My dad was an unbeliever when I was a girl. I have a very distinct memory of an exchange he and I had once that truly affected my thinking then…and now.
I was a loquacious young lady and he was a typically taciturn Chinese father. I sought his affection by asking lots of questions. He gave simple answers, if any. This particular time, I found myself asking a question that had gone unanswered. Unacknowledged, in fact. He simply ignored whatever it was that I had been talking to him about. Discouraged, I blurted out,
“Why don’t you answer me when I talk to you?”
He had an answer. It was deafeningly poignant as he retorted simply:
“I didn’t answer you because you haven’t finished the dishes.”
I remember finishing the dishes after that, and thinking on what it was that made me worthy of a response.
My father was not in Christ at the time; and as such, he thought himself his own master. I know it was not his intention to be hurtful or to manipulate with his words or lack thereof. (He would later become a Christian, and come under the transforming work of the Gospel, Praise God!)
This memory from my childhood may not be something you have experienced personally, but I think you can agree with me that we all, as moms, can see nuances of this attitude in our own parenting.
Do you find yourself putting conditions on your attitude in service? ...