by Beth Michaels
The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Isaiah 58:11, New International Version.
Every professional whose column or book I have read claims that consistency is the key to well-behaved, obedient children. Yet, I struggle to stay consistent with my two young sons. One, in particular, seems to get real satisfaction from testing the boundaries I have tried to establish.
“And why shouldn’t he?” I asked myself one day. Why shouldn’t he be completely clear about what his parents and society expect of him and about the consequences of his actions? Why shouldn’t he know that he is protected and loved, no matter what he does? After all, those are the same boundaries and expectations my parents had for me and, on a grander scale, the kind that God has for me.
When I try to imagine a God who doesn’t provide consistent love and sacrifice, or who doesn’t give clear and unbendable guidance, I see myself quickly losing faith in His ability to care for me. I see myself feeling uncertain about my life, and more importantly, about
my future. I would probably be more prone to rebel and test the waters without God’s consistency.
Thankfully, the Lord is steadfast and clear about His expectations of us and of His promises to us. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalms 46:1, NIV). Before I even begin to stumble and lose my way, the Lord promises He’ll steer me back to Him, back to where I am safe and guarded. Should I not reflect these promises to my children? Of course!
I’m human and sinful. Therefore, I will often fail to meet the expectations the Lord has of me, including my role as a mother. But praise Him that He also promises to help me meet those expectations.
Lord, help me show my children the consistency and love that You show me.