Have you ever noticed your idea of “clean up” and your child’s idea of “clean up” are two different things? I’m a pretty easy going mom. I spend a lot of my time with teenagers, so I hear the complaints about parents and try my best to consider their side of things.
One of my children (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) has had a problem with cleaning up their messes in the family living space. I have given up on the idea of my kids having clean bedrooms. They need to have a space to call their own where they can just be (plus, I can close the door and not have to look at it). However, I draw the line when it comes to the common living areas of the house. If you eat something, clean up your dishes. If you drag something into a room, take it out when you leave. These aren’t hard rules, but seem to evaporate from the teenage brain from time to time.
As I sat down with my child to discuss the issue at hand, I found myself repeating a phrase I used to say to them when they were in preschool…”Slow obedience is still disobedience!” And then it happened….I heard God asking me to repeat the phrase. I knew what He was doing. He was making sure I heard what I was saying. Don’t you just hate it when the Lord takes a teachable moment you’re having with your child and turns it into a teachable moment He’s having with you?
God reminded me of Romans 6:16 which tells us obedience leads to righteousness. Wait a minute, God. I was talking with my child. I much prefer to stay focused there and on Hebrews 5:8 which says “Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered.”
How many times do we find ourselves in the same situation my child was in? We intend to do what God asks us to do……….later. Or we think “I’ll get around to it.”
Thank God Jesus was into first time obedience. If not, where would we all be today. He might not have liked what He had to do all the time, but He obeyed [Mark 14:36]. We want to live like Jesus when it works in our favor, but when it includes doing things we don’t like or suffering, we prefer to put it off until later.
Slow obedience IS DISOBEDIENCE. We must trust in the Lord [Proverbs 3:5-6] and know He has our best interests at heart [John 10:10b]. When we obey quickly, we can rest in knowing we will hear the words we all desire to hear from Him, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”