Friday, May 13, 2016


Lately I've been having trouble getting my daughter to listen to me. I say, "Hey Claire, can you please put your shoes on? It's time to go." And she says, "No." I say "Hey Claire, we are going to eat supper right away. Can you please wash your hands and come sit at the table?" And she says, "No." I say, "Hi sweet girl! Mommy would love some help with cleaning up. Could you please pick up the socks you just threw on the ground and put them in your room?" And she says, "No" and adds in an eye roll for good measure.

This past week in hopes that I could help her say yes more often I made a yes/no chart to illustrate for her how often she was being disobedient.

As we went through the day I would remind her as I asked her to do things that her answer would be recorded on the chart. I was amazed how quickly her behaviour changed. She really didn't want me to put any tally marks under the no side and would quickly say yes and obey so that she could see the tally marks building on the yes side. She would even ask me to ask her to do things so that she could get more yes tallies!

I was feeling pretty great about this parenting win until I met with my small group that evening and we ended the night talking about being obedient to God. As I thought about the day I had with my daughter I began to wonder what my yes/no chart would look like for my own obedience. I thought about all the times I've felt him nudging me to go do or say something and said no or, like my daughter often does, I just ignored that he was asking me to do something and made myself look really busy so that I could feel justified in ignoring what He was saying.

My daughter usually has a long list of reasons why she can't do what I'm asking her to do. She's often too busy doing something that she feels is very important or she is just happy doing what she's doing and is not sure if she'll be happy doing what I've asked her to do. I think my list of reasons for not obeying God is probably quite similar.  So often I tell God that I am too busy. I have errands to run and laundry to do and I've decided that those things are the most important, instead of asking Him to show me what my priority should be. Like Claire, sometimes I avoid what God is asking me to do because I fear that if I do it I may not be happy and may even end up feeling uncomfortable.  Just like my daughter, I like my life the way it is when I am in control of things and would rather not have God coming in and messing things up.

When I ask Claire to do things (or not do things in some cases) it is usually to protect her, help her or because I see the bigger picture of things and know what the next step should be. I don't ask her to do things to humiliate her, enforce my dominance or to ruin all her fun, even though this is what she seems to think I'm doing. I'm realizing that when I say no to God I'm thinking of Him much the same as my little girl thinks of me. I think he doesn't understand how embarrassing the thing he is asking me to do is. I assume that he gets some sort of kick out of bossing me around and I that he doesn't want me to live a happy life. I assume that he wants something terrible for me instead of remembering what it says in Romans 8:28:

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." 

If I really believe what is written here I should get excited when I hear God calling my name because I know that he is working for my good. Instead of pretending I can't hear him I would be like my daughter with her yes/no chart, going to God and asking what I could do for Him next. I would see past the little disturbance and discomfort that obeying might cause me and instead be completely motivated by knowing that I'm working towards God's good purpose.

Just like my daughter, sometimes I need to bring my disobedience into the light in order to see what is really going on in my heart. It is so easy to say no and forget about it or just ignore God all together but doing that is not actually doing me any favours. Instead of hiding from God's plans for my life I need to remember that he wants good things for me and start embracing his good plan, instead of trying to make my own.

1 comment:

  1. Really enjoyed this. We are struggling with the "no" problem as well. And by "we" I mean my 3 year old and myself. Thanks for sharing.