It’s been a hot summer and I’m starting to look for that nice cloud cover followed by a few cool drops of rain. The other day, after noticing the blanket of white covering the sun, my husband asked if I’d like to go for a run. Having spent most of the summer on the treadmill, I readily agreed. And initially, our excursion was very pleasant. The clouds protected us from the sun’s intense rays and a gentle breeze circulated the cooled air. But about twenty minutes into it, the cloud cover blew away and the sun hit us full force. The temperature instantly climbed ten degrees. The heat drained me and made me want to quit. As I ran, I thought about the Hebrews when they were making their escape form Egypt. Read the rest here.
Archive for June, 2011
I just completed a youth drama for Christ to the World Ministries on bullying. In it, I addressed three different people: the bully, the victim, and the onlooker. As I wrote about the responsibilities of the onlooker–for those who witness evil behavior, I realized my focal passage had a lot to say about how I lived my life on a moment-by-moment basis.
6 With what shall I come before the LORD
and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
This verse tells me God is more concerned with my heart than with my outward shows of religion. He’s more concerned with how I live out my faith than how well I occupy a church pew or how eloquently I pray. Packed in this small passage is enough to keep me busy for quite some time.
Lord, may I act justly. May I seek to do what is right in all situations. Help me not to make decisions based on my circumstances or the opinions and expectations of others. Instead, may I live with an unwavering committment to your Word.
Help me to love mercy. May I be known for my love and kindness, not convenient social graces, but the kind of love that reaches out to others and seeks the good of others above my own.
And most of all, may I forever walk humbly in surrendered obedience to You, ever willing to lay everything aside to follow wholeheartedly after You.
Happy Saturday all! And how can you live out your faith today?
Hopefully you’re not tired of hearing about El Salvador, because I plan to write about the El Salvadoran people often. In doing so, I hope and pray not to forget the deep love God gave our family for these people and I want to encourage you to get involved. If not in the orphanage in San Miguel, then somewhere. And I pray that you would not only get involved, but that you would stay involved. That you would commit to the long-term.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how we do missions, and I’m not talking about missionaries. I’m talking about those annual trips churches take. Often, we pop into a country, build a building and work with a local church, then pop out, never to return. The next year, we go somewhere else. And this makes us feel good, right? We got to experience numerous cultures and we feel all spiritual for stepping out of our comfort zones.
Only it’s not about us. It’s about making an eternal kingdom impact, and as I mentioned in my previous blog, that takes time. It takes commitment. It takes relationship-building.
What if each church adopted one orphanage and stuck with that facility? What kind of change might be accomplished in five years? Ten? While in El Salvador, we taught the girls of the Remar El Salvador orphanage in San Miguel how to make bread and beads. They’ll sell the baked goods in the market, and the beads in the US. Although I still have some hurdles to cross to make this happen (and would appreciate your prayers) my long-term vision is to develop a web page for this orphanage where I can help sell the beaded items. My dream (and prayer) is that the bead-busines will grow to the point that I can then hand it over to the orphanage, teaching them how to run it.
And I don’t think this would be a difficult model to follow. We chose beads because one of our members has a relationship with a bead dealer and a couple of our members are gifted in this area. Perhaps your church has quilters, or knitters. It’s not difficult to teach these skills and help facilitate sales.
Because here’s the thing….building are great, but one day these girls are going to age out of the system. The building won’t be of value to them then. But if we can teach them a marketable skill, we increase their chance for success.
Over the next few months (and God willing, years) I’ll be sharing my vision with you and throwing out ways you can help. Pray about getting involved. It really doesn’t take much to make a world of difference in someone else’s life.
Here’s a slide show our pastor made of the trip. I’ll give you a low-down of how our trip went so you know what you’re seeing.
We started our week at a local church we partner with. Our reasoning is, by partnering with a local church who knows the area and already has established connections in that area, we can multiply our efforts. (While functioning as the body.) Our youth pastor preached, a few of our members gave testimonies, and our youth band played. Then I led a conference for children’s Sunday school workers. This was exciting! I was able to talk with them in-depth about child-development and ways to engage. That night, our senior pastor preached and his sermon aired on local television stations.
