I know, I know. We EASILY see this in our kids, but WE as the adults also are guilty of unteachable, rebellious hearts.

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Thank you to these two beauties who staged NOT being teachable to the other’s input.

A stiff neck simply signals the true condition of your heart.

Now see here…Yesterday’s blog post started to be about how a stiff neck is a sign of a rebellious heart IN YOUR KIDS, but it just always comes back to the fact that WE MUST CONFRONT OURSELVES FIRST. So, today, my friends, I’m dealing with us, the parents. (or maybe you’re not a parent, and that’s fine…but I’m talking to you too…because I love you.)  I’ll be talking about our kids also, so don’t miss the next several blog posts.

Confront yourself first.

Here’s an example. Let’s say that your spouse offered some advice, and maybe even it wasn’t said in the kindest of manners. “Don’t leave my clothes sitting in the dryer. They get wrinkled.” Picture yourself receiving this bit of info. Are your shoulders raised a little, and is your neck tense? There. That’s a sign that you don’t appreciate the “advice” given, the manner in which it was communicated, the fact that he pointed something negative out with an ungrateful heart. Why, he didn’t even thank you for washing and drying and folding his clothes, but instead managed to only point out what he doesn’t like. You’re mad. You’re upset. Your heart is all focused on your rights and how he violated them. Maybe this is a pattern in the communication, and you’ve had enough of feeling devalued.

Let’s look for a moment at you…at your heart, that is. In order to do this, you’ve got to recognize and put off your thought consumption of him and his wronged-ness (Did I just make up that word?) and instead think about your sin and what YOU “own” in your reaction. Your sin could be one of many things, so ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the root of it. Are you prideful, selfish, self-centered, stubborn, arrogant, controlling, always right, demanding of your ways, unreasonable, or unteachable? Your body signs actually indicated the deeper matter- the condition of your heart, which is what God is concerned about. A pure, yielded heart to Christ is to be an ever-present goal of ours as followers of Christ.

  • Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.

Your stiff neck revealed the distance that you now feel between you and your spouse. The outward sign will disappear when your hearts are restored with each other… and of course, it is also important that your heart is restored with Christ. You can’t change your spouse (I know, I know. That’s frustrating.) but you can continue to use scripture to confront your own ugly heart. (and mine, you understand.) These types of situations simply expose the ugliness of our hearts. You don’t “own” how something was communicated to you, but you do own your response – whatever it is. And, please note this…even if he said it in an unkind way, ask yourself if this may possibly be advice that is true and could help. If  it isn’t, let it go. If it is, why not value input from him (or anyone) that made you better at…even doing laundry. Respond with grace.

  • Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

This verse actually means…get this…that YOUR WRATH is turned away when YOU respond softly, kindly, graciously.  Girrrrrlll, you know we own it. We’re guilty…wanting our response to ONLY be kind IF the person is deserving of it. That’s conditional love. Self-centeredness. #ouch. I know I’m glad to be a recipient of God’s unconditional love, and that’s what He calls us to live out to others – unconditional love.

Our stiff necks indicate the true condition of our hearts.  Our goal isn’t to simply change the external by softening our shoulders and relaxing our necks, but to truly analyze our hearts and deal with our sin.  When true restoration takes place -meaning our hearts are clean with each other and with Christ- the external just happens.

When you find your heart resistant to others’ input, please…please…recognize it and immediately go straightway forth…and apologize and enjoy the relationship that results from restored hearts.

Tomorrow I’m going to share some specific conditions of the heart and how to put off those things and what to put on in its place. You don’t want to miss it. Then, the next day I’m going to focus on our kids’ stiff necks. LOL.

If you missed any in this series on “stiff necks and rebellious hearts,” you can click here.

Rhonda pardonmewhileIgoadjustmyownneck,Imeanheart ellis

 

5 Comments
  1. Mel

    Mrs. Rhonda, thank you for reminding us of our own “wrongedness” (your word, not mine). I love what you said about our aim being a pure, yielded heart to Christ. Although not a parent, I too must surrender my selfishness to our Father. You and I discussed this very thing yesterday while in Nashville, but readers may be encouraged by my wrongful thinking so give this a read: After responding in obedience to Christ’s calling for me to move to Alabama, I found myself wanting Christ to make this transition easier since I obeyed. However my response should be quite the contrary. I should not be stiff necked to Him while settling in, but embrace this unknown journey despite the level of difficulty in which He may lead me.

    Mel thankyouforlistening Hewiett

  2. Mel, what an encouragement your transparency is to all of us reading. Thank you for sharing. How true you are that we are so often stiff-necked to Christ himself by not yielding completely-even in the unknown journeys in our lives.

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