We've been saying to Bella, "you are not listening..." when she does something that we tell her not to do. But when she can repeat to us what we've told her not to do, I realized that it is more of an issue of disobedience and not "you aren't listening" or "you didn't hear me."
And this is a new arena for us. She listens to us when she wants to...and disobeys when she wants to. Selective willful disobedience.
And what God is showing me about myself is that I do this too. I am guilty of selective willful disobedience.
There are times when I know God is asking me to do something. I either choose to do it or not do it. And sometimes I choose to do it, but at a delayed time...not immediately like I should.
And this has happened in my relationship with Lee.
He's not a dictator. He doesn't command and demand things of me. But there are times when he gives me instructions of things that need to be done...or he asks me to do something...
And I don't do it...or I don't do it immediately.
And even without words being spoken, my kids are watching this behavior.
How can I expect Bella to obey immediately if I'm not doing it myself?
This is humbling. Because it is often my pride that keeps me from immediately obeying. I either don't agree with Lee or God or whoever is asking something of me...I feel like I know what is best. I don't agree...and it shows.
I know that this is an area that I desperately need to work on. I want my children to be obedient at home and in public. There are times when they can have the freedom to make choices - and we do our best to allow them to exercise that freedom when it is appropriate.
But there are other times when we need them to obey us because we know what is best for them.
And God knows what is best for me. I can trust Him. I may be challenged...it may be something that I don't want to do...but it is what is best for me.
I am thankful for God's grace in this area of my life. I'm thankful that He is exposing it to me and letting the Holy Spirit work on me.
I do not want to be the same. And I would rather work on this by humbling myself now than to be humiliated by disobedience later. I choose not to ignore the gentle nudgings I've been feeling from the Holy Spirit.
So, my goal is to work on immediately obeying the Holy Spirit when I'm asked. And I will show this to my kids by working on immediately obeying Lee when he asks something of me as well...even when I don't agree with him.
Submission is not just about "sitting on the outside but standing on the inside." It's about showing that my heart agrees with my outer actions.
I want to fully submit to God and to Lee...fully. wholeheartedly. Therefore my pride can no longer be an issue. I am not always right. I will show this by my own immediate obedience.