On Monday-Wednesday we worked at the Remar orphanage in San Miguel. While there, we performed maintenance stuff, brought new sheets and made the girls’ beds, spent some one-on-one time with the girls’ and taught VBS.
On Wednesday night we helped a local church launch their three night crusade. Thursday-Friday, we spoke in the public schools and held crusades in the public park. Somewhere in there we hit the beach and market, but my days are jumbled at this point.
During the crusade, I watched the people in the city. The first night, curious heads poked out of doorways and the local policemen watched from their stations. But very little people outside of our group came. The second night, some students from the local schools gathered on the outskirts, but they didn’t stay. By the third night, a few of the locals started to meander over and one man in particular rode his bicycle over, stayed, and accepted Christ.
As I thought of all this, I was reminded of a story our pastor shared. Our church picks up students from local apartments every Wednesday. The bus is normally packed, but that wasn’t always the case. Our pastor tells of a time when he’d park outside the mailboxes at this complex every Sunday morning waiting for someone to show, only to drive away in an empty van. But he kept going again, and again, and again. And now, we have a bus-load of kids that come–a bus-load of lives being changed. But it didn’t happen over night.
I believe this holds true with missions as well. Our church plans to go back to El Salvador in January and I believe our results will be multiplied as those who watched us the during our recent crusades gain the courage to come near. I believe we’ll be able to expand our teaching to the orphanage and build stronger relationships with the girls. The longer we commit to this orphanage and city, the greater the chance of lasting change.
Many of you are probably feeling overwhelmed right now. My talk of El Salvadoran orphans tugs on your heart, but so did my talk of foster children. Then there’s all the other very important ministries in our world. The tendency is to dabble in a bit of everything, following where our “heart leads”. I challenge you to look at your service and giving differently. Find a ministry or organization to commit to and stick with them for the long-haul. And think in terms of how you can help facilitate long-term change, not momentary self-gratification. Because again, it’s not about us, is it?
(In the following slide show, you’ll notice we took the girls to a water park. This is an amazing story. Our pastor really wanted to do this, but was worried about how much it might cost and didn’t know if we had the funds. Yet, we went….and God went before us. While there, Elaina, the orphanage “mother” talked with the water park owner, explaining who we were and what we were doing. He let us in for free. Because of his generosity, thirty girls got to be kids for one afternoon.)
Many of you know our family spent the last week in El Salvador. While there, we worshiped with another church, served at an orphanage, and helped facilitate night crusades. In each of these events, I was struck with how different the culture was from ours, and I’m not talking about music or food choices. The biggest difference? The El Salvadorans took the idea of a spiritual family very seriously. When they said, “She is a sister in Christ,” they meant it. You could see their deep love for one another in their eyes. You could hear it in their tone. But most importantly you could see it in their actions. If you belonged to Jesus, you were family. Plain and simple.
That’s not true here in the states. We have learned to be independent and to focus on ourselves. We train our children to do the same. More often than not, we see to it that life revolves around them–their social schedule, their sports schedule, whatever. Oh, perhaps we’ll ask them to give up an hour out of their seventy-two hour week (not counting sleeping time) to help with an outreach event, but what does that teach? Honestly, it might help exacerbate the problem by reinforcing the idea that service is done on a time-schedule. When it fits in. Friends are convenient, for our pleasure. (Here’s an article explaining this in more detail–and how we can counter this self-seeking trend.)
This temporary friendship mentality has trickled into the church. How often do we drop gospel tracts on someone’s door, never to see them again? Do we really think those people will somehow appear in our church because of a slip of paper? Or when a new couple comes to church, we’ll offer our friendship and invite them to dinner…until they become established, then we move on to someone else.
That’s not friendship and that’s not a body. That’s a temporary prosthesis.
