“Because I said so” are four of the most awesome words a parent has at their disposal. You can use it at any point in a discussion to slam the door on the ridiculous demands of your kids, no matter their age. Now most of us don’t pull this tool out of our arsenal of parental weapons immediately – we usually spout it out after one of our children has systematically worn us down to the point of total frustration. Your response usually starts with a “No!” followed by that one fantastic phrase.
Does any of this sound familiar? You utter those four words after you have argued with your four year old about why they can’t flush their fish down the toilet to find its family (thanks, Nemo for that one). You blurt them out when your ten year old daughter asks you for the zillionth time if she can start wearing make-up to school. And you give your 16 year old son an eye roll as you speak those words over the fact that yes, he will indeed be the only one in the 11th grade with a curfew.
And all the while you wonder why your kids don’t just listen to you? Why do they insist on going their own way – the WRONG way – and continue to strive against what would (in your head) obviously benefit them?
And then they become teenagers and young adults. Get a firm grip on what little sanity you still possess, people. I mean really, have you ever met someone smarter than a teenager? Have you ever known anyone to get any smarter than they are around age 19? They’ll argue with a brick wall if necessary to make their point, but then end up going along with your decisions because 1)they really have no choice; 2)they want to prove you wrong; or 3)they too, are worn down and just can’t argue anymore. They don’t particularly believe that the result you have laid out for them will actually happen – they just do whatever it is, muttering under their breath, “because you said so.”
There’s a story in the Bible about some fishermen who were out all night fishing but not catching anything. They were tired, frustrated and had quit for the day. Back in the day if you didn’t catch anything you probably didn’t eat, so they were most likely hangry (hungry + angry) on top of everything else. So these fishermen are standing on the shore of the lake washing their nets when then they received a “Because I said so” moment from Jesus:
“When Jesus had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.’” (Luke 5:4)
Now if you’re a teenager, your response would be something like this: Seriously? Have you not picked up on the fact that we haven’t caught anything? Do you not see how tired we are? Why can’t we just go into town and buy some fish? Why can’t we just eat some figs off that tree? Why… why… why…???
And Simon Peter might have been thinking it, but here’s what he said: “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” (Luke 5:5)
And guess what happened next: “When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.” (Luke 5:6)
God rewarded their obedience
with an oversupply of what they were looking for the whole time.
Too often we try to go our own way and handle situations all by ourselves because we act like the smartest person on the planet – a teenager – when all the while God is trying desperately to steer us in the right direction through His Word and the gift of the Holy Spirit. We want our way because clearly we know best (yeah, right). But after we try to reason with God, after we challenge Him, and yes even argue with Him we hear it:
“Because I said so.”
God has the best plan for each one of us ready to be lived out. Maybe it’s time to stop acting like a spoiled teenager in some area of your life and be obedient. Do you have an area like that? I do. We all do if we are honest. So I encourage you (and me!) to stop acting like a hormone-crazed adolescent and be an adult in that area. Seek God’s wisdom and plan, pray through it and see if the benefit (peace – the healing of a relationship – financial stability) is not abundantly more than you could have imagined.