A tendency I see in some circles (because I tend this way if I’m not careful) is to see things in black & white when God gave us rainbows. That does not mean the principles change, but that what God calls me to is going to look different than what God calls you or Joe Blue to (I actually know a guy with that name, can you believe it?). God called Paul to a very different ministry & life than John or James. The principles stay the same. That’s why it is so vital to know those unchanging Biblical principles deep, deep, deep in your heart & pass them on to your children (Deut. 6). That’s a big theme in the OT. Our children are all going to be called to very different lives than ours & they are going to need solid advice from us based on principles that apply to lots of different circumstances, not black & white boundaries on particular topics. That’s where I see some kids rebel. I think Mom & Dad did a pretty good job of this the more I look back. It’s probably one of the toughest assignments of parenting as kids get older.
A judgmental attitude often accompanies this black & white tendency. What God teaches my hubby & me or calls us to is not going to fit other families. Again, the principles stay rock steady, but each family will have different ways of living those out. For example, one family might be called to be very active in sports in order to know their neighbors & reach those I cannot. While another family may be built to be really musical & take the talents God has given them around to area churches. Neither of these families are necessarily in or out of God’s will. It depends on their hearts. A musical family going around to churches might be really ministering, or they could be simply “getting their strokes” in a holy looking way. The family out on the ball field may be having a huge impact on their neighbors, showing them a Jesus they wouldn’t otherwise see, or they could be totally wasting their time out there putting sports up on a pedestal, making it the almighty idol in their home. Those families stand before God for the proper use of the time & talents God gave them.
Ultimately, the husband stands before God for his family. Wives answer to God for their submission (or lack of it) to him. I’ve seen many a black & white wife hinder growth & God’s working in the family under the mask of spirituality. This is a hot potato, but a bit of a pet peeve of mine, so I’ll try to tackle it here. The unchanging principle is that wives need to be submissive to their husbands for God’s blessing on their family. Period. Yet I have seen so many Christian women cop an attitude about this or that & totally be in the wrong, the whole time thinking they are the more spiritual in their family. This happens all the time. Think with me, you probably have seen them, too. This is the lady who has to get to that Bible study, no matter what the cost to her family or how her husband feels about her being gone. It’s that lady who by gum will NOT put her kids in public school or sports activities even though her husband feels otherwise. It’s the woman who thinks she knows better than her husband about how family devotions ought to go & badmouths her hubby at the ladies functions, all the while thinking she’s the more spiritually superior. It’s the woman who consistently tears down her own home brick by brick, all the while blaming it on her husband’s lack of spirituality. Men and women are different. God designed families to have one of each for a reason – balance!!! God totally blessed me with a rainbow husband to balance my tendencies toward black & whiteness. Incidentally, he says God blessed him with me, too. He needs my black & white to salt & pepper his rainbows. 🙂 We need each other.
Two main goals of our family is to know God & make Him known. That comes out looking different for other families than it does ours. In our home, we are educators. It would be silly for us to think a family of athletes would look like ours in this goal. For us to know God, first of all, there’s going to be a lot of studying & teaching going on in this house. Not everyone is called to teach. To make God known, it tends to come out for us in teaching & discipling others in Club, Sunday School, etc. God created us with these talents & gifts.
An example of a very Godly man who lived life a whole lot differently, but no less in God’s will was Eric Liddle. He said, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.” He went to the Olympics & was excellent. This did not just happen. He spent years in training. Was he out of God’s will? Was he wasting his time? I don’t think so. I can see how God used him to get a message out there that wouldn’t have been heard otherwise – keep the Sabbath day holy. His life challenges me there! He went on to give his life early in a Chinese prison cell.
Whatever God calls you & your family to, do it WELL, as unto the Lord & not unto men. That’s a huge key. We are not to be working for man’s approval, but rather for God’s. If we do not work well, He will not be able to use us as he wants. That’s laziness. That’s why education is important to us. For us not to properly educate our children would be throwing away of the gifts God gave us; rejecting what He made us to do. This is most certainly a way of worshiping our Creator.
God IS & so should be in every area of life – science, math, spelling, art, sports, etc. We need to focus on worshiping God in all these areas. Key: not losing sight of worshiping God vs. making an idol out of any of the above or entertainment or anything else. Shoot, church could turn into an idol! I’ve seen some families go crazy doing various programs & groups at church – not what God intended there either.
Just more thoughts that cropped up when I read the Voddie snippets. There’s still another installment to come – Bursting That Christian Bubble. I sure hope you all are reading ALL of these (part one & two) & not taking any one alone. Now you can see why I didn’t comment too much at first. It’s a pretty big ball of wax here from where I sit.