22 November 2013

Just Obey: My cry to my kids and God's to me

"But I'm helping you!"

Then I had to get stern. The toddler was on my hip--and crying--and the pot of cooking noodles was about to boil over. My five-year-old, smiling girl held up the veggies to demonstrate her point. Danger zone: she needed to exit the stove's spit-firing radius. Pronto.

"But I'm helping you," she said, softer this time.

I exhaled two words, like a sigh--"Just obey."

My Mika was spared any injury because she slipped away, not understanding completely--but the lesson was not lost on me. Her intentions were good, but that never justifies disobedience. Clearly, I had told her to leave the kitchen: for her safety, for her good.

As a mother, I make tough decisions. You know which ones I'm talking about--the choices that you know they will hate. "No, we can't go to the playground." "Sorry, no more chocolate cake." "Sit still. Your cut needs to be cleaned." I've even had to sit on my kids to make them take medicine. It's not pretty, and I didn't envision such heart-tears when idealizing my dream job of "mommy."

But my choices for them are motivated by love, and it's in this comparison that I can understand God's good gifts to me. Matthew 7:11 says, "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will Your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!" Romans 8:28 deepens this point--God leans in and says, "for your good."

Just obey.

At the park: "Why didn't you come when I called you? Why didn't you obey?"

Holding up a dandelion--"I was picking flowers for you!"

Obedience is obedience. You can't excuse it away with gifts, with good intentions, or even with sacrifice. What God tells us to do is what we are to do. As modern-day women, our roles are controversial, but there is nothing question-worthy in His commands to us as wives and mothers:

Love your husband
Love your children
Be sensible, pure, and kind
Work hard
Be submissive to your husband
~Titus 2:4-5 (paraphrased)

This gets more complicated when you add the element of living abroad. There is the pressure to get involved, to add to the family income, to volunteer, to learn the language, to do something more. But remember that these are opportunities whereas the stability and nourishing of our families and our homes is a clear command.  

When God tells us to step back and do less, we'd better not cry out, "But, Lord, I am helping You!" 

Just obey.

And when God calls us to Him, we can't run around busy, saying over our shoulders: "I'm doing this for You!" 

Just obey.

Then when God smiles at our submissive hearts and opens an opportunity to extend ourselves, we can trust in Him who does things for our good--and obey.


  1. Hi Malia; loved your page. And what you hsve written inspired just as had finished a Macarthur sermón about the same... God bless. Time yo time Hannah Sophia snd Chloe are talking about Mika...hugs

    1. Thanks! I'd like to hear that Macarthur sermon if you don't mind sharing the link. ^^
      *Hugs* to you and your girls, too!


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