Wednesday, December 27, 2017
I have watched myself react to things that my four boys do that I really irritate me, and I find myself, more and more, retreating to a private place to ask God for help in how to respond. Truly, I have lately become furious at some of the unkind, irresponsible and ignoble things that they do, and I find myself at a loss at how to properly explain why/how they should stop living like this.
I don’t want to mention their names nor would I like to suggest which one has which “issues”, but the common faults are dishonesty, disobedience, a lack of respect, selfishness and not listening. Two of them are quite lazy, one is not able to empathize with others, one complains and whines about everything and one is never satisfied with what he gets—he always wants more or better.
Now if you are reading this and you are a parent I am sure you understand what I am talking about. I am not the perfect or ideal father and I sometimes wonder if all their issues are a result of my idiocy as a parent!
But late last night I thought of each boy and what it was that irked me the most—and I realized that whereas there were some similarities, each one had something unique that “pushed my button”. And then, as I lay there thinking of those bad habits, it hit me: These are my bad habits as well when it comes to my relationship with my Lord. In every case the things that got my dander up the most with each of them were the very things that I confess to God each morning! The very things I cannot abide in these children represent my spiritual battlefields with God: Broken promises, a lack of compassion, selfishness, whining and complaining—-these are all things that God must get sick of with me!!! And yet (praise be to God!) He does not get as angry to me as I get with these boys.
God has every reason to turn His back on me, give up on me, ignore me or punish me for choosing the same bad behavior towards Him that my boys show towards me. But for some incredible reason He loved me so much that He allowed His Son be the recipient of His displeasure——-and not me. He does not ignore me, give up on me, punish me or get angry with me only because Jesus Christ has taken the punishment in my place. Praise be to God that He does not throw in the towel when I fail Him again and again!
So what should my response be to God? What can I offer Him in eternal thanks and praise for His incredible love? I can treat my boys with the same love, forbearance and compassion. They will one day come to know that their rebellion is against God—not me. And, God willing, they will come to experience the same salvation and forgiveness that He has to offer through Christ. And perhaps they will be further along in the process of being made holy (“sanctification”) than I am when they are my age.
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