Saturday, June 4, 2022


According to some sources it takes 10 years to become an expert at anything. I have been a parent for over 18 years now…that must make me an expert…nearly two times over in fact.  Other sources say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert…well, if that were the case, I had that covered in less than 14 months…although I must admit I slept through a good portion of that.

I would like to take a moment and encourage every parent out there.  Even though I may be an expert…you are likely still a better parent than at least one person…me.  I have made more mistakes as a parent than I would care to admit or am even aware of.  On one occasion I accused my third born child of “faking an illness,” because she didn’t want to go to school.  By lunchtime that day I sat down to eat my slice of humble pie as my daughter spewed hers.  Upon the completion of my slice of pie and her “vomitous” (made up word), episode, she spitefully proclaimed to her mother, “Dad said I was faking.”

On another occasion, as I was wrestling with my son, I dislocated his jaw.  It wasn’t a huge deal really...a quick jerk to the mandible set it right back in place.  I had no problems with my own jaw however, as I ate yet another slice of pie.

Despite all of my parenting mishaps, I am astounded as to how well my children have turned out…it must be their mother.  Throughout the formidable years of teaching and disciplining, my children have vacillated between choices of obedience and disobedience, (as I am sure all children do). It often leaves me in awe as to how quickly these moments can piggyback each other.  One moment children do exactly what you ask, the next moment they have done the exact opposite.  These moments leave me pondering, “What draws my children to obey or disobey.” I am sure that there are many physiological factors…but I am not an expert in that…just parenting.

Just a few days ago my son did something that truly left me astounded me.  Sarah and I had endured another day of exhausting parenting, yes, even experts get exhausted.  As supper was being finished, we were pressing hard to get the children to engage in the clean up.  This act alone brings a plethora of obedience and disobedience opportunities.  In the midst of these efforts, we asked our son to take the dog out to do his doggy duty.  The request was followed by the usual arguments and resistance that a non-expert parent may have conceded to…but I, being an expert parent, pretended to care about his concerns…and then made him take the dog out.  As I watched Isaac approach the back door upon finishing the duty, he stopped and opened the lid of the grill and brushed the surface, preparing it for next cookout…WITHOUT BEING ASKED!

WOW! I was dumbfounded!…blessed!…honored!...yes I…even as an expert parent, couldn’t believe what I had just seen.

I pondered this…“Why do you suppose he did that?” I wondered.  I am convinced that as he walked by the grill, that something in him knew that cleaning the grill was the right thing to do.  I think he actually “wanted” to clean the grill! Why???  There are times when this kid doesn’t seem to “want” to do anything.   But I think he really wanted to do this…at least at this time.

Here is my conclusion.  I think he wanted to do it…because he knew that I would appreciate it.  This is an illustration of sorts of what Paul is showing us in Galatians 5:1-15.  Isaac did not need to clean the grill…or even walk the dog to “gain my acceptance.”  He is accepted no matter what.  Even if he never walks the dog again…he will be my son, (though he may receive some consequence if he does not). Yet, he did something that will please me even though he was not obligated to do so.  He was not obligated, but he was motivated.  I believe that he was motivated out of love.    

Paul is telling us that we are free…we are accepted by our faith in the grace of God.  We do not have to do anything to earn that acceptance.  Yet, Paul is saying…“obey the law…keep the law.” Obeying the law does not “appease God,” but it does “please God.” I want to please God…because I love him…and he loves me.

May we come to obey Him as His Spirit leads us.  May we be motivated by His love for us…and our love for Him. 

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