Monday, July 26, 2010
Start With Obedience
I had a fairly irritating phone call this morning with a dear friend. The reason it was irritating was because several of my children, who all had tasks they were supposed to be working on, decided they didn't feel like doing a single one of them. Instead of being able to enjoy my conversation (and I will add here I rarely talk on the phone anymore) I was forever telling them to get back to work, to stop interrupting me, to stop doing things they were not supposed to, and so on.
Thankfully I have very long suffering, understanding friends. I don't think I would very much like to be on the listening end on one of these phone calls.
She told me about a book she got, written by an author who advocates Charlotte Mason style education, which is all about forming habits. I got a quick glance of it when she received it in the mail last week, as I happened to be there when it arrived. It looked wonderful, and she reassured me that it was.
She also told me the very first habit to instill is obedience.
This is where my shoulders slumped and I sunk down into the couch and sighed deeply. Because this is basic and obvious and of course I know this is true.
But it is so hard.
And this is where I feel a little guilty because I don't want any of you to think my children are horrible and rotten and out-of-control. They aren't. They are bright and happy and generally very sweet and funny. They make me laugh and smile and fill my days with all kinds of adventures.
And I can't deny that some of them need a little work in the obedience area.
What really stunned me is that as I was laying in my bed with the baby, trying to take a wee nap, I got a God-thought that went something like this:
The number one habit you need to instill in YOURSELF is obedience.
It's true. I so often know what I should (or shouldn't) do, say, be... and I don't always obey.
And the best leader is one who leads by example.
I can not expect my children to be obedient, kind, gentle, hard working, and stay on task if I don't do all those things.
Training children seems to be the training ground for discipleship. Seems you must BE a disciple to produce them.
So, for this week, I think I am going to get more single-minded. We are all going to work on the basics, beginning with obedience.