February 13 – Keep My Commandments

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

February 13 – Keep My Commandments

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

When we were growing up, the very worst punishment Mom and Dad could give to us was their disappointment.  I dreaded the words “I’m so disappointed in you” and wished they would just spank me or ground me or something that was a little more concrete so I could at least find some way to be angry back at them for a few moments.

But, no, they were smarter than that.

I’m telling a tale on my brother, but it was a hilarious story from my perspective.  He had finally grown old enough and big enough that Mom could no longer warrant a quick spanking and one day he had done something that was over the top infuriating to her. She sent him upstairs to his room to ‘think about what he had done’ and then sat in the living room trying to gain control of her fury.  She wasn't sure how she was going to handle it, but then, she made a decision and said.  “I just need five minutes. He’ll be in tears.”

She swiftly delivered the “I’m so disappointed in you” talk and his punishment was complete. It devastated him.  It did that to each of us kids.

Mom and Dad didn't have a lot of rules in our household, but those that existed, whether they had been spoken or were unwritten were pretty clear.  Love and respect, for ourselves, each other and those outside the family were paramount.  We were to always do our best in everything we chose to do and we were held accountable to our actions by Mom and Dad.  It was about love, though.

Our parents didn't hand out commands, instructions, rules or regulations just to be in control of our lives, but because they loved us and wanted certain things for us. They wanted us to be safe. They wanted us to excel. They wanted us to be good people.  They wanted us to be responsible.  They loved us enough to give us boundaries and guidelines and expected us to love them and ourselves enough to follow those things set before us.

When we chose self-will at the expense of those boundaries, Mom and Dad would then remind us that we had disappointed them … in essence, telling us that we had shown disdain for their love.

I couldn't live with that when I was growing up and did everything possible in order to avoid their disappointment.  I still can’t live with the idea that I disappoint friends and family, but even moreso, the idea that I might disappoint God by going against His command to love Him and others, breaks my heart.