What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

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Anonymous said...

Dear Sister, when you make beans you cannot add any sweetener to them until they are fully cooked. Make sure the beans are at the softness you want before adding anything. That means no ketchup or barbeque sauce or anything that might have hidden sugars.
Life for us as christians isn't any different then the world. I have found that out recently. I wished that I had been told twentythree years ago when I married the most wonderful man in the world. We homeschool all our seven children. Our lives were kept for HIM the King. Our hours of reading aloud as a family were blessed, our long hiking treks were also blessed. We did all that the Lord showed us to raise our children is love and joy and peace and diligence to serve the Lord.
Now we have our firstborn angry and rebellious and unhappyily yelling accusing and berating us as parents. He has driven a stake through my heart and a division through our family. Yes we did everything the books said to do. We disciplined and trained every waking hour. I made all our food fresh. Baked our bread, quilted our covers, spun our sweaters,raised our sheep and we grew all our food(except wheat). Life isn't promised to us. We aren't promised anything more than our daily bread shelter and clothes. Beyond that we aren't promised a perfect life or a painfree life. I wished I had been told this. I wished the books had said this. I wished I had known before I put all of my heart soul and mind into raising my family. Now I know the only place the Lord requires our heart soul and mind is in loving Him.

Rebecca said...

Dear Anonymous, I apologize for not responding quickly to this comment-I hoped that with time the *right* words would come, but I fear even now I lack the 'right' words. My only hope is that you are able to look beyond the inadequacies of my words and yet glean a great truth precious only to believers.

In many ways, your words held truth. The Lord does require our whole heart, soul and mind in loving Him. We are to raise our children in love, joy, peace and with diligence to serve the Lord. I do, however, respectfully (yet wholeheartedly) disagree with your position on our lives being no different than the worlds. I find this to be such a depressing view! I commend you for your great works with quilting, baking, sheep raising, homeschooling and homesteading ways. These are all very admirable traits-but I do not think they get you any closer to God or raising your children to be more Godly. Perhaps better stewards, but not more Christ-like. I find many homesteaders equal back to the earth with closer to God. That, in my opinion, is pride. Pure and simple.

While I DO read books on Christian life-application, I look only to the Bible in reference to 'doing what it says.' Everything else is made with a subjective stance and offers mere opinions (some based on scripture, assuredly, but on man's interpretation). These resources should be used only as a resource tool-not a reference. The Bible should be our only standard of living.

And IN the Bible, we read a vast number of promises to believers AND to the children of such believers. I look to those great promises of God to His people and to their children for my support and encouragement. The Lord promises to bless those whom He loves. He promises to care for our every need. And yes-He also warns that to be a follower of Christ, we must be willing to sacrifice all that we have and desire for ourselves for His sake. He certainly didn't promise Job an easy road. Or Abigail. Or Noah. Or Moses. Or Peter. And yet-through our struggles we ARE so much better equipped. We hold fast to the promise of ETERNAL salvation and that rewards come from obedience-even obedience through trials.

I also find confidence in the words of the Lord that tell of children being blessed by the obedience of the Lord. I can assume that my children are one of God's chosen because He promises to look favorably on the generations of those who love Him. I believe that the Lord is a loving and merciful God-and not only will He follow through with the promises outlined in scripture, He also hears and will answer my constant supplications for their sakes. This confidence is one only recently learned and yet I clutch it firmly to my heart with arms unyeilding.

I am so sorry to hear about your son. It is such a sad thing, to see your child turn away from God. I can not fathom the grief that you have been dealt. I would encourage you, however, to not measure your life up to books but up to the Word of God. If it is as you say it is, and you have worked diligently to raise up your children in the Lord, DO NOT LOSE HEART. Continue to pray for him, continue to forgive, continue to encourage and be the example and the Lord may bless your efforts. Your child is STILL in the hands of the Lord, even now. Even the most rebellious can be used for the Lord's glory and honor. Even the most hideous of sinners can be forgiven. All is NOT lost. For your son. For you. For your FAMILY.

Anonymous said...

Dear Annoymous,

Oh how my heart BREAKS for you! And for your son. There is yet hope, though his words and actions now wounding.

I read something in a book this morning that really struck me. "Parents may teach the principles of right conduct, but if that teaching goes contrary to their own practices, they will not enforce those standards."

The first thing that stuck out was you said that "Life for us as christians isn't any different then the world." To me, this may be a major part of what has driven your son away.

The quickness to change your attitude. To me, I wonder if you ever really believed we were different and set apart. Did you act in a way that WAS different and set apart? Was your heart ever really there with your family to begin with? The fact that now you seem to consider it having been a waste. When you hold firmly to the promises of God, believing them in faith, you don't doubt them - ever. It is very easy to deceive others and even ourselves (just read James)!

Was your heart and soul ever really there in raising your family?

Was your son there WITH YOU as you made the foods from scratch - happily cutting the carrots with a butter knife as you praised his hard work? Was he there WITH YOU tending the garden as you talked about God's glory in bringing food from a tiny little seed? Or was he shoved aside while you quilted covers and spun sweaters only brought together at the required reading time or family hike?

When you disciplined and trained your children, did you point them to God's word as the standard and not just "because momma said so?" When you disciplined in anger, did you humble yourself and ask them for forgiveness? When you fell short of what God wanted in your life, or when you sinned, did you ask your children for forgiveness in addition to asking the Lord?

You also said "life isn't promised to us." I heartly disagree dear sister. In fact, children obeying their parents in the Lord is the first commandment WITH a promise - a promise of life! In fact, I just did a quick search on biblegateway for the words "promise" and "life" and several verses came up.

You also said "We aren't promised anything more than our daily bread shelter and clothes." I have to disagree with this too dear sister. A quick Bible search for the word "promise" and you will see all the promises God has made to us!!!

You commented "Beyond that we aren't promised a perfect life or a painfree life." Oh you are so right here. We are not promised a perfect life - only God is perfect. Holding anyone to the standard of perfection will almost always cause dissension and bitterness. While I do hold my children to standards and do require them to do things properly, I do not expect perfection of them. Maybe your son felt that you were holding him to a double standard that he (nor ANYONE) could EVER meet.

And one can only look to Job to see that life is not painfree. Even Jesus experienced pain while on earth.

Have you asked your son WHY he is so angry? Have you listened to his accusations?

I know that my husband did the same thing to his parents that your son is now doing to you. I know that his parents expect him to apologize for all the wrong things he did growing up. And when my husband tries to share anything of fault on THEIR part, they quickly dismiss him saying that God requires them to love him but HE is required to honor them. All they do is dismiss themselves from ANY blame. Their relationship is now to a point of them holding bitterness and even distaste towards their own son. I am so thankful that I have a husband who understands God's word and has totally forgiven them and continues to live following God's word. Thought by the world's standards he has every right to be bitter and angry with his parents, God tells us we ARE SET APART, and therefore he walks according to God's standards and will and NOT the world's.

I say all this in hopes that you will search your heart. Seek God. Maybe you did not do it "right." Not that there is a right and prefect way to raise your children. But maybe, just maybe, there is some fault on your part that you are not owning up to. And as long as you hold onto the righteous pride you showed in your letter, you and your son will not have a good relationship.

I know that you are hurting, and hopefully that is all this letter was written in was hurt. But if you honestly feel and believe the things you said in your letter, dear sister, I beg you to seek God for any wrong on your part. The change begins with you.