Our three year old grandson is just learning what is and isn't proper behavior. When his mother corrects him, she imparts to him that she does love him, but is not happy with with his behavior. I am pleased to see that she is letting him know that she loves "his person", but dislikes "his behavior." Often after punishment (usually time out, which he sincerely dislikes), he will ask, "Are you happy at me, mama?" He wants to be reassured that even after saying he is sorry, he is still loved. He has such a desire to please and be a peace with his parents and grandparents. He enjoys the smiles of approval usually followed by big hugs. Interestingly he is now asking, "Are you happy at my behavior?" Often it is a "no" response, but with explanation of why not, with suggestions on how to improve the behavior. An "I'm sorry" (remorse) comes forth, punishment is given and relationships are restored.
This scenero provoked this question in my own mind, "Are you happy at me, God?" Am I truly concerned about what God thinks of my behavior? Am I concerned about being pleasing to my Heavenly Father? I am sad to report that more times than I liked to think, I hear God in my spirit reply, "Gen, I love you with an everlasting love, but I AM NOT happy with your behavior." What could be worse punishment than knowing my loving relationship with God has been severed by my own disobedience. I am so aware of the cost of His love for me...He allowed His only son to willingly suffer and die on the cross to take my sins upon Him. There is truly no greater love than this..."that He (Jesus) should lay down His life for another." I do know that His restrictions "His thou shalt not's" upon my life are for my good, not harm, for my betterment as a human being and a Christian, just as my daughter's are for her son.
May the lesson my grandson is learning, be one that I continue to learn also. May I learn that the best reward for obedience be that My Father is pleased with me and that I continue in a daily, loving relationship with Him. Knowing that I need to reflect more on my Christian behavior, I am going to add a spot at the end of my daily devotional journal that reads..."Are you happy at me, God?" and daily reflect on that. I want to hear My Heavenly Father say, "Good Girl, Gen!"