My son, Cade, is a little bit of a “people pleaser.” He is not perfect all of the time, but most of the time he will do what I have asked. He likes to obey.
“Cade, please take out the trash.”
“Cade, get a clean pacifier for your sister.”
“Cade, go brush your teeth and get your shoes on for school.”
You get the idea.
Well as his Mom, I am so thankful he obeys. I’m thankful we do not have to always have full discussions about why or if something can wait until later. This makes parenting Cade rather easy. I must admit this makes me VERY happy for several reasons, but especially because I am a ruler follower.
Yes, I can admit it. I am a rule follower. I always have been. I am a rule follower almost to a fault. It makes me happy to know the rules and to execute them well. I like thoughts that are black and white even if I don’t agree. I am not interested in long discussions or theories behind what we know to be true. I like task lists and doing things well.
Knowing all of this about Cade and myself, the Lord has laid a thought on my heart recently that keeps rolling around in my mind. Cade might choose to obey simply to please Mom or Dad, and in all of this good behavior he could miss understanding and experiencing the deep love of God. AH! Do I want Cade to simply do the right thing or do I want him to love God and do good in response to that love?
Well of course my answer is to know God’s love! I want Cade to love God with all of his heart. No one is perfect but since Cade is a people pleaser, he can be so caught up in doing the right thing that he doesn’t even know why. Why should he respect, honor and obey?
Although I like Cade to follow the rules, I want Cade to do the right thing because he loves God and he wants to honor God. Cade needs to have a foundation that gives root to his life. With a sure foundation of reason and purpose, Cade can move through all the seasons of life honoring the Lord, not just being a “good person.”
God’s love for me has been the vehicle by which all things come from the Lord. The Bible tells us that, “God is love.” God’s love defines Him completely. I know this to be true because in my own life His love has brought grace, healing, truth and much more. Because God is love, everything we experience is born out of this great love.
His GRACE gives me the courage to try again.
His HEALING brings me back to good health physically and spiritually.
His TRUTH gives me clarity.
His FORGIVENESS mends my relationship with God when I have messed up.
His PURPOSE tells me that I am here at this time, with my gifting and dreams for a reason.
His DIRECTION helps me know what to say YES and NO to.
His DETERMINATION is the force that pushes me forward when the road ahead looks difficult.
His COMPASSION is God’s tender hand touching my heart when I am hurt.
His PATIENCE tells me that God is understanding and still waiting.
His CONFIDENCE gives me boldness to lead and live because God is guiding me.
His DISCIPLINE teaches me where I have not honored God.
His STRENGTH is the power that keeps me going when my flesh wants to quit.
This is just a small taste of the ways God’s love has moved in my life. It makes my heart pound with thanksgiving and praise. Whether I deserve it or not, God’s love floods my life every day.
As Cade’s mom, I desire him to know the depth of God’s love. So the question is, how? How do I help Cade experience God’s love now? How do you help your child experience God’s love now?
LIVE IT OUT! By walking with God, we can then extend God’s love. We can show forgiveness, patience and determination. We can speak truth with purpose. I know I won’t get it right all of the time, but I choose to walk with Jesus so that my children can see God’s love at work. I pray that as they grow they will fall more in love with Jesus and be captivated by God’s amazing love. May this love cause our children to live a life of obedience, generosity and grace.
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