Come, my children, and listen to me, and I will teach you to fear the Lord. Psalm 34:11 NLT
Most of the time I didn’t listen, but it was my parent’s wish for me too.
While some children are more compliant than others, all test the waters. My testing began at age fourteen. Something welled up inside of me. A desire to do my own thing, regardless of what my parents wanted. From then until I graduated high school, I rebelled. Not continuously, but enough, as my mother says, to give her gray hair. My parents wanted obedience; I wanted to do my own thing.
I wanted the same from my children. I got it with the oldest but fought for it with the youngest. My daughter acted as my parents wanted me to. Rarely did she test the waters. My son tested them often—around the same age I began testing them. Perhaps a little earlier. And he tested them with disobedience for as long as I did, and longer.
Even though I had rebelled, by the time I was a parent, I realized the error of my ways. I didn’t want my children following the same path I had taken. The psalmist wanted the same for his children, but he took it a step farther. He wanted obedience, but he also wanted them to fear God. Not to be afraid of God but to reverence Him.
My parent’s demands reflected God’s commands. Disobeying them meant I was also disobeying God. And God wants what my parents wanted from me and what I wanted from my children: obedience. He knows obedience means life while disobedience means death.
Sometimes I’m as a hard-headed when it comes to obeying God as I was when it came to listening to my parents. I knew they had my best interests at heart, just as God does. Yet that knowledge didn’t change my direction. I rebelled anyway. They continued loving me when I did, and so has God. He’s not a grandfatherly type who’ll let me get away with disobedience, but He will still love me.
Through many painful experiences—some of them brought on by my disobedience—I’ve learned obedience is best. Life is better when I stay on track with God’s principles. He has a plan for me, and life is sweeter when I pursue it.
Don’t disappoint Your heavenly Father. He only wants what’s best for you.
Tweetable: Wish the right things for your children.
Prayer: Father, give us the courage and desire to obey Your wish for our obedience so we can enjoy Your best for us.