Friday, February 24, 2012


Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.  ~ John 14 : 23 – 24 NIV

As responsible parents, we teach our children to obey us and to obey the adults with earned authority in their lives.  Children need guidance, discipline, and teaching.  Sometimes, that teaching comes in the form of sweet, easy interchange between parent and child.  Sometimes, it can come in a sudden, quick, and even loud command such as “Don’t touch!  HOT!” when the child is grabbing for something that could burn him.

In therapy with my kids, I’ve learned I cannot always expect obedience from my traumatized kids.  They just can’t do it every time, all the time.  They need to process things, and question things.  They still don’t know everything one would think a 13 and 16 year old teen would know.  My 16-year-old son, was completely FREAKED out two nights ago when he saw a search light beaming into the sky in the middle of town.  He (seriously) thought it was aliens coming to “get us.”  The beam was to announce the re-opening of a restaurant that was closed a couple of months for remodeling.  In addition to that, my 13-year-old asked me when Leprechaunukkah (St. Patrick’s Day) was on the way home from school yesterday.  They’ve been home 4.5 years, but they’re still learning about the world.  They’re still far behind in emotional development as compared to their chronological age.

I can understand their difficulty in obeying.  I’m going through something very difficult.  Yet, clearly, over and over again, I am sure the LORD is telling me wait and to let Him work.  I hate it.  I’m pretty sure I could fix things.  I’m pretty sure I know what I’m doing.  Yet, my Father tells me to stop, to obey him, to wait.  To trust.  UGH.  So, I obey.  It’s not that I’m not tempted to grab the bull by the horns and shake it.  I am.  I want to stop feeling like this.  But my Father knows better, and I know that I do NOT know as much as I'd like to believe.  So I obey and I wait.  And I shake off the dust from my feet.

My kids had to grab the bull by the horns too many times as young children.  They had to take care of themselves.  There was no one who knew better and looked out for their well-being.  Obedience was only a tool to get something they wanted, or avoid something they didn’t want.  It wasn’t about discipline – about learning how to BE in the world.  It was about manipulating circumstances so they could survive.  If I have a hard time obeying a benevolent and perfect Father sometimes, why wouldn’t I understand that they find it so much more difficult to obey me?

We all mess up.  We all do and say things without thinking.  We’re all too often too selfish and we all too often do not “bear one another’s burdens.”  I want what is best for my kids.  They’re learning to trust that and I have to be patient while they learn.

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