One of the joys of being a parent is that it has not only matured me as a woman but as a child of God. I know it is quite unfair to compare a loving God to any human being’s love. He’s far more loving of us than we could ever be to anyone. However, it is because of this love that I have my children that I am starting to put my own relationship with my Heavenly Father into perspective. So to be quite honest, parenting is one of the greatest gifts we can be given in our earthly experience.
But here’s one thing I can’t stand as a mom:
Oh, my goodness! Nothing gets under my skin quite like the sound of my three year old daughter or worse, her five year old brother whining about something they want or something they were denied. I am ready to blow a fuse when they start up. Well, I began to explore this thought a little more so I asked my mom as we sat around the breakfast table, “What makes whining so annoying?” She said, “It’s a form of manipulation, control, and it’s selfish”. Wow. My mama is so full of wisdom!
As she spoke, I added this thought to what she said, “And whining tries to place the sound of a need onto a want in order to heighten its importance”.
My children know that if they cry out as if in distress, I’ll come running. They also know that I’ll say “NO” firmly if they ask for a snack before even eating a meal or wanting to watch a movie before bedtime. So what do they do when all else fails? They try to turn what they want into a need by giving it the sound of whining. They cry. They scream. They beg. They appear to be in deep distress.
They are none of the above.
What they are doing is attempting to force my hand to give them something or do something that I have already determined not to do for them or that I have already stated wasn’t appropriate for them for whatever reason.
Whining is a sign of immaturity. Nothing worse than going to the mall or grocery store and hearing a child, almost as tall as their parent, whining and pitching a fit over something they want, while their parent looks helplessly on or tries to ignore them.
So I asked God, “Do we whine to you?”
Immediately my mind went to the children of Israel. Yes, the scriptures say they “murmured and complained” but the only difference between a murmur and a whine is the volume and the age of the person doing it. Children whine. Adults murmur and complain.
But guess what? They’re BOTH immature and wrong.
What I try to teach my children is that they can and SHOULD ask clearly and respectfully for what they want. Once they receive their answer, they must respect it. Many times, I have changed my mind on things I previously said no to because they kept a good attitude despite being disappointed.
It’s important to remember that our Heavenly Father is always watching and certainly, always listening. He hears our conversations with our friends and family. He listens to every complaint we make. He’s aware of each mumble and grumble that escapes our lips.
It’s annoying when it happens to us.
It’s also annoying to God when we do so to Him.
Does that mean we’ll agree with everything He says or does?
Certainly not. There are something things God will ask you to do, not do, or tell you that you can’t have that will disappoint you. But here’s another great secret about parents: they’re always looking for ways to bless their children.
I may not be able to give my child what they want at that moment, maybe because they aren’t old enough to receive it, but I’m constantly looking for things that I CAN give them that they’re ready for.
God is no different. Just because He says “No” or “wait” to what we request doesn’t mean He isn’t interested in blessing us. And more often than not, He wants to know if your heart is right towards Him. If my children storm off and throw things because I tell them “no”, the nice thing I had already purposed to do for them instead of what they asked for immediately gets scrapped.
The scriptures tell us, “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you”. Even when we don’t get what we want when we want it, can we stop whining already? Can we stop complaining about what didn’t happen when and how we wanted it to? Can we “fix our faces” before God, worship Him and glorify Him anyway, knowing that He is in that very moment preparing a counter blessing for us?
He loves us and desires to bless each of us as His sons.
Trust and believe that He will give you a good and perfect gift in its time.