And here’s the deal. By conforming to our westernized, individualized culture, we’re losing out on one of the biggest draws of the church. Our love for one another is meant to draw others to us, which in turn is meant to draw non-believers to Christ. I believe they’ll come for the relationship first, and will be exposed and drawn to Jesus in the process.
So here’s the challenge. How do you view your brothers and sisters in Christ? According to the Bible, they are your family. More than that, they are part of a living body. If you struggle viewing them in this regard–in truly loving them as Christ loves the church, ask God to help you and find ways to get out of your comfort zone. Find ways to connect.
Second, focus on long-term. No one likes to be a project. When you reach out to that new couple or leave a gospel tract on a doorstep, ask yourself, “Am I ready to be here for them for the long haul or am I just trying to ‘get them in’?”
Because people can tell the difference. One type of friendship draws them and creates a place of safety where they can learn about Christ. The other type of friendship results in increased distrust.
I’m speaking to myself here. I’ve experienced many “temporary friendships” in the church, and honestly, it’s left me a little gun-shy and distrustful. But I have to remember it’s not about me. Yeah, chances are those people I reach out to are going to hurt me. Chances are they’ll ditch a year or two down the road, but the Bible tells me “as far as it depends on me….” meaning, it’s not my concern how others respond to my love or friendship. My concern is living out my faith with full surrender, letting God’s love flow through me moment-by-moment.
This mentality also applies to how we do missions, which I hope to touch on tomorrow or Thursday.
In the meantime, spend a moment in prayer and ask God to show you faulty thinking in regard to the body (not just your church body, but all believers world-wide). Then be diligent about cooperating with God. When you catch individualistic thinking creeping in, take your thoughts captive and reroute them.
This morning I am writing this post in El Salvador. On Saturday I joined seventeen other members of my church for a mission trip. We arrived near midnight (although I’m not sure if that was states time). On Sunday, we spent the day with a local church we have partnered with. That afternoon I led a children’s conference for local Sunday school teachers, then yesterday we spent the day at a local orphanage for sexually abused girls.
When I get back to the states, I’ll post pictures.
This orphanage houses 30 children ranging from four years old to sixteen. The orphanage survives completely on donations. Yesterday, the orphanage director and her husband fed our team. Before we left we tried to pay for our meal, and she said the meal hadn’t cost her anything. Everything had been donated. Then she went on to tell us how each day, they trust in God to provide and each day they receive exactly what they need. My husband asked them how much it cost to fund their orphanage and they said $3,000 per month. That’s a lot of money to wait in faith for, especially when you have so many young mouths to feed.
Last night during our evening devotions the youth pastor talked about how we really have no concept of what it means to live by faith–to trust in God to provide daily. We really on our paychecks and our jobs. And yet, this precious brother and sister in Christ turn to God moment-by-moment for their needs. And they do it all with a smile.
In the United States, if we lived like that we’d be miserable, complaining, spiraling into depression, and making everyone else around us miserable. And yet, the directors of the orphanage live in peace and joy, vitally connected to their Savior at every moment. And their focus is not on themselves. Their focus is on how they might meet the needs of those entrusted to their care and how they might share the gospel with others.
And perhaps that is there secret. Focusing on ourselves, it seems, leads to discontentment. Focusing on others and God leads to increased joy and peace.
Today I’m linking to an article I wrote for the Christian Pulse that in light of my day yesterday is quite fitting. After you read it, ask yourself, what would it mean to live by faith? And as you consider your “needs” (air conditioning, hot water, store-bought cereal, new shoes…) remember millions live without those things and are very happy.
How fitting to post my sister’s article today. Tomorrow, I’ll on hop a plane to El Salvador to minister to orphan girls recovering from sexual abuse. So many young hearts are breaking right now, just trying to survive.
When we look at the needs all around us, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and if we’re not careful, our feelings will lead to paralysis. None of us are able to save the world. Yet, each of us can do something. Each of us are commanded to do something. As you read Jesseca’s article, ask yourself: What can I do today? Then commit to follow through.
