Yesterday our six year old daughter thought she knew more than we did. Instead of obeying her mommy right away, all the way, and with a happy heart, she was talking back and saying "no" right to her mom's face. Needless to say, it was time for daddy to intervene. It was time for a little talk. And so I told my girl to go upstairs to her room as I prayed for God to give me patience and guidance to discipline her out of the right heart. I finished my short prayer and headed up the stairs. Just then God reminded me of a story about Simon Peter. I quickly ran to get my Bible and found what I was looking for in Luke 5:1-11. It's the story of Jesus telling Simon to "Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch." And Simon replying, "Master, we worked all night and caught nothing!"
I shared these words with Emie as I sat next to her on her bed. I explained to her that Simon Peter was a great fisherman. He knew when it was the best time to catch fish. But he didn't know Jesus very well yet. So when Jesus tells Simon how to catch fish you can bet that Simon was thinking to himself, "I know how to catch fish. I don't need Jesus to tell me what to do."
I asked Emie if sometimes she felt like Simon. When mommy or daddy tells her what to do, does she think, "I know what to do. I don't need to listen to them." She kinda nodded her head as if to say, "I guess." Then I told her, "Emie ... Simon Peter may have thought he knew more than Jesus, but look at what he said next." Simon said to Jesus, "But because you say so, I will let down the nets." In other words, I don't understand why you want me to do this, but I will obey and trust you because you said so.
Then I told the rest of the story and how Simon caught more fish than his boat could carry, and how in that moment he learned two things: (1) Simon learned that Jesus was God ... he knew all things and could do all things. And (2) Simon learned that he was a sinner who knew very little compared to Jesus.
Finally, I reminded Emie of a verse she's known she was a toddler. Ephesians 6:1 says, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right ... that it may go well with you." I told her about how even though it's hard sometimes to obey, God will bless you if do so. Just like Simon Peter, we need to say, "I may not understand why I need to do this, but "because you say so, I will do it."
We ended by bowing our heads and praying together. She said sorry to God and asked for his forgiveness. And of course her daddy did the same. After all, the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.