Stuck in the Mud or Steadfast?

Frequently, I make decisions as a mom based on a principle. Inevitably, though, when I state that decision and hold my children accountable for it, they push back with pressure.

When they were younger, they might throw a tantrum. Now that they are older, they either complain or resist. That pressure is uncomfortable for me and often makes me doubt my decisions. I ask myself, “If it is right, then why does it feel so bad or why are things not working out?”

I agonize, but most often, I stick to my decision, tracing it back to a true principle, not a personal preference. I’ve been surprised to discover the same situation when I’ve been a leader of adults. Now,  as a teacher of youth, I’m learning that this may just be a natural reaction for all of us.

We studied the Beatitudes in Matthew 5 in our early morning religion class. We read some descriptions of each and then I asked the high school students to make a visual image depicting each Beatitude. Here’s my daughter’s picture for “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 5:10)

The description for this one was that we would stand firm in our right choices no matter how people treated us. She drew boots stuck in the mud, and she wrote, “I’m stuck, but at least I’m standing firm.”
If our boots are physically stuck in mud and someone or something presses against our upper body to move us off that spot, we have to press back against that weight to keep from falling over backwards. Even though we are standing firm, we are not standing still, and we feel the opposing pressure.
My daughter’s drawing of the beatitude showed me that when we make right choices, we will often feel an accompanying pressure when we stand “steadfast and immovable” in those choices.

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