly Father. Parenting shows us the heart of God. Parenting refines us in ways that are gruelling and painful.
I desire my daughter to grow in obedience. I want to see her thrive. Nothing would please me more than to watch her obey God first. Obeying God will lead her down the best path. Obeying God will save her from the heartaches we often put ourselves through.
In order to lead my children to obedience, I need to act in obedience myself. To show my girls what it means to listen and obey requires action, not just words. Leading my girls to the Truth calls for a heart of obedience.
The discipline of listening and obeying takes work. However, it is a discipline worth fighting for. Listening and obeying leads as on a path of joy in the Lord. Not perfection but peace and joy that only obedience can give.
Are you interested in taking the leap? Are you ready to listen and obey first and always?
Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” NIV
Luke 11:28 Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.” NLT
2 John 1:6 This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it. NKJV
It is amazing what our children can teach us.