Because I Said So

Look, I adore my parents and I am so grateful for their love and discipline over the years. However, one thing that could’ve been the death of me during those years, were the horrific four words, which I’m sure one day I will even say:

“Because I said so.”

For hard-headed children like me, this reason rarely held any weight. Terrible, I know. But that’s just how I was for a while. 

In the Hope House, there are about 40 girls ages 10 to 20. I love them all dearly, but sometimes, just like every other child during these years, there needs to be some discipline. A couple of weeks ago, I found myself speaking to the older girls after youth. It was nothing huge, it was just that I was new and the only staff member at youth, so there was some testing. They left to the little snack shop without permission, they would get up during the movie in service without permission, etc. Very minor and typical things for high school girls, but I had to let them know that just because I was new, I wasn’t oblivious.

I went back to the Hope House with them after service and talked with them before they continued with their nightly routine. It was a very simple conversation, no consequences were given and no names were pointed out. It was harmless. They just needed to know that some of these things were not allowed. At the end of this conversation I told them: 

“I’m not saying these things because I don’t like you, or I don’t want you to talk to boys [which I really don’t want them to talk to boys… ever]. We staff want to protect you, we care for you, we love you, and we want what’s best for you.” 

I was genuine about it, too. Not just because I wanted them to like me, or lighten up the situation, but because I genuinely want the absolute best for these girls. Many times, I could just look at them or hug them and begin to tear up because of how much I care for them. 

What the girls didn’t know is that God was working within me about something. He was telling me to do something, or not to do something, and I did not want to listen. It was a Netflix show, nothing terrible, but it just wasn’t beneficial to my life and I was getting too caught up with it. The stubborn child was coming out of me. If there was no reason to not watch it, a “because I said so reason,” I would continue to watch it.

That night, when I told the girls why there is discipline and consequences, the Lord was saying those exact words to me. Thank God (literally), we serve a “Because I love you God,” and not a “Because I said so God.” He cares so deeply for His children and wants the absolute best for our lives. Even if that means discipline, consequences, pain, anger, etc. He provides the grace to get through these things. He loves us so much, He is willing to pull out all the ugly, and “hurt” us temporarily, to replace it with righteousness, peace, love, joy, patience, kindness, and all of those good things! 

At the Hope House, our goal is to love these girls with all of our strength, to show them the love of Christ, and to teach them that they serve a “Because I love you God.” These girls mean the world to each and every one of us. We would do anything possible to keep them safe and to keep them pressing after Jesus. 

The Bible says in Proverbs 11:14, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls; but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.”

I pray, and ask you all to pray with me, that the Hope House is a place of safety. A place where there is an abundance of people who love these girls and who lead them to Jesus; who ultimately will lead them to a place of righteousness and safety.

If you are working through something right now, find peace in this:

God does everything with the heart to continually shape us into His perfect and righteous image. He loves us.

- Jamie

Jamie CarterComment