I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:10-11

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Patient Instruction

"Didn't I tell you to pick up your toys?"

"How many times do I have to tell you to use your manners?"

"If I have to tell you to stop fighting with your brother one more time..."

Are you a mom?  Does that sound like you?  Sometimes I get frustrated having to tell my kids the same things over and over.  I often think they should get it the first time.  So when I read the first verse of Philippians 3 this week it sort of slapped me in the face.

Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.

Wow.. Paul wasn't saying to the Philippians.. didn't I just tell you these things; why is it taking you so long to learn it? 

No.. he is patiently repeating himself and sees it as protection for the Philippian church. It is not a burden for him to instruct them, like it sometimes feels to me. 

I have to change my focus from what I am telling them to why I am telling them.  It is an asphalés, a safeguard.  The Greek word that comes from a meaning not and sphallō meaning to totter, cast down, fall.  

Marcus is learning to walk.  Over and over he takes two or three steps between me and his dad or one of his siblings.  He gets a kick out of it but there are always protective arms there ready to catch him when he stumbles.  It is never a burden for us to catch him, we all know that if we don't he will fall and could hurt himself.

My prayer is that as I parent my kids I will do so patiently, not tiring of instructing, catching them as they fall until they are strong enough to walk this life on their own.
What about you?  What has God taught you this week as you have dug into his Word?

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