nagging child

Keaton Smith – Family Ministries Pastor

I recently re-posted an incredibly profound and yet simple article written for parents with nagging and negotiating children. Suffice it to say, the response from parents was overwhelming and appreciative. Apparently, Amy and I aren’t the only ones with nagging kids and budding lawyers in the house.

The premise is simple.  When your sweet, innocent and precious (yes, I have to remind myself over and over) child asks you for the hundredth time if he can have Fun Dip for breakfast, you respond with three simple words:

“Asked and Received.”

No lectures. No outbursts of frustration. No questioning, “How many times do you have to ask me?!” Just a simple and confident, “Asked and Received”.

In the Smith home, its no surprise that our three boys have a misguided perception that they can somehow ask us a question 100 times and hope the answer will change. It’s no surprise that our three boys lawyer up every time they want to negotiate their consequence after playing football with the cat in the front yard.

Truth is, we allow it.  Every time we entertain nagging and negotiation, we send a message that maybe, just maybe if they ask enough, we’ll compromise our original decision.  And then I began to wonder… is it possible to nag God in the same way my children nag me?

My thoughts are not concerned with God’s patience and grace towards my potential nagging.  I believe that God has superior patience and grace towards my requests, as incessant as they may be.  No, my concern is not with God’s heart towards me — my concern is with my heart towards God.

How often have I asked God, received an answer, and didn’t like it? How often have I negotiated with God, or attempted to convince Him that I might have a better solution for my growth?  How often has God responded, “Asked and received”and my heart had a posture of complaint or discontentment?  What would happen if our hearts, and the hearts of our children changed from nagging and discontentment, to thanksgiving and peace?

When I nag Jesus, and He responds, “Asked and Received”, I pray the posture of my heart moves towards appreciation and thanksgiving for all the blessings He continues to pour into my life.

I’m thankful that Jesus is an infinitely more patient Father than I am.

I’m thankful that He never grows weary of my nagging.

I’m thankful that He has sacrificed more than I will ever be asked to.

I’m even more thankful that He cares enough to remind me time and time again, “Asked and Received.”

Happy Thanksgiving friends.

Nagging God

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