Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Kids will be kids & Jezebel

This post is going to be completely off-the-cuff- not my usual well-thought-out and edited versions, so bear with me...

I was doing some reading in Revelation (2:18-29) this morning (that's what we are studying in church right now) and v. 24 stuck out to me: "But I say to you, the rest who are in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not known the deep things of Satan, as they call them- I place no other burden on you."

First of all, I assume "this teaching" would be the false teaching of the false prophetess, Jezebel, who lured some in the church to practice immorality and eating food sacrificed to idols.

The part that really caught my attention was "the deep things of Satan, as they call them". "As they call them" seems like John is mocking what the heretics thought they knew- their so-called secret knowledge. I wonder if Jezebel's goal was to convince people that they couldn't really learn the true nature of sin unless they experienced the deep pits of all things evil- a twisted version of saying only those who have really experienced sin can truly appreciate grace.

All of this to get to my thoughts about raising our children...

Have you ever heard the expression "kids will be kids" or "they just need to sow their wild oats" or "rumspringa"? (The last is the Amish tradition of allowing their young people to rebel and misbehave before baptism in the hope that they will get it out of their system.)

This theology is completely against everything God's Word teaches:
~IKi.11:1-13- "...You will not associate with them...for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods..."
~Ps.1:1- "How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked..."
~Prov.1:10-19- "My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent..."
~Prov.4:14- "Do not enter the path of the wicked..."
~1Cor.5:9- "I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people..."
~1Cor.15:33- "Do not be deceived, bad company corrupts good morals."
and many, many more.

My brother-in-law, whom I greatly respect, told me one time that our children will ONLY live up to what we expect of them. If we expect our teenagers to act like the world's teenagers, then they probably will. If we expect our 2 year old to fit the "terrible twos", then they probably will. If we expect our adolescent daughters to be moody, then they probably will.

I believe God is calling us parents to set extremely high standards for our kids, while also showing them that we are sinners whom God is waiting to pour His grace on. We should not expect our kids to wallow in the flesh pots of Egypt, so that they can more readily experience grace. We cannot look around us and set our standards! We need to look to God's Word for our standards. It's so easy to say, "Well, at least our kids aren't as bad as ____________". We so readily accept substandards because we have a skewed idea of what's acceptable. That goes for us, too, as adults.

We must stay vigilant in our prayer life, praying hedges around our homes, our kids, our hearts...and let's pray for each other, too.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Life in General

It seems like we have fallen back into a routine, which I enjoy.
It is amazing that it is already July; the summer always goes way too fast for me.

Nicole, Colin & Laina are all involved with VBS this week. (If you want to read a great perspective for all you volunteers, read Nicole's blog- linked on my page).
Adam is finishing up this week at Camp Reveal and Brooke has another 10 days, or so, as a nanny in IN for my nephew and his wife. Which leaves Jerald and I completely alone in the evenings. Now that's a weird situation- it hasn't been that way for almost 21 years. First of all, I don't know how to cook in small quantities. I'm used to doubling every recipe I make. Monday night we started with wine & cheese for hors d'ouvres and then bruschetta for dinner. It's really an appetizer too, but I made it a main dish- something the kids would never go for. Last night, I met Jerald in town for dinner at Night Sky; that was way cool. I think tonight we will do Chicken Salad Croissants.

Although I look forward to someday having our time alone, I'm not really wanting to rush the process. It will be good next week to have all the kids home again.

It has been a long time since we have not gone to see fireworks on the 4th, but that is exactly what happened this year. We only had 2 kids at home that night and neither of them were very thrilled with the yucky weather; they didn't care if they saw fireworks or not so, by george, we weren't going to push the issue. They are the only reason we have went for years anyway. Even though I think fireworks are very pretty, it's hard to get past the amount of money spent for 20-30 minutes.

Saturday night, we sat on the deck roasting hotdogs and marshmallows in our firepit while the neighbors set off their fireworks- actually quite impressive. So, I guess we got in our little bit of patriotism.

And so life goes...