Lead Them in the Way They Should Go - Follow the Father’s Advice
Purity 514 09/03/2021 Purity 514 Podcast
Today’s photo of a fiery sunrise sky comes to us from a friend who lives in Clifton Park NY. I don’t know if I am blinded by the light of this sunrise, or I am suffering from cognitive dissonance because my friend’s social media account is telling me this photo was from two days ago, but I recall the first day of September as being anything but fiery “Down by the River”. I remember the first day of September as a hard shift towards Autumn as the temperature cooled and rains came it. So whether this was the last sunrise of August, or it was first day of September, in Clifton Park, I think we can all agree that the One who paints the skies and the One who brings the rains is awesome and mighty to behold and that we should all thank Him for each new day.
Especially when it’s Friday! SO, thank God its Friday! I am happy to report that after a listless gap year at home caused by a mixture of Covid concerns and indecision, my son Brennan, began his college career this week by beginning classes at Hudson Valley Community College. He reported that he got tired of sitting around and feeling like a “burden” and felt compelled to do something to get out of his funk and to get on with his life. After a year of continual encouragements, periodic chastisements, and a whole lot of patience on my part, I am thrilled that he has taken responsibility for the direction of his life by independently enrolling in college and making these first fledgling steps towards total independence.
As much as we love and care for our children, we have to let them stand on their own two feet and to make their own decisions of what to do with their lives. With my personal history of paper routes at 12, and beginning working part time at the age of 15, there was no way I was going to be a “helicopter parent” to my kids.
When my marriage dissolved in 2018, I established myself as the custodial parent to my two somewhat entitled children. I began to lead them on the course of independence and self-sufficiency, using my limited time and financial resources to teach both of them to drive and to purchase, register, and insure vehicles for each of them.
I then guided and encouraged my daughter, Haley to go to college and seek part time work and rejoiced, and still take pride, in how she came out of her shell of timidity and situational depression caused by the turmoil of her parents’ divorce and the stresses of transitioning after graduating high school to leave her counseling sessions behind as she has thrived in our new home. I couldn’t do it for her. I could only advise her in what she “needed to do” and encouraged her to do it. Amazingly, she saw the truth and wisdom in what I said and chose to walk out of the darkness of our broken family history and forge a new life for herself.
My son, Brennan, is a little different. Perhaps he’s a little more head strong, rebellious, stubborn, or maybe cautious. So while I gave him the same advice I gave to Haley, let’s just say he took his time to consider it. He took his “gap year” in his room with vague hopes and dreams of being the next YouTube star by streaming his video game play. He didn’t pursue work or school despite my continual encouragements.
It was a great test of my patience but luckily, he woke up to the fact that what he was doing was not healthy and he had to reconnect with the world and with his purpose in life. So he’s been in school for a week, and he is already showing signs of new life and I can’t wait to see my thespian son come out of his shell as he pursues his studies in theatre.
None of us in my family can really give you a definitive answer to where we are going in the years ahead, but we are all making intentional choices to take us in the direction we are being called to. But one thing is certain, while I have made it clear that we all must choose to live our lives independently with the goals of self sufficiency and being responsible for our own well-being, I have assured my children that as long as I live they will have a place to call home and they never have to fear telling me the truth.
I haven’t always made the best decisions in life but after coming to faith in Christ, I learned that the best course was to listen to my heavenly Father and to start living my life according to His ways to the best of my abilities.
I have learned that my relationship with God is cooperative. There are things I can count on Him for but there are also things that I must do for myself because He has given me certain talents and abilities that it is my purpose to use. In my decision to live a discipled Christian life, I learned to put the foolish and dark things from my past away and to be responsible for walking into the life God wanted for me.
Amazingly, I listened to God and realized the wonders of His wisdom and love. So, I have tried to pass that along to my kids. I assure them of my love for them and I try to impart the wisdom of what I have learned from life and from the Lord.
