Were you one of the cool, popular kids in your school? If you were, I'm tickled for you, but I didn't share your good fortune. I belonged to a fun, eclectic group of friends. We were singers, musicians, actors, and nerds....definitely not the "A" crowd in my school. So it really shouldn't surprise me that, as a mom, my lack of popularity continues. I've made thousands of decisions my kids didn't like, and they've stomped their feet in disapproval. But they'll thank me later....
When they were small, and I said NO to the gummy worms and yes to the apple, or NO to the scary movie and yes to the funny one, I was not popular. Three of my kids are teens now but, sadly, my popularity has not grown over time. I'm still not cool like that other Mom my kids talk about so much. Maybe you've heard of her? "But Motherrrr, Everybody Else's Mom said they could go!!!" Then I hear myself say (in my best impression of my Mother) "I'm not Everybody Else's Mom!! I'm YOUR mom!!" I mean, who is this woman anyway, and why do her kids always do crazy stuff with her approval?? I would love to be popular, but my kids don't need me to be their buddy. They need me to be a mother who's not afraid to make the decision that's best for them. Because I'm more interested in their character than their comfort.
One of the benefits of growing older is the blessing of history and hindsight. In the rearview mirror of my life, I'm most grateful for the unpopular people- those who made me mad, who weren't afraid to challenge me, who didn't hold back when the words weren't easy or positive. Like the music teacher who wouldn't let me give in to fear, insisting I audition for show choir and musicals. Or the Christian couple who weren't afraid to talk to Gene and I about the need for restraint and a moral Compass in our young relationship. Like my dearest, wisest friend, who's quick to remind me of my need for a Savior in my attitudes and decisions, and gently point out where I'm missing the mark. And especially my husband, who makes me stretch and grow and dream big dreams, even when I'm content with small ones. Each of these people cares more about my character than my comfort.
Isn't God like that, too? Sometimes we're confused or angry about the decisions He makes, when He says no, or asks us to do something difficult. But that doesn't stop Him from making the unpopular decisions that are best for us. He isn't moved by our objections, because He sees the end from the beginning, and has our ultimate good in mind. He knows we may stomp our spiritual feet now, but we'll thank Him later!
Today's Verses: "because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?" Hebrews 12:6-7 NIV 2011
Prayer for Today: Father, help me to humbly receive your decisions, discipline, and correction, knowing You have my character, not my comfort, in mind. Help me to do what is right, not what is popular, and love my children the way You love me. In Jesus' name, Amen.