Active Faith

5 Orders We Hate to Obey

"Following God’s orders demonstrates that we trust His provision. It says that we believe 'Father knows best.'" by Tammy Darling

From 1954-1960 a popular radio program came to life in the form of a television sitcom called Father Knows Best. I’m not sure how many kids—then or now—believe that to be true. It seems that no matter the generation, there are certain instructions or commands that kids just don’t want to obey.

Interestingly, the very same orders that kids don’t follow, are the same ones that adult believers struggle within their spiritual lives. The following are five orders that both kids and adults hate to obey:

1. Don’t Dawdle

With five kids, I’ve told each of them to “hurry up” or “come on,” a time or two. Kids master the art of dawdling at a very early age.

To dawdle means to “take one’s time; proceed slowly; waste time.” Children hate the “don’t dawdle” command. After all, how are they supposed to explore and discover if they don’t live in the moment and for themselves

When we’re given a command from God, aren’t we just as slow to obey sometimes? We’re caught up in our own thing or simply don’t want to do what He’s asking. So, we put it off, try to ignore it, or flat out rebel. But true obedience means that we don’t dawdle when God tells us to do something.

2. Be Quiet

With a family of seven, it can get pretty noisy. Do you ever say, “Use your inside voice?” Yeah, me too. Repeatedly. And it’s often followed by a not-so-quiet, “Be quiet!” Sometimes I think my kids are competing to see who can be heard over all the others. They have a strong desire to be heard, and so telling them to be quiet is usually met with resistance.

As adults, we are surrounded not only by physical noise but also by distractions. Social media, hobbies and mind re-runs can be just as “loud” as physical noise.

But God wants us to be quiet before Him. Psalms 46:10 (KJV) says:

“Be still, and know that I am God.” Sometimes that requires cutting out physical noise; sometimes it means shutting off social media or the noise in our minds.”

Sit back. Relax. Breathe in His presence. See, being quiet is a gift.

3. Clean Up

While writing this article, I asked my two youngest daughters to clean their bedroom. Although they verbally said nothing, their looks said, “Why are you persecuting me?” I’ve never met a kid—mine or any other—who likes to obey the order to clean up.

Sometimes God tells us to “clean up” our lives. They can get pretty dirty just walking around in this sin-filled world; God knows we must be diligent about keeping ourselves clean and pure before Him.

In Psalm 24:3 (KJV), these questions are presented:

“Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?” The answer has to do with cleaning up: “He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully” (v. 4).

We don’t like the order to “clean up” any more than kids do because it takes effort on our part. But just as with a clean bedroom, there are many benefits we don’t want to miss out on.

4. Eat Healthy

I grew up in a family where healthy eating wasn’t a priority. As an adult, I’m paying the price for it. Because of my experience, I want my kids to eat healthily. They want pizza, candy, soda and ice cream. Eating healthy is another area of resistance.

God’s Word tells us, “O taste and see that the LORD is good” (Psalm 34:8). Jesus Himself says, “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst” (John 6:35, KJV).

To be spiritually healthy, we must “eat” healthy—we must feed on the Lord, on His Word. The “food” of this world will never truly satisfy us no matter how much we partake of it. However, the more we feed on Jesus, the more filled and satisfied we’ll become.

5. No

The reactions and responses of a child being told “no” vary according to their age. When my second daughter was a toddler, and I told her “no,” she’d have a meltdown and hold her breath, nearly passing out. My pre-teen tends to stomp out of the room.

Even as adults, we don’t like to be told “no” and when Gods says “no” to us, we get mad. We think we know what we want, what we need (and when), but we don’t.

God alone knows our future and what we’ll need when we get there. Accepting God’s “no” is a sign of spiritual maturity; it says we trust that He has our best interests at heart. I wouldn’t give my son a dozen cookies at once and God’s not going to give me a million dollars if He knows I can’t manage what I do have.

While it’s sometimes hard for kids to obey, it can be equally hard for us to obey God. He knows this and He understands our weaknesses. But, He still expects obedience to His orders, to His commands, just as we expect obedience from our children. Following God’s orders demonstrates that we trust His provision. It says that we believe “Father knows best.”

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