Monday, August 18, 2008


I was recently sitting with some friends at an outdoor music venue. In Nashville, these events are plentiful, and the park-like settings are a special draw for parents of young children, offering them the chance to hear great music and enjoy giving their kids the freedom to play at the same time. One little boy, around 12-14 months old, took great interest in my circle of friends, probably because we were talking about how cute he was, and also because he saw that we were eating chips and other snacks that looked good to him! Within a few seconds, this child (who was not a bit shy!) was wandering away from his mom and coming to wave, babble, and smile at us. Every time he toddled over, however, his mom would follow, swoop him up, and take him back to his "area." The third time he came over, I noticed the little shirt he had on. It read: "My Parents are Exhausted." LOL! I got a good laugh out of that, but the truth is, if you are doing it right (parenting, that is!) you will be exhausted!

That little boy's mom was doing it right. Every time her son toddled "out of bounds," she followed and retrieved! She had the same reaction each time. She was consistent, diligently teaching him to stay within the boundaries she had set for him. Was she tired? You bet! But once she got through to him where he was to stay, and once my friends and I understood what she was trying to do (We quit smiling at the little cutie and put the snacks away!), she was able to enjoy the concert with a little one playing contentedly--exactly where she had told him to.

Thinking about this, it occurred to me that God parents me with great consistency. His love never fails. His grace is sufficient. His mercy endures forever. It is His consistency that shapes my behavior. I learn how to act like, function as, and be a Christian according to His consistency.

When it comes to parenting, the character of God reveals that consistency is key!

God’s consistency leads me to trust Him. It opens up His character to me. I know that He will keep His Word, He will do what He says. I don’t have to wonder if He is going to come through for me. I know He will because He is consistent.

God’s consistency gives me security. As His child, I know He won’t let me get away with sin. The wages of sin is death. He disciplines those He loves. I know my place as one of His own because He cares enough to discipline me.

God’s consistency allows me to focus on Him and brings me into a state of contentment. Like my little friend, I’m often distracted by worldly enticements when I should be listening to my Father and living on the portion He has provided for me.

. . .have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children? My dear child, don't shrug off God's discipline, but don't be crushed by it either. It's the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects. God is educating you; that's why you must never drop out. He's treating you as dear children. This trouble you're in isn't punishment; it's training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God's training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God's holy best. At the time, discipline isn't much fun. It always feels like it's going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it's the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God. (Hebrews 5-11, The Message)
God is really good at being consistent! That’s Who He is! As a parent, I find that my consistency with my kids is most threatened when I am more focused on my own needs above their needs. How about you? Are you consistent? Where/when do you struggle most?


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