“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Monday, June 21, 2010

An Addiction to Freedom

In the future, when your son asks you, 
"What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws 
the LORD our God has commanded you?" tell him... 
The LORD commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the LORD our God, 
so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today. 
And if we are careful to obey all this law before the LORD our God, 
as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness."  
Deuteronomy 6:20-25

I don't know how to parent a tween... HE'S GOING INTO MIDDLE SCHOOL!   So I do what I normally do when I don't know what to do... I read a book.  I recently happened upon the book For Parents Only by Shaunti Feldhahn.  An insightful book written for parents of teens... and tweens.  Great detail is discussed about our children's desire... almost addiction... for freedom.  Their need to pull away from their parents... and ultimately... their parents' rules. 

We have tried to be consistent with our parenting... often reminding Christopher why he needs to learn obedience.  Not because it makes a parent's life any easier... but because we want him to learn how to be obedient to the Lord as he continues to grow in our home... and then on his own. As he has grown older we have begun to share with him a lot of the "whys" of our parenting... especially when it is "no."  Still he presents his case... and we express that the guidelines and boundaries we have established are for his benefit.  Sometimes... reason just does not matter to a tweenager.

As I have been studying Experiencing God this week, I have been reading about the relationship between God's love for me and His commands.  How His commands are for our good... and how his guidelines are used to help us experience His love for us.
That is the purpose of God's commands.  He wants you to receive life and have it abundantly.  When the Lord gives you a command, He is trying to protect and preserve the best He has for you.  He does not want you to lose it.  When God gives a command, He is not restricting you.  He is freeing you. ~ Experiencing God
And I think of all the times when I thought that the commands that God has given were to restrict me... and now to think of them as freeing me.  Freeing me to live the life that He has set aside for me.  Freeing me so that I might prosper... and have abundant life.
I think of all the times I have stomped my feet and not wanted to hear His "no"... and especially not His reasons for His "no"...  and I begin to see where I fight my Heavenly Father to gain my freedom from Him and His commands... And you know what?  He'll let me have my freedom.  I've had it all along.  And I'll rush off and try to do things my way.  And I'll experience the things that He has been trying to protect me from all along... And then one day I wake up and realize that He really does love me... and wants to protect me... and He does that by giving me commands... that I obey for my benefit.    
That I obey for my benefit.  For my own good.  Wow... and I thought parenting a tweenager was hard...
...what does the LORD your God ask of you but 
to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, 
to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 
and to observe the LORD's commands and decrees that I am giving you today 
for your own good
Deuteronomy 10:12-13

1 comment:

Deborah said...

My son will be a junior this year. Wow...it goes so quickly. I remember when he was in love with the original Toy Story! Vicki Courtney is doing a book and study (my company is doing the book) called 5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Son. She did this with girls last year, so I'm looking forward to the one for sons. I'm hoping I don't find out that I should have already had some of those conversations with him when I read it.