Those Telltale Signs of Obedience Issues …
“Let what you say be simply ‘yes’ or ‘no’ …” (Matthew 5:37).
Sometimes it’s really hard to get a bead on when it happens. You know, when that sweet and cuddly baby becomes a tyrant of sorts that wants their way and they want it right now! We may think they are so cute when they’re young and throwing a little fit (What? Your child, nephew, niece, grandson or granddaughter never throws a fit? Really?) Allowing such behavior to go unchecked, well, when they get older, translates into something quite ugly.
Before Lori and I were blessed with three lovely, handsome, talented, gifted-in-every-way children … we said if the Lord blessed us with children, they would NEVER throw a temper tantrum in public … NEVER! They proved us wrong on all three counts!!! Can you identify? Can you relate? Or were Lori and I the only couple guilty of such fantasy followed by harsh reality!
Whether our young realize this truth or not … they need our voice, our help and our example in learning how to become responsible and accountable in life and to the Lord! The Scriptures emphasize with clarity the need for the young “to honor their parents” (Ephesians 6:2) and to respect those who are older including the elderly!
Honoring fathers and mothers involves the following ingredients:
- Obeying them (Deuteronomy 21:18-21). When asking them to take out the trash, clean up the kitchen or their rooms, etc., we’re not asking them to do it whenever they can get around to it! We’re not asking for delayed obedience.
- Honoring them with our words (Exodus 21:17; Proverbs 20:20; 30:11). Unkind and hurtful, even spiteful words can really hurt, but especially those spoken by those we love and would do anything for! A common vernacular speaks, “Been there … done that!” Your child blurts out something in anger/disappointment that cuts to the quick … and maybe we react in kind, but when we can, we go to some secret place away from others and we weep! We expect more from our young don’t we? And we expect more of ourselves don’t we? Well, so does the Lord!
- Showing them respect in every way (Leviticus 19:3) even with our facial expressions (Proverbs 30:17). You see, the word “revere” is the idea of proper attitude toward that leads to proper action! The imagery of Proverbs 30:17 is certainly graphic, isn’t it? This proverb speaks directly to the sad and tragic results of disregarding and disrespecting parental respect, but would it not also speak to “the look” we can give as well
Note: Does anyone of us not know what ‘the look’ looks like? Ask any parent and they will be glad to demonstrate it. You know ‘that look’, the rolling of the eyes, the I-can’t-believe-you-asked-me-to-do-that kind of look!
Yes, there are some telltale signs to look for and as talented as our young may be, they are not always so subtle in displaying these attitudes! Complaining, grousing or mumbling under their breath as they walk off, a grouchy disposition … these and other signs are saying something we need to sit up and listen to: there is an obedience challenge coming on! And as adults we can be just as guilty! Right? Right! No, we’re not speaking of perfection; we’re speaking of character development and the maturation of life skills! No one is perfect, but the Lord does expect us “to strive unto perfection!”
“A wise woman strengthens her family, but a foolish woman destroys hers by what she does.” (Proverbs 14:1, NCV)
Bill Fairchild, Jr.