Thursday, June 04, 2015

Delayed Obedience

“…by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” Romans 5:19

Seattle City Skyline from Lake Union

I have been listening to parenting CDs. Yes, my child is yet unborn, but I feel I have an age of learning to catch up on. Each method has its pluses, its drawbacks and its take-a-ways. I am learning a ton!  I have also interviewed my friends with one or more of the following questions:  1. What is the one thing you couldn’t live without as a new parent?  2. What is the one piece of advice you would give me with a newborn? A toddler? A pre-schooler? 3. What is the greatest piece of learning you could pass onto me?

My friend Jenny, a mother of 4 AMAZING kids, has not only been incredibly generous on the tangibles front, but is also very wise.  When I posed questions to her she texted back: “Parenting will open your eyes to how God sees you. It is incredible!”

That is the point isn’t it? God created us, loves us to distraction, is a good, kind, loving father who wants the best for us.  Don’t we want to be the same for our children?  I know I do and our little “peanut” isn’t even born yet!

The parenting CD’s have stories, examples and role play’s covering everything from temper tantrums, throwing food, lying, bedtime strategy, get up and get ready methods, etc. Listening, listening, and listening some more, I realized it all seems to boil down to, basically, one thing – obedience.  You ask a child to do something and they have a choice, comply or rebel, and for most (it appears) it is the latter until they learn the reality of consequence.  

How many of us do this with God?  He has a list of rules, parameters, guidelines, per se, to keep us safe, out of harm and on a straight path. Do we listen and obey right out of the gate, or do we test limits, stretch and justify scripture to fit our situation, or validate our actions through excuses and rationalization?  Eventually, consequences do catch up to us and we pay a price. Sometimes the wait is longer and the pain deeper – sometimes it is sudden and shallow. But, in any case, hopefully we learn our lesson via the road of cause and effect and make changes to improve our situation.

At the age of 2 or 3 rebellion, disobedience, or delayed obedience doesn’t seem to be a big deal; small consequences, little pain. At the age of 25 or 30 it has a much greater corollary effect and usually causes others grief and agony - in addition to what you experience yourself.  I am sure there are many, many, examples of this truism – I know there are situations I have caused others angst due to my actions and vice versa.

As a budding, yet to be parent, I want the best for my little girl. I want to make the world a happy, safe place for her to grow up and become a confident, loving, God-fearing lady.  She won’t understand why I ask what I do, why I do what I do, but hopefully, over time she will see I have her best intentions at heart and will learn my love for her drives my actions toward her. I want to treat her, love her, see her, as God does me (tall order!).

How do you view God’s rules and regulations? How do you interpret his parameters and guidelines? Are they mere suggestions or are they hard and fast and to be followed? Where are you on the scale of obedience and rebellion? What side do you tip toward more often? Is the God in your life good all the time, having your best interests at heart and whose works toward your ultimate development? If not, why?
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