Parents, God Understands Your Pain

Keep me from lying to myself;
    give me the privilege of knowing your instructions.
I have chosen to be faithful;
    I have determined to live by your regulations.
I cling to your laws.
    Lord, don’t let me be put to shame!
I will pursue your commands,
    for you expand my understanding.  Psalm 119:31-32

***

“OK,OK, Dad/Mom! I got it!” or “I know, I know!”

What parents of teenagers have not heard these words?

  • They are declarations of independence coming from the mouths of dependents.
  • They are assertions of personal authority by those who are still under authority.
  • They are rejections of wisdom by those operating with only basic knowledge.

As a parent of two teenagers, I have heard these words with sickening regularity and can predict their verbalization with frightening accuracy. The irony is that these declarations, assertions and rejections are being made either: 1) as parents are giving instruction in an attempt to prevent or warn against bad decision making or 2) in response to bad decisions that have just been made. What teens haven’t learned is that they could reduce the frequency of these “lessons” if they actually learned and applied what was being taught. If you “know it” already, why don’t or didn’t you do it?

It’s OK, parents, to take a moment to pause here to either say, “amen” or release a primal scream of frustration.

Now, you understand how God feels.

God faithfully gives his children instructions on how to live a fulfilled life, to avoid common pitfalls, to experience joy and peace in spite of circumstances and enjoy deep communion with himself. But how often do we respond with rebellious declarations of independence, arrogant assertions of personal authority and willful rejections of wisdom because we think we know better? Oh, rarely will we openly defy God and tell Him to stay out of our business (my kids are not that crazy!). However, we will employee the passive-aggressive approach to telling God, “I know, I know”, by failing to seek His heart in prayer or by not applying His word to our lives.

Psalm 119 is a treasure chest of nuggets concerning the power, blessing and benefits of God’s word. Consider these observations:

  1. God’s word is the antidote to self-deception. Like an X-ray, MRI or CT scan, the truth of scripture reveals unpleasant, potentially fatal flaws in our lives that need to be addressed.
  2. Living in obedience to God’s word is not the automatic action of the believer. We must make an intentional decision to hear the Word and align our lives with it.
  3. Obedience is an act of faith that requires us to overcome our enemy-instilled fear of “what if God is wrong?” He’s God – wrong is not possible. Get over it!
  4. Because of the wisdom and perspective receive from God’s Word, it is worth the pursuit.

News Flash! – God really does know what He’s talking about. It is really in our best interest to close our mouths, open our ears, humble our hearts and pay attention.

Working on listening,
Jason P.

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