Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Proverbs 6 - 7 Things Parents (and God) Hate

“These six things the Lord hates,
 Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
 A proud look,
 A lying tongue,
 Hands that shed innocent blood,
 A heart that devises wicked plans,
 Feet that are swift in running to evil,
 A false witness who speaks lies,
 And one who sows discord among brethren.”
-          Proverbs 6:16-19

Sometimes I get a better glimpse of God and myself by watching my children and considering my reactions to their behaviors.

“God doesn’t like that…” I’ve said it today. I’ve said it multiple times over many years.

My children are learning that seven things are an abomination to the Lord:

A Proud Look – My daughter is the Haughty Look Queen of our family. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what I say. If she disagrees with me, it’s evident…on her face - which is beautiful when she is in her right attitude. I have to watch my attitude and facial expressions at all times. Mine tend to come out when I’m irritated with my husband. It’s disrespectful and rude. And God doesn’t like it.

A Lying Tongue – Sometimes it’s very difficult to tell if a child is lying, they do it so well. Other kids can’t hide their deception. It shows in their eyes. I’m certain my eldest and youngest get away with far too much. My middle son, however, can’t hide that he’s not telling the truth. I can’t, either. Even the slightest deception (what some would call white lies, although lying is lying, no matter what you call it) puts my spirit in a slump. And God doesn’t like it.

Hands That Shed Innocent Blood – On multiple occasions I’ve watched one of my children pop the others on the head, their back, or whatever they could reach. My middle son struggles at times with keeping his temper under control. He can be angry over something having nothing to do with his sibling, yet he pops him in the arm anyway. Not only do I not like it when he does that, but God doesn’t, either. And he gets reprimanded, along with anger management training.

A Heart That Devises Wicked Plans – Children are good at planning against each other. They’re also excellent at hiding their planning behind closed doors, around corners or under blankets. I’ll never forget being at a sleepover with a handful of other girls. As I slept, they schemed. Although they tried to get me in my sleep, I woke up before they could execute their evil plan. So many times children will devise evil plans against their siblings, as well. Mine tend to scheme on how they can leave someone out. Anything that intentionally hurts another, either physically or emotionally, is evil. And God doesn’t like that.

Feet That Are Swift in Running to Evil – So many things are out there, tempting us today. It’s easy to run into evil. Sometimes it seems unavoidable. Because the world is all around us. Peer pressure makes it even more difficult. My children are in public school, where they’re being exposed to things that make my heart cringe. I wish I could protect them from these things, but I know they’ll eventually be exposed to them even if I protect them right now. What I focus on is bringing biblical truth into the darkness of these issues. I can train them up in the way they should go, so when they’re old they won’t depart from them. But I can’t shelter them until the day God takes them home. I have to pray God’s protection over their lives and guide them to make right choices. Biblical choices. Because God doesn’t like it when we run to evil. He desires for us to run to Him.

A False Witness Who Speaks Lies – We call them Tattle Tales in our home. When one of the kids comes running to tell us what someone else did, hoping to get the sibling into trouble so they can benefit from the forfeited XBOX controller or the extra piece of candy, we refuse to hear it. It’s obvious when they are playing the false witness. And it’s evident when they’re telling the truth and truly need assistance due to an injustice. God doesn’t like it when we speak falsely against someone else, whether as a defense mechanism or out of a self-seeking heart. As a parent, neither do I.

One Who Sows Discord Among Brethren – Have you ever watched a child begin to play the rest of their siblings off one another? I’m certain it isn’t limited to step-families. Mine love to sow discord among their brethren. How do I handle this? The contender gets grounded from everything and is required to spend a certain amount of time alone in their room. If they can’t interact properly with one another, they don’t have to be with one another. They get separated. For a reasonable time. I don’t allow it in my home. God doesn’t allow it in His, either. He hates it.

Every one of these things centers around a self-seeking attitude. None of them come from a servant’s heart of love. We can avoid falling into their trap by remembering Jesus’ golden rule. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” And, “Treat others the way you desire to be treated.”

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