1 John 5 Tag

 

Loveless Obedience

17 Mar 2014 Posted by Jillian in Becoming More Like Jesus, Blog, Motherhood, Quest for Contentment

  “Do not touch things that do not belong to you.”  I feel like a broken record with my son.  He has far too much curiosity to remember the 500 times I have told him to not touch things that are not his.  The other day, he was playing with one of grandma’s figurines, and it broke.  Of course.  I told him not to touch it/play with it, but he could not resist.  The result was:  something that had value to someone else was broken.  Disobedience usually results in someone getting hurt.   It is hard for Joshua to learn this lesson because it does not hurt him when he breaks something that belongs to someone else.  It does not hurt him when he frustrates his sister by playing with her things.  The only “pain” he feels is the consequences that I impose on him, in order to help the message stick.  I give him a consequence because I want his heart to care.   The whole point of consequences is to turn the heart back on course.  The problem is, kids can learn to obey, mainly to avoid a consequence, but it does not mean that their heart has actually changed.  Do I want Joshua to learn to obey in order to avoid a negative consequence, or do I just want him to learn to respect other people’s things?  Obviously I want the latter.   In order to achieve a change of heart, the heart needs to be addressed and engaged.  When Joshua broke grandma’s glass elephant, his heart was touched when I explained how sad that would make grandma.  He suddenly felt awful and wished he had obeyed.  He learned the hard way, and unfortunately, someone else had to get hurt as well before the lesson began to sink in.  (Thankfully he is learning these lessons when the “hurt” is relatively minor)   We are God’s children and the obedience he calls us to plays by the same rules.  Our heart must be engaged in order for the obedience to have great value.   Lately, I feel like I have been doing just about everything because I “should.”  I should keep up with the house work.  I should spend some time with God. …

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