There are a million things on my plate, but hey – let’s get a young and unruly horse – that’s a great idea! Well, it turns out that I have a lot to learn from my horse on how to be a better mom, a better wife, and a better Christian – Who knew.
I think my day was a bit like a sesame street episode with the word of the day being obedience.
Mucking Stalls, Riding Lesson, and Bible Study
Yesterday started like any average day; I’m mucking Mac’s stall listening to a God-Centered Mom podcast episode. I really doubt there is a better way to scoop horse poop than with a motivational podcast. During this episode I found myself nodding along saying – “yeah exactly” as they gave practical advice on how to improve the respect of my children by teaching them obedience, selflessness, and respect.
Through clarity, love, and consistency they will choose to be loyal and respectful instead of rebellious. (I”m sure you’re thinking year right – but hear me out..)
Fast forward a few hours and my husband and I work together to get Mac, my horse, loaded on the trailer for our lesson. Mac was being pushy, rude and would jump everytime the wind blew; he’s such a big baby. As we unloaded and got him tied up in the arena, my trainer looks at me and says:
“he doesn’t respect you at all.”
She proceeds to tell me how to make him more obedient and how it takes one stern correction, clear expectations with continuous demand for respect. By setting my expectations and following through with immediate correction, he will build trust and respect for me.
He will choose to obey because he trusts me.
See the pattern forming? As the day closes I begin to do my bible study homework, the topic, Obedience. No, I’m not kidding. That’s when I realized that this was my word of the day. God, wants my obedience like I want my horse and child’s obedience. Just like I learned about my girls being obedient out of love and trust and Mac being obedient out of love and trust. I choose to obey God because I know, love, and trust Him and his commands. He is the same yesterday, today and will be tomorrow – I can trust him to care and provide for me because he always has. I can’t love and trust him unless I’m reading His word though – Why? Because it’s too easy to get into my world and my control. The Bible is a constant reminder of his Consistency, faithfulness, and beyond worthy of our trust and obedience.
Obedience – The Proof of Love
Freedom In Obedience
I know that the topic of obedience doesn’t exactly bring about warm fuzzies,
but neither does disobedience. However, it’s essential we see the freedom that exists in obedience to God – Yes, great freedom.
The reason I wanted a horse was that of the freedom that comes with riding. The other day, however, I did not feel free at all – as a matter of fact, my life flashed before my eyes as I asked Mac to lope.
He didn’t want to, so he reared up so high we almost doubled over backward.
Thank God we didn’t. However, his disobedience made me afraid, untrusting and frustrated. So, while working my horse yesterday, we both got a lesson in obedience. When he acts disobedient, I have to make it hard on him – applying consequences. The opposite is also true when he does the right thing he gets praise, treats and rest.
He found out in a quickly that obedience leads to freedom from consequences. Sure he still has to do the work and, as we all know, exercise isn’t always fun, but it was easier and more fun to obey.
Let’s look at obedience another way – I expect my girls to be obedient to my rules and boundaries. I set them, not to be a no fun monster, but because I want them to grow up to be responsible, well mannered, respectful adults. When they don’t abide by our house rules and values, they receive a consequence. They have and are learning to comply with the rules of our family and God. When they follow the rules, respect and love each other, they receive the freedom to play with their toys, their Kindles, friends. When they disobey – there is no fun and no freedom.
Now, we have consequences when we disobey God (aka sin), The implications of our sin bring with it a couple of passengers – Guilt and Shame. I’ve felt shame and guilt all too often. They hang on and torment me; breaking down my mental strength.
There is no freedom in those feelings – It’s prison in my mind. Our freedom from guilt and shame is through knowing and trusting God. Not that our road won’t be long or tough, but Our freedom comes with abiding in His law, that’s how we avoid the prison of shame and guilt in our minds. We will always make mistakes, but he has promised to forgive us as we turn and repent. He has promised to care for us as we follow his commands.
It’s easiest to be obedient when there is trust. As I study God’s word, I more willingly walk in His commands because I see his love for me. I can’t know this about him unless I’m in the word. I understand and can trust that his laws are there to protect me and keep me safe.
He keeps his promises…Love, trust, adoration, and unfailing respect makes it easy to abide in Him.
In his commands is our true freedom –
Outside of them, we are lost in darkness entirely unaware of the light we need. Go for obedience – Study His word, learn and apply his law – experience the freedom of obedience.