Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Conflicted, er, Convicted

To set the scene:
It was Saturday morning, and you know what that means, right?
Gotta do chores. It's the same thing every Saturday morning around here, and at this point I really don't think I should need to remind the kids about it. They know it's Saturday (That's why they didn't get up and go to school, right?) and they know what they need to do.
But for some reason, last Saturday found me prompting and reminding and, OK, nagging more than usual.
And I was not happy.
I started to wonder what would happen if I put as much effort into serving my family as my kids did. Contemplated not doing anything (make dinner, do laundry, get groceries) until they wore themselves out with asking me. I wondered, would they learn a lesson? Would they finally "get it"?

And I began to get some pretty good ideas.

But then I sat down to have my quiet time. And I did something you probably shouldn't do if you want to go down your own road of good selfish ideas.
I asked God to speak to me through His Word.

Oh, He is so faithful!

I read 2 Corinthians 10-13 (HIS plan, not mine!) and after encouraging me about finding my strength in Him, God totally grabbed my heart with the end of chapter 13. Clearly, there were some problems in the Corinthian camp, and Paul was addressing the issues. But his love for the people came out in verse 10.

This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority - the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down.

(emphasis mine)

As I began to pray, it occurred to me that perhaps the better way to approach my children is as a model. Perhaps I should serve them without complaining. Maybe I need to show them more diligently what it means to be a willing servant. It could be that in my serving I can build them up, rather than tearing them down with nagging.
And then the arguments set in. If I do that, won't I just be enabling them to carry on with ungrateful hearts? I surely don't want to get into enabling. Besides, mocking them would be so fun!
And I lay on my bed.


I thought about the fact that I had just asked God to speak to me. And only HE can change my heart. And my heart was certainly being changed.

At which point I moved from being conflicted to being convicted.

Know what I mean?



luvmy4sons said...

Er...conflicted...um I mean convicted! *grin* I wish I could say I always built up...I do not. Thanks for the exhortation today. Blessings!

O Mom said...

I hate the time of feeling conflicted, but love it when He turns it into conviction and the amswers seem so clear!

Irritable Mother said...

Leslie - Yeah. We wish we always got it right, don't we? So thankful for His grace.
HE always gets it right!

O Mom - Me, too. And I kind of feel silly when I realize how long it took me to make that journey from conflicted to convicted.
But God is patient. He knows what I need. And He did what was necessary to get me to make that move. *Ahhh*

km said...

When the kids were younger, I read them The Little Red Hen. You know the one with "Who will help me plant the wheat?" "Who will help me bake the bread?" "Who will help me eat the bread?" It worked for awhile...and then I needed to be reminding them again. Wish I didn't have to. Now I'll just have to work on having a better attitude myself.

gianna said...

oh, I LIKE how you said that! Beautiful! Check out my blog! There is news there you might want to see!

On Purpose said...

For I have found myself in many moments begging God to help me get my boys to see that I don't want to keep asking/nagging (and really I have a lot of years to go)...this speaks loud and clear to me today..."Nichole you need to live by example" I take this post today as a love answer...thank you Karen!

Irritable Mother said...

KM - Yes. I know the one! And I am a little too quick - even now - to snap with the "I'll do it myself" attitude.
Yep. Still need refining.

Gianna - Welcome, Omri! Yay, you! Thank You, JESUS!!!

Nichole - So glad HE is speaking. Love you!

Angie Muresan said...

Oh yes! Except it is a constant battle with myself not to nag, and be a model for them instead.

happyhome said...

Conviction and encouragement from the Lord is so sweet...but I bet some of your original ideas were pretty "sweet" too! *big grin*