While running children from one appointment to another I turned on the local Christian radio station the other day. I happened to catch the end of a program and heard a comment that resonated with me. The speaker (I never caught his name) said early apologetics did not focus on debating world views nor did they fill libraries with books on scientific proofs defending the Bible. All an early apologist had to say was Jesus is real, just look at the work His church does. The poor are clothed, the homeless are fed and all of the orphans have homes.
This hit me like a ton of bricks. Being a social worker in the child protection arena, I have always had a heart for foster children but it has only been recently that I have started to wonder why the foster care situation in the United States is so bad. Where is the church? There are over half a million foster children in the U.S.with only approximately 200,000 foster homes available. Children are bounced from over crowded home to home and shelter to shelter, often moving 5 to 6 times in a year. Of those half a million children, about 130,000 are waiting for adoption. Many of these children, after spending their young life shuffled through the system, are released once they turn 18. 40% of these “released” children end up homeless. The situation is dire.
Many negative beliefs are centered on foster care and unfortunately many of those stereotypes are true. The sad reality is that the state does not make a good parent and should not have to. The Bible mandates that we are to take care of the fatherless. It has only been in the past century that the church has failed to do so.
The good news is that God is at work in the hearts and minds of believers throughout the United States. We are seeing orphan ministries pop up in many churches and believers are beginning to become educated on the enormity of the problem.
A little over a year ago my church in Bellevue, NE, began a James 1:27 ministry for orphans. A local Christian foster care agency came twice to speak with the congregation and on Tuesday, June 7th we held our first foster care ministry meeting. The purpose of this meeting was to pray and to seek God’s guidance on how Lifespring Church can meet the needs of foster care children in our community and state. Not everyone is called to become a foster parent but we are called to do something.
Join me on facebook (If this link doesn’t work, use the facebook search engine and keyword Foster Care Prayer Warriors) as I brainstorm ways we can help foster children like preparing meals for existing foster families, donating needed items such as cribs, car seats and clothing, fundraising ideas, etc. The possibilities are endless if God is leading.
It is my dream that there will be a home for every foster child as the body of Christ becomes educated on this crisis and as God begins to change hearts and open doors.
Before you begin your busy day, I’d like you to pause and remember what you felt as a child. Remember those nights when storms hit and you scurried into your parents room. Think back of those times when you skinned your knee and mom gently scooped you up, making it all better with a kiss and a bandaide. Relive a moment of heartache when you turned to the adults you knew loved you.
Now imagine what life would have been like if you hadn’t had that. Imagine waking up in a new house on numerous mornings and going to bed each night wondering, “Does anyone care? Does anyone love me?”
If you would like more information on foster care and orphan ministry:
Jesseca Randall, Air Force wife and mother of two, has a God-given passion for helping troubled youth. While stationed overseas, Jesseca completed her Master’s degree in Criminal Justice with a focus on youth at risk. Once she and her husband returned to theUnited States, she worked for the State of Oklahoma investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect and as a Foster Care Specialist. After the birth of their first child, Jesseca became an independent contractor, certifying homes for foster care and adoption. Wanting to work in a more therapeutic role, Jesseca is now working on her Masters Degree in Social work and has recently completed her practicum at a child advocacy center. Passionate about foster children, Jesseca is also helping her church begin a foster care ministry. She is also helping Jennifer Slattery and Tanya Eavenson develop a contemporary youth program for Christ to the World Ministries. This youth program will deal with the intense issues many of our teens face daily, equipping them for daily living and pointing them to the Friend who will remain more faithful than a brother, Jesus Christ. If you have questions, would like more information, or would like to be added to Jesseca’s email loop, contact her at Jesseca.Randall(at)gmail(dot)com
(I’m not sure if the following video will show, but I know you can click the link and watch it on Youtube. Please do, then spend a moment in prayer asking God how you can show one child they are indeed lovable. That someone somewhere cares.)
