It's Not Because I Said So, It's Because God Said So

It's a scenario I've seen over and over again. Parents faithfully take their children to church. Their children are involved in every activity the church has to offer. They go on mission trips. They talk about God. They appear to be the perfect example of a good Christian boy or girl. Then they reach the point where they are off on their own or they think they're old enough to be on their own even if they're not. Suddenly the picture changes. The child you thought was so rooted and grounded is questioning everything about their faith. In some cases they completely rebel against it as well as you. You survey the shambles and wonder what on earth happened. Often you begin to blame it on external factors. It's that college or those friends. You never stop and consider the possibility that perhaps your child was simply going through the motions. Perhaps they were only doing what you wanted them to do either out of fear or a desire for your approval. Sometimes they did it out of peer pressure. Yes, there is such a thing as Christian peer pressure.

The bottom line is we don't want our children to simply go through the motions. We don't want them to live a certain way simply because we told them this is the way to live. This is not to say we should not instruct them. However, I think it is important that they understand it's not what we say, it's what God says.

When my son was four, he suddenly grew tired of obeying me. One day he bluntly retorted "Who made you boss?" You can imagine what my gut reaction was but something in the back of my mind stopped me. I took a different approach. Instead I replied, "God."

My son stopped dead in his tracks. He slowly looked up toward the ceiling. Then he looked back at me. I marched him to his room and continued. "So if you have a complaint about me, you'd better talk to God about it." I shut the door and walked away.

Pretty soon I heard my son talking. "God, she..." and "But I don't want..." "Why do I have to..." Then it got really quiet and I heard some sniffling. The door cracked open. "Mommy? Can I talk to you?"

I went to my son's room and opened the door wider. My son's face was streaked with tears. "I'm sorry I didn't do what you told me to do." He started to cry as I took him in my arms and forgave him. My son learned an important lesson that day. I hadn't placed him under my authority, God had. In the end, he wouldn't have to answer to me for his actions, he would have to answer to God.

This wasn't the last time we would have a conversation like this. We would have many of these throughout the years. Right before his eighteenth birthday, my son wanted to go somewhere I didn't think he should go. He insisted he was old enough to make that decision. I looked at him for a moment and said simply said, "Ask God what he thinks about the idea."
"God's fine with it!" my son replied a bit too quickly. "You asked him about it? If you asked God and God really said yes, then it must be okay."

A little while later, I noticed my son was still at home. "Mom, I went ahead and asked God about it." I didn't have to ask what God's answer was. I already knew. My son was still at home wasn't he? He was doing the right thing, not because I was making him do it but because he had ultimately decided to listen to what God said.

It's not over yet. I don't think it ever is as long as a parent and child walk this earth together. My son and I don't always see eye to eye on everything by any means. However, we still get calls in the middle of the night. "Mom and Dad, would you please pray with me? I need to know what God wants me to do."

t's a scenario I've seen over and over again. Parents faithfully take their children to church. Their children are involved in every activity the church has to offer. They go on mission trips. They talk about God. They appear to be the perfect example of a good Christian boy or girl. Then they reach the point where they are off on their own or they think they're old enough to be on their own even if they're not. Suddenly the picture changes. The child you thought was so rooted and grounded is questioning everything about their faith. In some cases they completely rebel against it as well as you. You survey the shambles and wonder what on earth happened. Often you begin to blame it on external factors. It's that college or those friends. You never stop and consider the possibility that perhaps your child was simply going through the motions. Perhaps they were only doing what you wanted them to do either out of fear or a desire for your approval. Sometimes they did it out of peer pressure. Yes, there is such a thing as Christian peer pressure.

The bottom line is we don't want our children to simply go through the motions. We don't want them to live a certain way simply because we told them this is the way to live. This is not to say we should not instruct them. However, I think it is important that they understand it's not what we say, it's what God says.

When my son was four, he suddenly grew tired of obeying me. One day he bluntly retorted "Who made you boss?" You can imagine what my gut reaction was but something in the back of my mind stopped me. I took a different approach. Instead I replied, "God."

My son stopped dead in his tracks. He slowly looked up toward the ceiling. Then he looked back at me. I marched him to his room and continued. "So if you have a complaint about me, you'd better talk to God about it." I shut the door and walked away.

Pretty soon I heard my son talking. "God, she..." and "But I don't want..." "Why do I have to..." Then it got really quiet and I heard some sniffling. The door cracked open. "Mommy? Can I talk to you?"

I went to my son's room and opened the door wider. My son's face was streaked with tears. "I'm sorry I didn't do what you told me to do." He started to cry as I took him in my arms and forgave him. My son learned an important lesson that day. I hadn't placed him under my authority, God had. In the end, he wouldn't have to answer to me for his actions, he would have to answer to God.

This wasn't the last time we would have a conversation like this. We would have many of these throughout the years. Right before his eighteenth birthday, my son wanted to go somewhere I didn't think he should go. He insisted he was old enough to make that decision. I looked at him for a moment and said simply said, "Ask God what he thinks about the idea."
"God's fine with it!" my son replied a bit too quickly. "You asked him about it? If you asked God and God really said yes, then it must be okay."

A little while later, I noticed my son was still at home. "Mom, I went ahead and asked God about it." I didn't have to ask what God's answer was. I already knew. My son was still at home wasn't he? He was doing the right thing, not because I was making him do it but because he had ultimately decided to listen to what God said.

It's not over yet. I don't think it ever is as long as a parent and child walk this earth together. My son and I don't always see eye to eye on everything by any means. However, we still get calls in the middle of the night. "Mom and Dad, would you please pray with me? I need to know what God wants me to do."

Doing life with God and walking in obedience because God, rather than us, said so. Isn't that the life we want for our children?

K :princess:

Samantha Shemer @youaregolden ·

Beautiful story and very inspiring. I know I am too young to really be thinking about kids, but I really want to do what you suggested. Thanks for this blog!
YSIC,
-Golden :flower:

Susan Cope @lilysvalley ·
:clap: Great blog! Sometimes it is not who they are with but who they are not with (the Lord). thank you Lily
Francisco J Zubia @tohimbeglory ·

Wonderful title for blog, I just couldn't skip it and not read it. It's now wonderful when your child tells you, now I know why glorious God did what he did and said what he said, I can see it now, and its wonderful to beleive God. May you children be blessed. Amen.

thbg

Lorie Sherwin @inspiredliving ·

This is very encouraging. God's law versus dad's and mom's law can sometimes get tangled. Pointing our children to God and helping them seek him is really the best way to help them. A few years ago I came to realize that I must help my children find God's plan for their life; not my plan. Kudos to you! :clap: