‘Cuz I said so is a parenting staple I have found myself saying lately. It has become a bit of a joke for me and my kids…I repeat it as a song until my kids complete whatever it is I have asked of them. Then, and only then, do I give further explanation.
I know, all the parenting experts out there would be appalled. They advise always to explain to your children the reason why they need to share their toys, why they shouldn’t hit so-and-so, why it’s not a good idea to run away from mommy in a parking lot. I certainly do value that whole explaining-why thing, only after they have obeyed. In our house, we expect each of our four kids to obey first, and ask why second.
You may be wondering what I’m getting at here; this ain’t no parenting blog. But, I’m always looking for a good spiritual parallel out of my everyday life. In our current teaching series, we’ve been learning about what makes a good leader. We’ve been comparing king Saul’s lackluster leadership with king David’s honorable legacy. One quality that separates them is obedience.
Saul sometimes obeyed God’s instructions…David obeyed without question.
Saul obeyed the parts with which he felt comfortable, but ignored others…David followed instructions completely. Saul made excuses…David owned up to his mistakes.
When we choose to obey God’s word completely, we are showing him that we trust him. We are acknowledging through our actions that he knows better than we do. And, no offense fellow know-it-all-ers…but God does know better than us.
But, you ask…How do I know I can trust God? How can I obey when it’s hard? How can I be sure it will work out? Well, I can assure you that when you resign yourself to follow God’s word, God shows up in big ways. He did it time and time again in the Bible, and is still doing it today.
So, if you are feeling hesitant, doubtful, and like that thing you know you need to do is just too hard…start asking around. Ask people in your serving roles, ask people in your growth group, ask people how God has shown up in their lives when they put their trust in Him. Read the Bible…like, really read it, scour it for examples of God’s provision. The books of Joshua and I Samuel are a great place to start.
“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
I want my kids to trust me. I want them to make good choices and practice obedience in the little things to be prepared for the big things. I don’t want them to make half-hearted and lethargic obedience a habit.
How much more does God, who is perfectly more perfect than imperfect parents, want that for me? God knows the whole picture. We only have a limited view. We think we must have that house, that job, that spouse, that car, that vacation. Or, maybe we make excuses for our unhealthy compromises. I’m only cheating a little bit. They don’t really need the money anyway. They haven’t earned my forgiveness. My words aren’t that bitter/angry/ugly/hurtful.
But, our way is not always the best way. The more we seek to understand God, the more we see that his parameters are for our good. We can either listen to the rhetoric of our do-whatever-feels-right-to-you culture, or find our root in the truth of Scripture.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”
Obedience can be hard. For example, I don’t always feel like sacrificing my Sunday mornings every week to reach out and serve others. But, it is the desire of my heart to put God first, and he says to put others first. When I make the choice to love others, God gives me the peace, energy, and desire to get it done…often in ways I could never expect.
Let this be a reminder to both you and me to pray to him first, to read his word first, to seek godly counsel first, to let go of selfish desires first. I want to reflect and ensure that my life aligns with the guidelines of Scripture. It isn’t always easy. It isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always what I would choose. And, I’m not always good at it. But, God has always shown up when I put him first.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
Children do not know more than their parents. They think they do. When my kids wait for a sufficient reason before they obey, they are communicating distrust. When I hear a whiny “why?” from my kids, I roll my eyes, utter “Cuz I said so”, then smile because I picture God doing the same with me.
I ask him “Why?”, he shakes his head and says, “Just trust me…cuz I said so!”