Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Don't Make Me Count to Three

Do your children always obey when you ask them to do something?

If so, call me right away because I want to know your secret!

Thankfully, my boys don't exhibit an in-your-face disobedient attitude or an openly defiant behavior. However, they have developed the crafty art of delayed obedience which basically is...disobedience. We've been trying to nip that in the bud for a while now.

Just last weekend, I had asked my son to bring his dirty clothes downstairs so that I could wash a batch of laundry. Now, I already know what you're thinking. "Girlfriend, you should have your son wash his own clothes!"

Yes, yes, I know but sometimes it's easier to do things myself and on this particular occasion I wanted to just get'r done. I wasn't in a "let's teach him responsibility for the future" mood. My washer was empty and I was looking to fill it. Just being honest here. (sigh)

Anyways, I asked him twice but he kept replying with a question, "Can I just finish this game on xbox first?" Have you heard that one before? Well, finally I posed a question back to my son.

"Do you know that delayed obedience is disobedience?"

With that, he stopped his game, silently gathered up his dirty clothes, and brought them downstairs. I didn't have to say another word accept.

This morning during my quiet time I came across a question in my devotional book:

"What does the expression "delayed obedience is disobedience" mean to you?"

I immediately thought of my son and his dirty laundry. A big smile spread across my face but then another thought popped into my head...

"That's exactly what you did yesterday with your prayer journal."

My smile quickly faded and was replaced with a puzzling frown as I remembered about my plans to write in my prayer journal over the weekend. It had been weeks since I last updated it and there was a lot to write about.

Lately, our family has been experiencing some amazing miracles in the area of our finances. I wanted to capture my thoughts on paper so I wouldn't forget them. I also wanted to write words of gratitude and thanksgiving to God for His faithfulness during such a tough time in our lives.

But, although I had good intentions, I chose to do other things. A phone call to my sister, a trip to the grocery store, and those plants that desperately needed watering.

I told myself I'd get around to writing when the house got quiet and I could concentrate. But, those moments never came.

All weekend long thoughts of my prayer journal kept popping into my head but I kept pushing them aside. My strong desire to write eventually faded away and was replaced with an "I'll get around to it tomorrow" attitude.

Looking back, I honestly believe God had placed that desire in my heart this weekend. He was the one who kept reminding me about my journal but my response was similar to the "can I just finish..." answer I got from son regarding his dirty laundry.

My delayed obedience was disobedience - plain and simple.

Instead of feeling guilty, I was so glad that God gently pointed that out to me this morning. Besides, He would never want me to feel guilty to being with (Roman 8:1). I'm happy to report that my prayer journal has been updated!

So let me ask you a question.

Is there something you need to do BUT you just keep putting off?

Bring a meal to a sick friend?

Send a thank you card to a co-worker?

Have a consistent devotional time each day?

Fix your husband's favorite meal although it requires a lot of extra work in the kitchen?

Volunteer in your child's class?

Run an errand for your aging parent?

If your answer is yes, maybe you'll be encouraged and motivated to do that something today. I sure hope so.

I don't know about you but there's a wonderful sense of joy, peace and freedom that comes after finishing a task or project. Especially, if I sense that it's God who's given me the assignment in the first place.

You know what? I think it's the wonderful sense of obedience...


  1. Great post, Leah! I would like to write more, but there's an important email I need to send... Love you!

  2. Great post Leah!! Isn't it just like God to convict us of the same thing that our kids do to drive us a crazy!! Often times in the chaos and craziness of our house I can get frustrated, but God will gently whisper, "Jill you are a child too!!" How true! Thanks for your encouraging word today and reminder to do what He wants me to do!!

  3. Hi Jill & Kristin,

    Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment.

    I have to admit that I was voicing my complaints to God while writing this post. It was taking me f-o-r-e-v-e-r to finish and the whole time I was thinking "No one is going to read this!"

    Then when I saw your comments my heart sang for joy!!! Even if you two were the only ones to read my post it was TOTALLY WORTH IT! I love you both to heavenly pieces.



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