This morning I read 2 Thessalonians, which talks about the man of lawlessness and the miracles and wonders he’ll perform. Honestly, it kinda freaked me out.
2 Thessalonians 1-12 1 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. (NIV)
My main concern? If this were to happen tomorrow, how would I respond to these signs, miracles, and deceptions? How close am I to God? How clearly do I hear His voice? How well do I know His truth?
But before I could spin in worry, God addressed my concerns in verses 15-17, providing very clear instructions on how to stand firm amidst confusion (emphasis mine):
15 So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.
16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
The conclusion of this chapter tells me to do two things:
1) Hold on to sound teaching
2) Rely on God
Sound teaching is found in the Bible. Bible studies and commentaries are great. Books written by dynamic teachers and blog posts sharing personal examples pertaining to a passage can be great supplements. But extraneous works must never substitute the Word of God.
If you want to stand firm, unwavering, grounded in truth, then immerse yourself in truth. Not someone else’s opinion or interpretation of truth, but pure truth as presented in God’s Word.
I’ve seen numerous Christians follow some strange teachings. Likely you have, too. From my experience, one characteristic dominates the decieved–they’ve become more dependent on what man has to say about the Bible than what the Bible might be saying to them.
Here’s what I mean. Let’s say you found a great Bible study. You start using the Bible study, but you’ve only got so much time in your day, so pretty soon the Bible study replaces your morning Bible reading time. What’s happened? You begin to turn to the study for answers instead of God’s Word.
Don’t get me wrong. Studies are great and I believe God gifts writers and leaders to clearly present His truth, but even so, our first responsibility as children of God is to go directly to the source. Begin with the Bible. Rely most on the Bible. Use everything else as a supplement.
The second truth presented in 2 Thessalonians reminds me that most of the battle belongs to God. In verses 16-18 I am told that God will comfort and strengthen me. My ability to stand strong, then, comes from drawing near (and remaining near) to God, allowing His Spirit to permeate every part of my being.
I don’t get much sleep in the spring. As a relative newbie to the midwest, when those thunderstorm warnings come, my mind jumps to tornadoes and I spend the night scanning weather sites. My husband, on the other hand, could sleep through anything. Most times, there’s no problem with this, but one spring when a rather tumultuous storm hit, there he lay, in bed, unmoving.
Me? I freaked, and nagged and prodded and pulled. Eventually I got my family down to the basement where we spent the rest of the night. Although on my husband’s end, I think he wanted to seek shelter from me more than the storm. He probably figured, this woman’s not going to leave me alone so if I want to sleep…
Imagine his surprise the next morning as we drove our daughter to school to see roofs torn off and windows shattered. Turns out, the tornado swept through an area ten miles from our home. “See!” I said, making sure my husband saw every bit of devastation. “That could have been us. Next time when the news says to seek shelter, will you please listen?”
He assured me he would…but then midnight, or one am or two am rolls around and he’s tucked in his comfortable bed. Clinging to dream-land, it’s easier to dismiss the warnings.
As Christians, we have this same tendency. It’s easy to stay in our cozy little areas of comfort, with the blankets tucked up under our chin. We know Jesus is returning, we know life is short, storms will come, wars will rage. Cognitively, we know many will pass into eternity today. We know they will go one of two places. We know the reality of eternity without Christ, yet still we lie in bed, believing the lie that we have all the time in the world.
A couple of weeks ago, funnel clouds swept through our area and the tornado sirens went off. I was in the basement exercising and listening to Pandora, pretty much clueless, until I received a text message from our daughter. “I’m in the locker room but I’m okay.” My heart raced and my stomach lurched. I ran upstairs and stood, in a darkened kitchen. If you’ve been in a storm, you know what I mean. It’s almost eerie how well thick clouds can block out the sun. After grabbing our two dogs and a container of water, I dashed back to the basement to pray. There’s nothing worse than being separated from your child during a potentially dangerous situation.
