Friday, July 27, 2012

Who Is Your Authority?

I've been sharing this week about a few of the ways that I handle discipline in my home.  It's been rattling through my mind all week as I've read through parenting books, talked to Hubby, and prayed about it.  So I assume that would explain what happened this morning during my prayer time.

I was sitting there with my Bible open on my lap, my eyes closed, waiting for God to speak to me.    He hit me with a whopper.

Lisa, who is in charge?  Who is your authority?  Obey me.  Do not talk back.  

If I were a dog, I would be slinking away right now.  Isn't it supposed to be me who does the discipline around here?  How embarrassing to have my own words thrown back at me!  To be so soundly corrected by God and to discover that I am guilty of the same disrespect as my children!  I'm an adult--shouldn't I be better at this obedience thing than they are?

Of course I had to then think about instances where I back talked.  When have I told God no?  Have I ever consciously disrespected God?  I couldn't think of one time.  So my back talking must be less obvious.  God quickly made it clear what he was referring to as he went on.

Speak my words to your children.  Do not neglect it.  Teach them the way to Me.

Oh.  God was correcting me not for blatant disrespect but for ignoring His direction.  God has spoken to me numerous times to teach His word to my children.  To have daily prayer times with them.  To read the Bible to them.  Which I do, occasionally, sometimes more faithfully than others.  But it has not become a habit yet.

I know that this example is just one of the many times where God has given me a direct command and I have failed to follow through.  While I have not actually stood there with my fingers in my ears singing "LALALALALALA!!!! I can't hear you!" my actions have pretty much said the same thing.  Or rather, my lack of action.

As a parent, I find it very frustrating to give a direct command to my children, to have my children look me in the eye and say they understand, and then to have them walk off and not follow through.  To have to remind them that they are supposed to be cleaning their room, not playing in there.  To have them say their room is clean, but upon inspection to find that their toys are stuffed in their closet or under their bed or against the wall.  Very much not clean.  To have to tell them a third time to clean their room.  To check it again.  To find trash and little things all over the floor that they insist is not theirs (I must have a few extra children I don't know about running around who's sole purpose is to mess up my house).  Sometimes I would like to yell and scream at them to just do it right the first time!

Much like God must feel toward me.

Who is in charge?  Not me.  Who is my authority?  Not me.  Who must I obey?  Not me.

God is in charge.  God is my authority.  God is who I obey.  Preferably the first time.

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