“The Lord does not give me rules, but he makes His standard very clear. If my
relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with
Him – namely, myself. If I obey Jesus Christ in the seemingly random
circumstances of life, they become pinholes through which I see the face of
God.” Oswald Chambers
I read this as a caption on a page yesterday. It touched me profoundly. The book I was reading was about parenting and the different changes in the Seasons of childhood. When I read this quote, I instantly thought about my relationship to my Heavenly Father, but as I read the chapter on transitions,sympathy, discipleship and not moving into legalism as a parent...I began to apply this quote to my children.
Our children need to know that we love them, no matter what. That we can, and do, validate their feelings. (Of course, this does not mean allowing them to get away with wrong actions because we "understand" why they may have acted out!) The point is that even the most compliant child may not be obedient because they love us. It could be that the quiet, compliant and reserved child we perceive as obedient and "good" has a serious heart issue.
If we, as parents, do not hold the hearts of our children, who does? Have you asked yourself that lately? Our hearts desire as parents should be to have our children obey or carry out our wishes when we are not looking because they love, and honor us...not simply because we have a hard swing or a loud bark.