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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Just Obedience?

My blog is being scraped again.  If you are reading this on a website other than you are reading a stolen copy of my content.

Obey: to submit to authority; to follow orders

Willingness: desire; decision-making capacity; by choice; without reluctance

These two words have been stomping through my head for the last month or so. I have been chewing on what they mean and trying to understand them better. I will never fully understand but this is what I have come up with so far.

We want our children to obey. We train them daily in the act of obedience so that they will be safe, learn to make wise choices, and ultimately to obey their Heavenly Father.
Obedience is a must. It just is.
As a child, we must learn to trust our parents enough to obey even when we don’t understand the whys and wherefores of why they are asking. Sometimes it is very difficult and sometimes it is easier. But it is imperative.

Obedience isn’t an optional activity it is an imperative one. In fact, I wonder if our children don’t learn to trust and obey their parents when they are young how much harder their lives will be when they are older.

Especially when God calls them to do something that they don’t understand. How tragic would it be to miss the blessings God has for them because they couldn’t trust and obey?

Now, we want our kids to obey even when or maybe especially when they don’t want to; but that can mean that their hearts are unwilling and they are just going through the motions. That’s okay-sometimes. However, I think we are missing out on an important matter that goes hand in hand with obedience.


Willingness is a state of the heart. It indicates an implicit trust of the person doing the asking. By being willing to obey, even when they are scared they are completely trusting that person with/for their well-being. Without the willingness the heart is not involved and I would dare say even a little hardened. We should be striving to win our children’s hearts just as our Abba strives to win ours. He is constantly showing us that He is trustworthy. God wants our obedience and our willingness. He wants our hearts to be so in love with Him and so trusting of Him that we are willing to obey no matter the task. There shouldn’t be anything we are not willing to do for the trusted keeper of our hearts.

In the story of Abraham, I believe we see this concept in action. Abraham had obeyed (and disobeyed) God in many things and on many occasions. Throughout his life he learned to willingly obey God. Abraham waited a very long time for Isaac but he trusted God to fulfill His promise. Then, God asked Abraham to do the unthinkable. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son. In Genesis 22, we see God telling Abraham to go to the region of Moriah and kill Isaac. What did Abraham do? Did he argue? Whine? Complain? Did he even question what God had just said? Verse 3 says this: “Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac.” He obeyed, willingly. I believe his heart was breaking even while he obeyed. How could he obey that request? That seems like too much to ask doesn’t it? I think we can find the answer in verse 8. Isaac had just asked where the lamb for the sacrifice was and Abraham says, “God himself will provide the lamb…” Abraham knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the God/Father he trusted and obeyed would do what He promised. Abraham willingly obeyed the God he loved even though it seemed like it was too high a price. Abraham trusted God with everything he had because he knew God would do what was best for him. God had won Abraham’s heart.

Winning our children’s heart is a daily task. It is in the little things as well as the big ones. It is being there to kiss the boo-boo’s and to listen to their secret desires, hurts, and joys. It is in holding their feet to the fire even when it is painful for you both. Standing firm so they have an anchor to hold on to when life is scary or messy. It is in being transparent and showing them that you make mistakes too.

As we watch our children learn and grow we can see a reflection of our own walk with God. The lessons we are trying to teach them are the very ones God is trying to teach us.

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