Launching a rocket to the moon would be simpler than teaching a child obedience. It’s a test of patience, love, consistency and will. Grabbing a young one’s attention and keeping it for longer than, oh say 30 seconds or so, deserves a victory dance. Now to teach a child something, IN those 30 seconds deserves a trip to the mall for a special treat…. I am yet at the fringes of this experiment of teaching our pre-toddler the meaning of ‘yes’ and ‘no,’ but the battle of wills has surfaced and proven itself to be of dominant nature. She takes after me. So for this season of life, there may not be many victory dances or trips to the mall, but I hope there will be a worn carpet in my prayer closet for God Almighty to intervene as she grows older.
‘My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body. Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.’ Proverbs 4: 20-23 NLT
If my heart were a castle, I’d better build a deep moat to guard it. While protecting my heart from: sin, relationships, boyfriends, wants, materialism, TV, successes, failures, unyielding ambition – is important – it will only be a matter of time before the moat begins to dry up. Surrounding our hearts with things that uplift, encourage, inspire, and bless (see Philippians 4:8) – the things of Christ – is to be our “above all else”.
If you’re unable to obey the “yes” and “no’s” God is speaking into your life, then sisters you guard that heart of yours, and go back to what you DO know about Jesus and His truth… it will set you free (see John 8:32). Free from your own will of thinking what is best, to trusting in a Omnipresent and Omnipotent God who KNOWS what is best for you and I.
Whether I ever become good at teaching our daughter obedience or not, I have purposed to teach her to build a moat around her heart and only let the drawbridge down to give Jesus access. I pray God will teach us all that.