Encouragement for Today - November 29, 2011
November 29, 2011
Are You Weird?
"Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules." Colossians 2:20 (NIV 1984)
"Why does our family have to be so different?"
While in middle school, my daughter asked if she could spend the weekend at the lake with a friend. My husband and I didn't know the friend or her parents all that well. An even bigger factor was we had never met the family they were visiting. Our answer to a then broken-hearted girl was "no." She couldn't understand and didn't get why.
Even while making that decision, parts of me didn't get it either. I questioned myself, "Why can't you just be like other parents? Why do you have to be cautious and think ahead? Why do you make decisions that bring your children pain?"
It wasn't the first time I had these thoughts. Saying "no" to driving alone to visit college friends. Saying "no" to text messaging pictures on cell phones.
Often, the same dilemma ran through my brain. Not only do I struggle with wanting my kids to fit in; I struggle with my own desire to fit in.
Jesus asks us through our key verse, "Why do you struggle as though you still belonged to this world?" Struggle with issues such as:
• Letting our kids choose clothes that are in style, but also too revealing. We want them to fit in, right?
• Giving our kids what others give their kids: iPhones, laptops, designer clothes. We wouldn't want to deprive them, right?
• Allowing our kids freedoms beyond their age and maturity, but other kids get to do. We wouldn't want them to stand out, right?
In these struggles, Jesus gives this encouragement, "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession" (1 Peter 2:9a NIV).
Chosen, holy, a special possession. In some ways, it just sounds weird. It sounds to me, though, that weird is Jesus' idea for us to model to our kids so they have courage to be weird as well.
This isn't going to go over well with every decision. Maybe your daughter recently screamed at you when told her skirt was too short. Or your son slammed the door after being asked to turn off the show that every kid at school watches.
Why would we want to be weird when it disrupts our family? Why would we want to stand out as different?
We make the hard decisions because Jesus says we are a chosen people; we're His. And we want our children to be as well.
I hate that choosing to be weird causes my kids not to like me. But it brings me comfort to know Jesus likes my decisions. He is proud I choose a way that models to my kids that we are His special possession. When Jesus is happy with my decision to be weird, I can be happy too.
Dear Lord, help me when I feel the pull to do and say and be everything that society tells me to do and say and be. Holy Spirit, open my ears to hear Your wisdom, not just when it comes to family life, but in all areas. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
For a way to connect with your girl, check out His Revolutionary Love: Jesus' Radical Pursuit of You by Lynn. It's a great study for girls ages 13-18 and their moms. Your free guide for "His Revolutionary Love" can be found on Lynn's website at www.LynnCowell.com.
Is your church looking for a way to empower your teens and moms with confidence to be weird? Consider bringing Lynn as a speaker to your next event to share practical ways to live this out!
In the next 24-48 hours, you'll probably run into a situation where you or your family will be "weird." If this situation involves a decision with your child, pause and invite your child to pray for wisdom with you.
Think over the decisions you've made in the past week. Have any been made to fit in to the world around you? Have you honored God with your decisions or chosen not to?
Being different, if we are humble, can open conversations with others, giving us the opportunity to honor God and share the "why" behind being weird.
James 1:5, "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." (NIV)
© 2011 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105