Fuel for Obedience

“Being wanted is the fuel for obedience.” That sentence — in the sermon Bethany and I were listening to as we drove down the freeway – provided an answer to a question I have often puzzled over. What was it my parents did that made me want to obey them? I especially wanted to please my father. Disobeying him just didn’t seem like an option. I loved him too much to want to hurt him with my disobedience.

I knew he loved me. He did things with me. He bragged about me. He encouraged me and talked to me. He did Jumble Word puzzles with me and laid on the sofa to listen to me practice the piano. He gave me hugs and presents and time. He wanted me. I wasn’t an interruption in his life. I was his daughter, and he was glad I was. So was I. I knew he would love me, no matter what I did, and that made me want to do whatever would please him most.

God loves me even more than my dad did. He loves me perfectly and infinitely and unconditionally. He chose me, and there was absolutely nothing I could or ever will be able to do to earn that favor. He loves me because He has chosen to love me. He wants me. He will never let me go. He will never leave me.

He wanted me so much that He gave His Son to die for me. That’s fuel for obedience! That’s what inspires my love and my desire to obey Him – not a list of rules that I try to obey in order to get God to like me. He already likes me. That love frees me to love him in return and to express my love by doing whatever will please Him.

When our children don’t want to obey, we ought to step back and prayerfully ask ourselves if they feel wanted. Are we doing anything that unwittingly tells them that we don’t like them or that we will only love them when they behave in certain ways? Are we firmly assuring them of our love?

And more importantly, are we assuring them of God’s love? Do we believe that God loves and wants us? And do our children really understand how much He wants and loves them?


(Photo from Shutterstock.com)

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  1. This posting is so beautiful and so true! It is amazing that despite all my mistakes and sins and rejection that He STILL loves me and wants me and I can not resist turning and returning back to Him! And out of LOVE and not need or want…I want to please Him and maybe have Him be a little proud of me and show Him that I was not a waste of His Time and Patience and Love. I am not proud to say this but sometimes I don’t want to share Him with the world…My God and My Jesus belongs to me but…it is wrong to feel and think this way and must do the opposite and SHARE HIM WITH THE WORLD! I am sorry for this long rant but after reading your post, it is like I can’t help but share how I feel.

  2. Thank you for the reminder….the Lord revealed this to my husband and I about one of our kids that had a hard time obeying. What a difference in us and in him when we understood this truth!

  3. This is a perfect reminder. I just had another baby (my 4th)and my youngest before this baby (my 3rd) is having a hard time with obedience. My others (1st and 2nd) didn’t have this problem so much with new arrivals, and I’ve been scratching my head trying to figure out what’s going on with my little number 3. I think you just provided an answer for me. Thank you so much! (Not that he isn’t wanted or that we don’t try to make him feel wanted, but perhaps he just needs a little more from us.)