“Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. Accept instruction from his mouth and lay up his words in your heart.”
Job 22: 21-22 (NIV)
I overheard a teenager talking to her mother the other day and was saddened at the tone and words spewing out of her mouth. I wondered what had caused the breakdown in their relationship that made the child think her tone and words were appropriate to talk to someone in authority but I wondered more about why the mother thought it was okay to be treated that way by one of her children.
I thought to myself, “If a friend of mine were to talk to me that way, I wouldn’t go out of my way to spend very much time with her. In fact, I would probably distance myself from that relationship almost entirely.”
If we won’t tolerate that type of treatment from a friend, why do parents put up with that treatment from their children? A mother’s love runs deep for her children. We put up with a lot because we love as unconditionally as humanly possible each one of our children.
I thought back to all the times I’ve sassed my Heavenly Father – sometimes out of anger, sometimes because I was deeply hurt, sometimes because I’m stubborn and didn’t want to give up my own will for what was better – His way. God never treated me the way I said I would react toward a sassy friend, distancing myself or eliminating the relationship altogether. God doesn’t treat me the way I deserve. Because of His perfect, unconditional love, He loves me enough to gently draw me back into a close relationship with Him. He loves me enough to keep patiently showing me His truth until I choose to obey Him. He loves me enough to not give up on me… even when I’m being a brat and don’t deserve it.
That got me thinking back to the original conversation I overheard between the teenage daughter and her mother. I don’t know what’s going on in their family life to cause the disrespectful attitude of the teenager and loving response from the mother. I’m not judging them… but I am grateful for the gentle reminder their conversation had on my relationship with my Father.
I want to eliminate the sass altogether and come to God grateful. I will always struggle with fleshly desires and trials in this life; but my desire is to sass less often and for a lesser amount each time and lean in and trust God faster in each circumstance. In the meantime, I’ll pray for that mother/daughter each time I think about them. What is seen as a pattern from outsiders looking in could just be a bump in the road of a great relationship between two people who love each other. Just like my momentary lapses with my Heavenly Father. My sass comes through occasionally in between long periods of deep communication and fellowship. Just as the mother doesn’t expect perfection from her daughter during this pivotal and constantly changing time in their lives, my Father doesn’t expect me to be perfect either. Thank goodness, He loves all of me, even when I’m sassy.
© Cheri Swalwell 2017