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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Disobedient Driver

I was driving in the car with my oldest son who is five years old. He and I were going grocery shopping together. As I drove, he was telling me all about what he learned at Sunday school. I stopped at a stop sign then continued driving down the street, and my son said from the back seat, “Mommy, you are so obedient.”

This made me smile. My husband and I have been trying to teach our son about obedience. We tell him that we’re teaching him to obey us so that one day he’ll know how to obey God. God will be able to bless his life only when he is obedient to God’s direction.

"All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God" (Deuteronomy 28.2 NIV).

I wondered what obedience my son saw in me. Did he notice how I try to always keep the house clean so my family can have a peaceful home? Did he see me volunteer for our church and understand the sacrifice I made? Or did he watch me take time out of my busy schedule to read the Bible and talk with God?

What my son said took me by surprise. He said, “You are obedient when you drive. You don’t break the rules so that the police officers don’t pull you over.”

After he said that, I had to take my foot off of the gas. I was driving faster than the speed limit and, thereby, breaking the law.

My son’s perceptions of my obedience even in the smallest of circumstances made me realize how important it is to obey the laws -- God’s laws and man’s laws. My son notices every little thing I do, and he can sniff out a double standard anywhere.

How can I teach my son the importance of obedience when I'm disregarding laws that I don't really care for? I'm sure my son doesn't care for a dozen of rules that I enforce (brushing his teeth, washing his hands, picking up his toys), but he still has to do them for his own good.

I want to model to my son how to obey the rules out of love. I don’t want him to see me obeying the laws because of some guilt-trip or out of legalistic duty. I want to obey the laws out of respect and love for my God. I want my son to see my obedience in every facet of my life – not because I have to obey but because I want to obey. As long as the laws correspond with the Bible and are for "my own good," I should strive for obedience.

If I want my son to obey and brush his teeth when I ask him to, I better take my foot off the gas and slow down!

"The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb" (Psalm 19.9-10 NIV).

Are there any small laws, like the speed limit, that you have not been taking seriously?

How can you strive to obey the laws with an attitude that would be pleasing to God?

Will you try meditating on those laws, imagining them to be "sweeter than honey"? Ask God to give you a compliant heart and change you from the inside out!

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Blogger Debbie Haughland Chan said...

Very good post and such a cute son! Our kids watch us so much closer than we realize and often we don't hear about the things they've observed until they're much older. This observation and following example doesn't stop when our kids become adults either. I remember driving my son to work every morning on my own way to work. I used a shortcut through a residential district because it saved me several minutes. Then one day I realized how hypocritical I was being because I've criticised drivers for doing the same in my own neighbourhood. From then on, I skipped the shortcut and explained to my son why I was doing so. Sometime later, I saw him making a similar choice in his own driving and was pleased I had set the example earlier.

September 22, 2009 at 1:49 AM  
Blogger Shannon Jacobyansky said...

O how the little ones bring light to the smallest things we often overlook. "The law of the Lord is true and righteous all together...moreover by them is my servant warned is my servant warned...they are sweeter than honey and the honeycomb...and in keeping of them there is great reward" The church I grew up in made that Psalm a song. Thanks for the reminder today!

September 22, 2009 at 5:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jennifer Smith said,

Wow! This is SO true! And convicting! Our children pick up on these things more than I give them credit for. Thank you for reminding me of this principle!!!

September 22, 2009 at 8:20 AM  
Blogger I am blessed! said...

I've always heard it said that more is caught than taught:) Congrats on your obedience. My 6.5 yr old and I are still trying to get used to the new booster seat law.

September 22, 2009 at 8:35 AM  
Anonymous Marva Leavell said...

The scripture teaches that we are written epistles read by men. Often, our little ones are reading us long before we realize it. The older they become, they are not only able to read the lines, but also between the lines. I pray that the pages of my life tell a true and convincing story of the joyful, wonderful, abundant life that comes with knowing and serving the Lord. Good word, Alisa.

September 22, 2009 at 8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was truly blessed by what Isaac said. spoken from a child like heart I love him. Isaac learns this by having obedient parents that love and honor the Lord.

Elvia Wagner

September 22, 2009 at 9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A great reminder of our constant accountability. I often see my children as God's post-its - stuff that He wants me to remember about Him. Beautiful, Alisa! *janel

September 22, 2009 at 9:31 AM  
Blogger Crissy said...

So true! I am really trying to watch my actions around my kiddos.

September 22, 2009 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger Alene said...

What an awesome story to make me aware of my obedience. I love how children speak such truths to remind us of the TRUTH! Blessings girl!

September 22, 2009 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Wonderful words for today...I just love it when God speaks through our children or grandchildren....

September 22, 2009 at 12:19 PM  
Blogger Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus said...

I'm a lawbreaker. Chronic. I break man's laws and God's laws daily -- sometimes hourly. I am guilty as charged. But thanks be to God who declares me NOT guilty -- not because of what I've done, but because of what His Son Jesus did in my place.

Jaw-dropping. Incredible.

"There is no one righteous, not even one," Paul writes.

Laws help us to become aware of our sin, and to become more and more like Jesus. I work at obeying the laws -- yet I stumble each day. But I thank God daily that my salvation does not depend on my ability to get it just right. I stand only in the power of Christ's work on the cross.

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." Romans 3:23-24

Great post, Alisa Hope.

September 22, 2009 at 1:17 PM  
Blogger Sassy Chica said...

What a lovely post and reminder to obey God. I will meditate on this today!

In Christ,
Sassy Chica

September 22, 2009 at 3:25 PM  
Blogger Molina Mania said...

I have been here before both with God's laws and man's laws. It is hard but we will find ourselves in a better place if we follow them. It is so hard we get in a hurry and just get distracted with life. This is a great post that I know speaks to every woman who reads. Even those who may be single without children. Thanks for reminding us what we need to do in life for acceptance and love.

September 22, 2009 at 5:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had to check all of the reactions above. You have definitely given me something to chew on. Obedience seems to be a recurring conviction for me. Your writing is brilliant, Alisa. Thank you for this post.

September 22, 2009 at 6:18 PM  
Blogger Canadian Bird said...

Awesome post, Al! This definitely speaks to me through the theme of obedience. Children are so honest & insightful b/c, I like to believe, they are so much closer to God & His nature. As always, I LOVE reading your posts! Love you!!!

September 22, 2009 at 9:23 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Great post.

September 23, 2009 at 12:35 AM  
Blogger Theresa Miller said...

I love how you put it, "We tell him that we’re teaching him to obey us so that one day he’ll know how to obey God. God will be able to bless his life only when he is obedient to God’s direction." Thank you! I loved reading your post.

September 23, 2009 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger Need More Words said...

What a delightful reminder that we are being watched all the time.

September 23, 2009 at 1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your testimony speaks in so many levels to me as a mother, wife, daughter, sister and follower of Christ. From time to time, I tend to break rules of God and of our society. I think to myself, if it doesn't hurt anyone, then why not. I love the people that I am surrounded by and I want them to know the love that Christ has given to me. Abiding in even the silly rules shows that I need to respect our Lord. So those people that surround me can witness the glory of God and how He transforms lives. This is what your words reminded of today.

September 23, 2009 at 10:53 PM  
Blogger Angie said...

Yes, they see and hear everything! Little moldable minds.

This was a really good post! Enjoyed it this morning...sending it to my daughter (who has 5 little pair of eyes watching her every move!)

September 28, 2009 at 10:13 AM  

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