Why we obey
Why we obey
I’ve been impressed with how well Piper responded to our first Kids of Integrity lesson on Patience. Since she’s so young, I was worried that it wouldn’t sink in very well, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Knowing that her attention span is pretty short, I decided it’s probably time to move on to our next lesson.
Scanning through the various KOI lessons, I was having a hard time deciding which character trait to focus on next. They’re all so important! But the answer came to me in one of those not-so-graceful parenting moments.
We were recently at the emergency room (everything’s okay!) and had to bring Piper with us. After being discharged, Piper suddenly bolted down the hallway of the packed ER, completely ignoring her parents’ stern instructions to “stop, stop, STOP!” I began to chase after her, picturing her careening into a nearby tray full of syringes.
“Piper! Stop right now. PIPER.”
She shrieked with giddy laughter and kept running, thinking this was a fun little game to play.
Her father and I quickly caught her as busy nurses and hobbling patients skirted by. I was mortified . . . and completely frustrated. This child has a habit of confusing disobedience with being funny. I don’t think her intention was to be rebellious, but she certainly wasn’t heeding her parents’ instructions.
Of course we had a stern discussion with her about listening and obeying, as well as being careful in busy places. She seemed somewhat penitent, but we’ve continued to have similar episodes when she’s taken to giggling and running away when we’re very seriously instructing her otherwise.
Thus begins our next KOI lesson, Obedience! Admittedly, I chose this lesson because I really, really want my kid to learn to obey Mommy and Daddy the first time she’s told to do (or not do) something. This would make my life so much easier! But as I’ve reflected on this issue in recent days, it occurred to me that this isn’t just about her learning to obey her parents.
My deepest heart’s desire is that Piper will grow to be a young woman who honours God. I want her to be beautiful on the inside, to be a follower of the Lord in every way. I pray she will learn to obey the voice of the Holy Spirit in her life – not because she “has to” but because she loves Him with her whole heart. Jesus tells us, “Whoever has My commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me . . .” (John 14:21). My goal is to pray not just that Piper will learn obedience, but that she will choose to obey because she is motivated and moved by love.