Saturday, December 3, 2011

"What is the most loving thing I can do for my child?"

Sometimes, it's amazing the ways God leads you. Tonight, I experienced excruciating back pain unlike anything I have ever felt before. So here I am, at four o'clock in the morning, I can't sleep. I can't sit up to watch TV. I can't work. I can't really do much of anything. So what do I decide to do? Lay down and read my Bible. Is that what it takes to get me to read my Bible nowadays?

The truth is that every time I get away from my daily time with God, everyone around me can tell. Frankly, I am not an easy guy to get along with without the Holy Spirit's help. But God's Word offers such refreshment and renewal of spirit that it's amazing I ever step away for even a day.

Today, after reading through some Scripture, I decided to take a look at a parenting devotional that I said I would start "someday."

Most of the message of today's devotional was about disciplining your child. It talked about how loving your children means making sure you correct them when they do wrong. Now, this isn't really a weakness of mine. But one thing did stand out in the short article. It said that the next time your children do something that needs correcting, you should ask: "What is the most loving thing I can do for my child?"

I know this seems kind of like parenting 101 to most of you. But to me tonight, for some reason, it just struck me in a very profound way. How often do I barge into a situation and loudly proclaim that I will be obeyed at all costs? Perhaps, if I stopped for a second and asked myself this question, God may use me to come up with amazing solutions for my kids instead of being part of the problem sometimes.

And my heavenly Father is always willing, with open arms, to welcome me back when I step away from time with him. How shortsighted and stupid I am when I step away from the fountain of life that satisfies my spirit and my soul to pursue the things that I imagine might satisfy.

Today, Father, please help me to remember that only you satisfy. Please help me to remember that you will magnify my time if necessary, as long as I sit at your feet and remember that the part of my day that fuels everything else is time with you. Please help me to walk with you, moment by moment, and be refreshed by,  led by, and filled with your Spirit in everything I do. Please help me to make loving choices for my family that demonstrate who you are and not who I think I need to be. In Jesus' name, Amen.