But as I prayed, for her and my husband’s protection, deep peace washed over me. If something were to happen, I knew where they’d go. Obviously, I prayed they’d stay on earth for as long as possible, but I received great comfort in knowing–not speculating, but knowing–their eternal destiny.
This was a very tangible reminder to me of the importance of sharing the gospel message–of living the gospel message–at every moment.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
1 Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (NIV)
The Bible tells us today is the day of salvation. We are told to be awake and sober, ready to make the most of every opportunity for the days are evil. Live life in engaged mode. I have no idea when “the end” will come. Every generation since the time of Christ believed they were it, and yet here we are. But I do know the end will come for someone. I also know I have been given the message of reconciliation.
So what am I going to do today that will have an eternal impact? How can I be the hands and feet of Jesus today?
The Bible tells us that God is sovereign. He chooses the time and place for each of us to live. There’s a reason you’re where you are right now, in this decade, in that neighborhood, working that job, participating in that club. Before you settle for the mundane, spend some time in God’s presence and ask Him what He’d like you to do in your sphere.
Then commit to obey. I can tell you, your life will be anything but boring. And if you really want to feel God’s love pulsating through you, then do His work.
Sometimes when I think of all the things I want our daughter to learn by the time she hits adulthood (in four short years) it can get overwhelming. How do I know if I’m doing enough? Too much? Perhaps not the right thing? Ultimately, it comes to prayer, surrender, and trust. Each day, as I lay our daughter in God’s hands, asking Him to speak to my heart, to guide me as I seek to guide our daughter, I commit to following His will, no matter where that leads.
This hasn’t always been easy. In fact, there’s been times when it’s been very painful. Our family has been through many difficulties. I’m sure you all could say the same. As a mom, how I wish I could shelter our daughter from every struggle…but without adversity, what kind of adult would she grow to be?
Here’s the thing. Our sinful nature centers around ourselves and our children. Now, please don’t misunderstand me. I am in no way advocating parental apathy or callous. God is a God of love and mercy and if we are truly followers of Christ, our actions will be dominated by love.
But…God came not to be served, but instead, to serve and to give His life as ransom for many. As parents, our first goal is not to raise up the next CEO or billionaire. Our goal is to train fully devoted followers of Christ. A daunting task at times, especially when those teen years hit and you’ve gotta grit your teeth and hand off the baton.
The cool thing is, God’s got it covered. He’s responsible for training, raising, guiding and equipping your child. You’re responsible for one thing: obedience. And if you are continually following God’s leading in surrendered obedience, when your child rebels, they aren’t rebelling against you. They’re rebelling against God.
It’s important that you convey that. And it’s important that you live that. Meaning, bring it back to the Scriptural level and choose your battles very carefully. If God’s Word doesn’t take a clear stand on an issue, maybe you shouldn’t either. But when God gives a clear command, instruct it with diligence, taking care to explain why. You want your child to be respectful not because it makes you happy, but because God commands it and because your child’s behavior has an impact on their witness.
Otherwise the issue, whatever it is, becomes about you and your child. And since most parents know absolutely nothing until their child hits about 30, that’s a losing battle. A subjective battle. It comes down to one person’s opinion vs. another.
But…step out of the ring and point your child back to God…now that’s a different story.
They still may rebel, but again, when they do, they’re rebelling against God, not you.
And consider throwing most of the other battles away. Here’s an example. About three years ago our daughter came to us and asked to get her ears pierced. I really struggled with this, primarily because I am very opposed to the whole appearance-oriented thing. We want our daughter to focus more on her inner qualities than her outward…and perhaps I went a bit overboard.
So how did our daughter convince us of her position? She respectfully pointed out that there wasn’t anything in the Bible that said she shouldn’t. After listening, I realized she was right. So, I stepped off my battle mound and took her to the mall.
What battles are you facing today? What does the Bible have to say about them? And how might the interactions with your child change if you brought everything back to the Scriptural level, explaining not how you feel about the issue, but instead, what God says?
And before you go, hop on over to Reflections to find out how to curb the “its-all-about-mes” in your child.