Our relationship with God is supposed to be primary. It’s supposed to be first. Christ told us to love God, and then told us to love our neighbors. So I have learned the wisdom of that. I drew close to God, and He has transformed me into a man who can love his neighbors!
My nearest and dearest neighbors are the children that the Lord has entrusted me with and although they have both officially entered adulthood, I am blessed that I am still able to love and guide them in the way they should go, with a great deal of humility and patience.
So keep walking and talking with God because the work He does in you will pour over into all the aspects in your life and has the potential to change the course of people’s lives for the better. That’s what discipleship is all about. We learn from the Father and teach others what we know and throughout the entire process we continue to learn, to love, and to grow.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
2 Timothy 2:26 (NKJV)
26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
Today’s verse points to the spiritual reality that people can be in bondage to the enemy, but it also speaks of the potential to set the captives free.
Today’s verse is a partial verse that should include the previous two verses for complete understanding. The context from the first part of this sentence tells us to not to be quarrelsome with those who oppose us but to be patient, gentle, and humble in our attempts to correct them with the hope that the Lord will grant them repentance.
My example of my son who opposed me is an object lesson in this verse. I may have lost my patience a couple of times over the last year waiting for my son to move but in general I was not quarrelsome. I was patient, gentle, and humble. And thank the Lord!, He granted Brennan repentance and Brennan is being released from the devil’s snare of depression and purposelessness.
Am I over spiritualizing this? Are demonic spirits surrounding my son to try to destroy him? I wouldn’t doubt it but the good thing about following the truth of God’s word is that we don’t necessarily have to call in an exorcist to defeat the enemy.
I speak love, truth, and encouragement to my son. Am I quoting Bible verses, not necessarily, although I do on occasion, but the wisdom I am putting forth are certainly based on the word of God. All truth is God’s truth so if we advise and counsel people patiently, humbly, and gently with the truth, we give them the potential to step out of the darkness they are surrounded by.
The person we counsel must take an active role in their own deliverance. The Lord will help them if they start walking towards him by walking into the truth. And if they call on His name and make Jesus their Lord and Savior there are no limits to the levels of freedom they can experience.
So speak the truth in love to those you care about, they just might “come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil”. In Christ we have the Truth that can set the captives free, so share the love that has been given to you and bring the dead to life.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we begin to share from Dr. June Hunt’s Boundaries: How to Set Them, How to Keep Them, beginning with the Introduction
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $5.00:
How to Set Them—How to Keep Them
By June Hunt
Is your life really your life or is it controlled by someone else? Is your time really your time or is it manipulated by someone else? Is your schedule really your schedule or is it dictated by someone else? If your response is, "That's me!" then you need boundaries.
Do you say yes to everyone and no to no one? Do you find yourself easily taken advantage of? Do you have to grease every squeaky wheel? If so, then you need boundaries.
Are there not enough hours in the day to do all you have to do? Are you feeling stretched beyond your limits? Are you meeting yourself coming and going? If so, then you need boundaries.
Do you try to be everything to everyone? Do you think everyone's need is your need to meet? Is your life swallowed up in someone else's life? If so, then you need boundaries.
Are you overcommitted, in over your head, burning the candle at both ends? Do you try to please everyone, yet often please no one? If so, then you need boundaries.
You need to know where your responsibilities end and someone else's begin. You need to say yes to God and no to everything that's not His will. You need. . . . boundaries!
Like nations, relationships rise, and fall based on the boundaries that guard and protect them. If we try to be everyone's best friend, we will be no one's best friend. We all have limits on our time and on our emotional and physical energy.
We cannot be or do everything for anyone, much less everyone, so we must choose who we will be and what we will do regarding the individuals God brings into our lives. Jesus established boundaries for His relationships by . . . prioritizing the Father . . . discipling the twelve . . . and being intimate with the few. He also set boundaries on His actions. . . .
"Jesus gave them this answer:
'Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. . . . By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.'"
Biblical Counseling Keys: Boundaries: How to See Them - How to Keep Them.
God bless you all!
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship