"They don't understand yet," I remind myself. When there is no compromise in a certain area they are being insistent upon, even though they know the reasons why, the children sometimes choose to disobey. It is to be expected; kids test their limits. It is our job to continue to steer them in the right direction, while not shielding them from the consequences of their actions.
I've caught myself thinking, "Don't they know that everyone's lives will be so much easier if they would just realize I won't change my mind and if they would obey and move on?" Wow. I felt the conviction almost as soon as the words formed in my mind. Am I acting in such a manner with my Heavenly Father? Time to evaluate myself again.
Hypocrisy- Am I saying one thing, standing firm in my beliefs, yet acting in contradiction to them? In the last few weeks, the children have been working on memorizing and practicing the ten commandments; am I walking in obedience, setting an example? Life will give us countless opportunities to make the choice to walk in obedience, setting a good example of godly living, or choosing the sometimes more difficult road of uncompromising obedience.
Prolonging the situation- My kids should KNOW by now that their disobedience or insistence on certain things does not change my mind, but it makes their day that much harder to get through. Wasted time, energy, and privileges turn what could have been a pleasant day (understanding I have their best interest in mind), into a miserable one. They will ultimately have to give up, obey, and accept my decision.
Hmmm...if I'm willing to be honest with myself, that sounds too familiar.
Humility- Being humble doesn't only apply to situations where we may seek to be exalted or recognized above others. It is also the powerful realization that God is in control, that HIS ways are higher, better, and wiser. This realization, as we continue to study His Word, will put as at peace, as we humbly accept what He allows to come our way, and walk in obedience, putting Him on the throne instead of ourselves.
It becomes too easy to fall into the trap of conformity in this world. We do things without giving them much thought sometimes because it has been declared as "normal" in this generation. Yet ignorance is neither bliss nor an excuse. His Word is powerful, His Word is Life. His Word is here, available, and true- the very Word we are to live by. Our opinions don't matter- what does the Word say regarding our behavior or beliefs? That is our filter in life, if we're willing to lose some things that we may find true peace and joy.
Obedience to our Heavenly Father leads to a better life, though not always by our standards. Life will not always seem comfortable and pretty. But is it not better to walk in obedience and know we are people after God's own heart? That is true beauty; a heart after God's. If you are there, it truly is a beautiful life.
"Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice...rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshipping idols." -1 Samuel 15:22-23