Every once in a while my husband will bark out an order that sounds like it’s a military sounding command. Not surprisingly, my Marine husband is pretty comfortable with that. But I, in all my female mushiness, am not. So I will often soften the command with my momma side. And yet, when I ask the kids to do something, and they delay responding, or argue back why they shouldn’t have to, I find myself frustrated. I forget that I literally interfered with the process in the first place.
The roles of mom and dad are so dramatically complex! And children’s personalities are so complex as well. I marveled at the wisdom of my 26 year old the other day. He’s obviously seen the tug of war that comes between how a man and a woman handle things. “Mom, we are men. You are women. Your job is to occasionally remind us to have a heart. But your job isn’t to make us have heart. If we did everything with the same heart as you did, we’d all be women.”
Oh boy! Trained by the best! And he is so right! If we were both strong like men, and heartful like women, we’d actually be unequally yoked, wouldn’t we? Men need to be as equally strong as women need to be tender but they don’t need to be equally strong AND tender. It’s not an equal amount of the same quality, it’s qualities that are equally important. And if the one of us is as strong as the other is tender, the kids will receive the right message. They’ll learn to obey quickly and properly, and yet, they’ll be sensitive to others.
I wonder if God looks at me some days and says, “I just wanted you to obey.” He didn’t want any reasoning, He didn’t want any delay, He just wanted obedience. And yet, there other days I bet He looks at me and says, “But you needed to have a heart!” Jesus Christ himself was the epitome of calling it like it is, but having such a heart. He knew the way to saving us was cut and dried. It demands submission. But He did it with a love so great that He gave himself up for us. He managed both with Godly perfection.
It’s much harder for us. The balance of compassion and heart wages war with strict obedience and submission. Why is that? I wonder if it all doesn’t boil down to pride. We think we know better. We want everything to be palatable. We don’t like militant obedience, we want….I want….easy obedience. And yet, that doesn’t always get the job done. A lack of humility hinders submission. I know my Father has seen me do that…and I’m ashamed! A lack of heart hinders kindness and compassion…and I’ve been guilty of that too. And it’s probably the reason God put both a man and a woman in charge of a household of kids! Not so we’d each be in perfect balance, but so we’d balance each other out with the strong personalities God gave us.