Indicatives & Imperatives

My home is a wonderful place. It’s always a joy to walk in the front door. My wife waits for me to come home and often has dinner cooking, which fills the house with tantalizing smells. My children come running into the room, loudly battling for who gets to hug Daddy first. We have a lot of fun with each other! Sometimes, however, the fun wears off more quickly than I’d like to admit. The noisiness turns into chaos, I am unable to have a conversation with my wife, and the children do not listen to directions. On my best days, I spend time with the girls, explaining to them calmly how to behave, instructing them with Scripture, and giving them a rationale. On my not-so-good days, I have been known to throw my hands into the air and exasperatedly tell them to behave because I said so. Five times.

I learned years ago from a good friend that “because I said so” does not go far with kids. They are growing, learning, and figuring out how the world works. “Because I said so” exasperates them also! Thankfully, God the Father typically does not operate on a “because I said so” basis. We should be fascinated by that, because if anyone has the right to assume blind obedience, it is certainly Him. What we find in Scripture, however, is that it is exceedingly rare for God to demand something of us without explaining why. Instead, God teaches us about who He is and what He has done, and our behavior flows as a response to what He has revealed to us.