I said "No", to Hannah. She wanted to go with Lynette and her boy friend to Ozark to watch a volleyball game and I didn't think it was a good idea because it was a school night and I don't know the boy very well. It felt good to assert my parental authority and I probably should say no a lot more often. Especially since I have been reading in 1 Samuel this week.
Let me explain what I mean. In chapter 2 we read that Eli's sons knew not the Lord and they sinned in the office of the priest. Eli scolded his sons, but to no avail. So God sent a message to Eli, through a man of God. The message was not good. God said that Eli did not have respect for the Lord's offerings and that he honored his sons more than he honored God and that he allowed sin to continue in his house. Because of this, God was going to cut-off Eli's family from the priesthood, his two sons would die in one day, and God would raise up a faithful priest that would do God's will.
Wow, being a parent carries a lot of responsibility; God holds parents responsible for their children's behavior. It's not enough just to chasten them for their bad behavior, but the behavior must be corrected. "For I have told him that I will judge his house forever, for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile and he restrained them not." (1Samuel 3:13) A parent who fails to teach their child to obey, is dishonoring God.
Raising a child is never easy, no matter what their temperament; and deep down, I know that Hannah has a tender heart and a humble spirit. So I have tended to spoil her and let her slide by when it comes to enforcing the rules for our family. I have done things for her that she should have done. I have overlooked grumpy attitudes and hateful remarks. And all of theses are signs of disrespect in a child; things that I should have taken immediate action to correct.
Forgive my weakness, Lord, for being a permissive parent, for letting disrespect and a rebellious attitude creep into my house. Help me to see it for what it is and to nip it in the bud. Lord help me to be a good parent who holds to the highest standard of obedience, a parent who is unafraid to deal with the sin in my house.