It was an easy and simple instruction.
So why the hassle?
Why does it need to be repeated again and again, and in more detail?
Questions often pondered by parents, or the select few only?
Recently this has been an ongoing issue in our home, with the exhaustion felt by many as the statement, “Why can’t it be done the first time?” being expressed over and over!
I am not sure that there is a clear-cut answer to this challenging journey of parenting, and although this may not be on ongoing concern for everyone, it has definitely been a part of my experience. At times we have labelled ‘selective deafness’, either way it brings exhaustion and frustration.
Recently I was reading a passage when I discovered that God also faced this challenge, a human trait that has been testing us for many years. This was a revelation to me, as I was able to see not only the failings we have as humans, but that there was a purpose and reason for God’s commands. He only ever wants to do us good, He knows the plan and reason for why this direction has been given, the only part I play in this, is obedience, which is from listening to his command.
As a parent my direction is also only ever given for good, all I expect is obedience from listening, just plain listening.
The passage I read was from 1 Samuel 15.
God, through Samuel gave the command to King Saul to defeat Amalek. The instructions were clearly stated to Saul, and although the act of defeat was carried out, not all the commands were adhered to. Evidence that he heard what Samuel said, but did not listen clearly.
Understandably Saul had no idea as to why this command was given, but his role was not to understand but to obey.
Further on God expresses to Saul – through Samuel – his disappointment of his lack of listening leading to his disobedience:
Verse 22 – 23
“Do you think all God wants are sacrifices – empty rituals just for show? He wants you to listen to him! Plain listening is the thing, not staging a lavish religion production. Not doing what God tells you is far worse than fooling around in the occult. Getting self-important around God is far worse than making deals with you dead ancestors. Because you said no to God’s command, he says no to your kingship.”
And further in verse 29 –
“Israel’s God-of-Glory doesn’t deceive and doesn’t dither. He says what he means and means what he says”
The character of God is to only ever do me good, he has a purpose and plan in all that is laid out for me to do, if I trust more in His character I will not find the need to question the command and obedience will come easier.
My personal lesson and revelation?
As a parent by heart is to only ever do good, so with this thought….
Maybe another way to tackle this challenge is to ensure my character and purpose is understood, and that although there may not always be an understanding of what or why this has been asked, the confidence is in knowing my heart and character.
Maybe, just maybe, this may help to alleviate some of the hesitation in accepting the direction and allow obedience the first time?
Parenting can be so much easier with the wisdom and grace from our Heavenly Father. I am ever so thankful for His unconditional love for me.