by Susan Sampson
Have you noticed (or am I the only one who does this?) that there are certain Scriptures that you really only think apply to your children? Philippians 2:14 I realize is one of these for me: “Do all things without grumbling or questioning.”
But Thursday this really hit home. Laurie told us to take this truth to heart – that we think childishly! She gave the example of the family whose mom has very specific things they are to do when they get home. She said one child can do this very easily and another has such a hard time. Then she said, “Why do some have such a hard time hearing?!”
The answer was because the way that child is thinking is so strong she can’t hear anything! The definition of this was “headstrong.” In case you forgot what that lovely word means – it’s obstinate; stubborn; strong-willed; unyielding; inflexible; unbending. And those were just a few.
About a week before this lecture my husband and I were discussing one of our children and the struggle this one continues to have. As we were talking he said to me, “You don’t listen.” Now mind you, he has said this before, and I have been asking the Lord to give me His grace to have a gentle and quiet spirit and to submit to my husband (1 Pet. 3:1-6). But I see that I have been headstrong.
I have been confessing my pride to the Lord and asking Him for the grace to turn away from all pride and have a humble heart. When I heard my husband say this, it cut like a knife. I didn’t want to listen. My flesh wanted to defend myself and prove that my way was the right way. My flesh wanted to grumble and question. In fact I think it wasn’t until the next day that I went to my husband and told him that he was right and I would do what he said with regards to how he wants to handle the situation with our child.
I have been so childishly headstrong thinking I’m right and he’s wrong. The fact is I might be right and he might be wrong. Or he might be right and I might be wrong. In some sense it almost doesn’t even matter. The Lord is in control. But what I knew was right is that God’s Word is true and He has told me in 1 Peter 3 that I am to be subject to my own husband. “For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord” (1 Pet. 3:5-6a).
As a child I cannot see as my heavenly Father sees. My sight is limited, my understanding is limited, my knowledge is limited, my wisdom is limited. He knows all, sees all, has all power. He is our Father. We are only children. But we are beloved children. I dearly love the NIV translation of 1 John 3:1: “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are.”
Jesus said, “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:4). We need to humble ourselves. We need to admit we are headstrong and don’t listen. We need to confess that God is God and we are not. We need to believe His Word and work to put the flab of the flesh to death!
As our study Beyond Belief points out, the fog is cleared by the cross of Christ! The cross of Christ is the most beautiful and amazing demonstration of that lavish love! The Son of God, His firstborn, our Brother, the child who never sinned became sin and took the wrath of our Father that we deserved for our sin and the full penalty of eternal damnation and total separation from our Father. He overcame death and put death in its grave!
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are” (1 John 3:1a).
Let’s help each other to humble ourselves as little children and believe His love, know His love, trust His love, and live His love.