How you give counsel to one without wisdom; how profuse is the advice you offer! Job 26:3
Before having kids, I swore I’d never be a mom who repeated herself. I was going to raise my kids to do whatever I asked of them on the first request.
My, oh my, how reality is soooo different from my vision! Ninety-nine percent of my yelling happens when my kids ignore me. After asking and repeating myself several time to no avail, I go with the sure-fire way of getting their attention: by turning into a crazy-lady and yelling until my throat is rubbed raw.
But God is always calling us to be better people and mothers. To help us, He sends the answers we need all the time. Sadly, we often miss His guidance because we don’t recognize the messengers.
God sent me the answer to my yelling a year ago, but I was too close-minded to realize the messenger was my husband’s partying friend from college. As I sat on his back deck last summer, I was complaining about how my kids ignore me. His off-the-cuff rebuttal was, “Oh that’s easy.”
He went on to say: “When my kids don’t do what I ask them to do the first time, I double up. If they were supposed to take out the trash, they now have to take out the trash and wash the dishes. If they were supposed to clean the garage, they now have to clean the garage and the basement. It doesn’t take them long to figure out that they’re better off doing things the first time around.”
His response seemed to make sense, and seemed easy enough to implement. But the weekend came to an end, and I forgot all about it.
However, when God’s wisdom gets through, it continues to resonate until we heed it. When there’s that nagging thought that we ignore because it seems to require too much work or effort to implement, that’s Him. And, that’s most likely the answer we need for our current situation.
I played the lazy game for a solid year until a month ago when I reached my wit’s end. I finally implemented God’s wisdom, via our partying friend, and now wonder why it took me so long to do so!
Sure, there was push-back in the beginning. Kids don’t willingly take on more chores without a fight. But I’ve been consistent and relentless, following the advice I was given to a T.
Now, when my kids ignore me, I actually get excited! Those chores that fall into the no-man’s-land category are now being done by whomever bucks the system. My house has never been cleaner – nor more peaceful.
In fact, Jocelyn took me aside a few weeks ago to thank me: “I like this way better. Even though it means more work for us, I really hate it when you yell.”
When your nine-year-old daughter thanks you for a change in your parenting style, you can be sure the advice you received came straight from God, even if the messenger was the one you were least expecting.
Questions for Reflection:
* Is a certain piece of advice resonating with me, begging to be implemented?
* Do I recognize it as help from God, despite the messenger who delivered it?