OH boy... that word... the word that sometimes makes people cringe... OBEDIENCE... Something that most people struggle with. Funny but true story first then I will get into the meat of this topic. When Kenn and I were dating (we argue about where this takes place I say it happened at my parents house he says his aunts townhouse... but seeing as it is me telling this I will go with my parents house :) ) It was a Sunday evening and we were watching America's Funniest Home Videos with my parents. (this was in the mid 90's) They were showing wedding clips, and in one of them the minister came to love, honor and obey and the bride said "I'm not saying that word no way!" I looked at Kenn and said something like "yeah I'm not going to say obey either" He said "that's ok you don't have to" then a few minutes later he asked "Hey, Andi, could you go get me a coke ?" So not thinking about it I got up went outside got the coke brought it in, looked at the coke, then looked at him sitting there with the cat ate the canary look on his face and it dawned on me just as he said " No... you don't have to say obey " He is lucky I didn't throw the can at him :)
Anyway obedience... not only obedience but delighting in it... that sounds impossible doesn't it. I know it is a struggle to get the boys to obey a lot (our oldest was even diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder last summer.) Hardened hearts are all around... I want to do what I want, when I want, how I want and the consequences be damned is how many people live maybe not about everything but about a lot of things. I'm guilty of this myself from time to time (yesterday is a GLARING example right now) obedience isn't what everyone thinks of... it isn't being a slave to someone else. it isn't being a dog waiting for a command... it is realizing that there is a reason that we must wait... and not waiting could have bad results.
As children we are to obey our parents. We learned pretty quick if we didn't do what we were told there were consequences, rather corporal or material the consequences of not doing what we were told to do were not fun. As a child I got spanked, I got put in the corner, I was grounded, and had things I liked or wanted to do taken away from me for various acts of disobedience. Part of having Free will allows us to choose to be obedient or not. But choosing to be obedient can be rewarding, it can have as many rewards and perks as disobedience has punishments and negative consequences. Still speaking from the child's point of view... if you obey (lets say doing your chores) you may earn an allowance, get to do something you've been wanting to do, maybe even get a gift that you had been wanting. Not to mention that in keeping your room clean you would also know where that toy (piece of clothing, book) was that you wanted to play with rather than having to totally tear up your room looking for it, and have some healthy amount of pride for a job well done.
As we grow up we learn more and more lessons on being obedient...Most teens learn to obey the rules of the road, so that they won't have their parents take away their driving privileges (not me... didn't start driving on my own until I was 24 and married). We learn more about becoming responsible for the things we do and don't do. We get jobs, and start making money and learn that in order to keep the job we have to do what we are told to do by our boss (we learn to OBEY our boss). Then there is the tough choices... the dating... learning to obey God and not our bodies... (I'm forgiven for the choices I made and you are as well, I wish some choices I had made differently, but I would not be who I am today if I had)... the bills and play ... I want to go to the movie, but this bill is due...
When we get married we are suppose to obey our husbands... most modern women balk at this idea. I know that I have not been as faithful in obedience to anyone as I should. in April of 1993 I went on a women's retreat with the BSU of Lamar university. One of the ladies on the retreat told the story of the first time she met her husband the thought "This is the man you are going to marry!" hit her out of no where. (they met at someone's wedding) well she didn't give it much thought other than to deny it because he was not her type... they started corresponding a few months later, started dating, and eventually got married. The following Monday I was walking to class and there were two guys I knew from the Wesley foundation walking in front of me. My eyes locked on to the back of one of them. "THIS IS THE MAN YOU ARE GOING TO MARRY!!!" I stopped dead in my tracks. NO WAY... power of suggestion... not my type at all. shook my head and kept on to class. That guy would occasionally ask me to lunch (which I never thought I was much to look at and the only guy I dated in high school I had to chase and practically beg to ask me out) I never really took it seriously. He asked a mutual friend for my number I told her not to give it to him and to tell him something like my parent's don't let me give my number out.... she just told him I said no. That summer his dad died (I remember seeing the obit in the paper and saying a little prayer for his family). Towards the end of the summer, after drinking too much at a party at a friends house I almost let a guy that I really thought I liked a lot go a lot farther than I should... my no's were starting to get very weak when his sister saved the day by coming to look for us. When classes started back in the fall I decided I was going to stop worrying so much about not having a guy in my life and concentrate on my studies. One day at work THE guy came in and I pointed him out to one of my friends that I worked with... "that's the guy that keeps asking me out!" she was like "Why don't you say yes... what is the worst that could happen?" So I decided on that day that next time he asked I would say yes... well he didn't ask again. One day I was sitting in the Wesley and talking to a friend about the Glamour shot pictures I had taken the year before... He over heard us and said something about wanting one :) so the next day I knew I would see him was a Tuesday. I had one of each pose (4 pictures) with my full name and phone number written on the back and handed them to him... needless to say he was a bit confused... probably even more so when at lunch that day I sat next to him and leaned back while listening to the speaker... but when he put his arms around me... I knew right then and there that the words I had heard 6 months to the day before were true.
I don't feel that being obedient to my husband is a chore (most of the time anyway), if he asks for something it just seems natural to do it.
Being obedient to God is what this topic is really over though, and I am getting better at that some days are easier than others. Yesterday however I was disobedient and listened to the part of me that wanted to eat when I was not hungry. I ate 4 egg rolls and 2 or 3 servings of fried rice that I had made the night before. (they were fairly healthy, but I was willfully disobedient in eating more than two of them because I was no longer hungry...) As a consequence I felt ill and bloated but could not throw up.
God wants us to have our hearts desires (after all it was HIM who put them there). All He asks is that we turn to HIM and give HIM our obedience, our time, our struggles, our pains, our triumphs, our victories, our needs... spend time with HIM in prayer, and in reading HIS word. He gives us nudges from time to time to let us know what HIS will is, which direction HE wants us to go... and by spending more time with HIM we can better learn to respond to these nudges, and hear these nudges more clearly. I will stop my cycle of willful disobedience now for today I will be obedient in the truths I know, and listen harder for those God nudges to lead me in the path to obedience. and I will do so with a song on my lips and in my heart, I will do so with delight, looking forward to the rewards that are to come if I am obedient.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33