Thursday, July 31, 2014
Waiting on God (...and a Parenting Book) by Kim Wright
I have a bone to pick with James Dobson!
…and Dennis Rainey!
…and every parenting expert, Christian radio broadcaster, conference speaker and book author that I’ve leaned on in my almost 24 year journey of raising kids!
I have been well-trained in the terrible twos. I know all about the pesky puberty years. I have ridden the waves of the turbulent teens…and lived to tell about it! I’ve even been schooled in how to send your child to college and survive the empty nest (even though I still have some chirping around here!)
…But when it comes to being a parent of an adult child (notice that oxymoron?): SILENCE.
Ask about how to train your “tween,” and there are books, tapes, weekend ceremony ideas, and more. Wondering how to get your newborn to sleep through the night, and you have ladies in the grocery store that you don’t even know willing to dispense advice. Wondering how you can insert yourself into your 20 something year olds' decision making process, when you really haven’t been invited? Silence, Nada, Nothing…in fact, you can hear the crickets chirping.
So I’ve had to turn to the resource that I should have turned to first…the perfect parent, God Himself. I have been praying earnestly for guidance and wisdom for me, as well as the adults that I have raised, as I am watching them make decisions that could affect the rest of their lives. He has been teaching me, but let me warn you, the lessons have been difficult.
My daily Bible study has not been about parenting…or so I thought. I have been reading through the book of Genesis. I was praying about how I should handle some specific circumstances that had landed on my “parenting plate” and it just happened to be my day to read the story of Abraham and God’s promise to bless him and make him into a great nation.
First, what a great reminder to realize that God can and will speak directly to our children at times….and He may or may not include me in that process! (Ouch!) I can’t help but wonder about Abraham’s conversation with his father when he first informed him that he and his wife were moving.
“Son, where are you going?”
“I’m not sure, Dad, God hasn’t told me that yet…only that I’m supposed to move.”
“What will you do about a job? You’re making a good living here. Why would you walk away from all this?”
“I haven’t worked out all the details yet, but I know that God will take care of me.”
“What will you do about insurance? My grandchildren won’t know me! Are there any good Baptist churches there? Isn’t that a high crime area? What if…” (I’m having a little fun here, but you get the idea)
“Dad, God has assured me He’s going to take care of us…and I believe Him!”
What if Abraham had listened to reason and common sense instead of God?
After that initial parenting lesson, God wasn’t finished with me. He proceeded to introduce me to woman after woman who shared a common trait with each other and with me. They were master manipulators.
Sarah believed God’s promise that He would bless her husband with so many descendants that they couldn’t be counted. However, she started to wonder how in the world this would take place as the years passed and her body exhibited the signs of one who could no longer bear children. Perhaps she needed to take control of the situation herself, she reasoned. This was not a matter of faith…it was a matter of common sense! She could no longer bear children; her husband was given a promise that he would have children, so she must figure out a way to work it out. However, her way wasn’t God’s way…and it didn’t end well.
Rebekah also had a promise from God. When she was pregnant with twins, they jostled within her womb so much that she inquired of the Lord to find out what was happening inside of her. He assured her that she was going to bear twins, and they would be the fathers of two nations. He also gave her a prophecy that the older child would serve the younger. Years later, as her husband Isaac prepared to give the blessing to the older sibling, Rebekah intervened. Perhaps she thought it was her responsibility to make sure things turned out the way God had intended. After all, God had made it clear to her the older would serve the younger, and now her husband was about to ruin everything! So, Rebekah took things into her own hands…and things didn’t end well for her family either.
Finally, I read about Lot’s daughters. These girls had endured much. They lost their home, their friends, their fiancé’s, and their mother. They had barely escaped with their lives. They found themselves living in a cave with their father, and no other human beings in view. Surely they had been saved for a purpose! The command had been given to Adam and Eve in the beginning…and then again to Noah, as God gave his family a second chance: “Be fruitful and multiply!” Now here they were, saved from God’s devastating wrath on their hometown, but with no man in sight to carry on their family line. Was this really the way God intended things to end for them? But wait, there was one man in the cave… of course, he was their father…and their idea was a little unconventional, but desperate times call for desperate measures! It seems they would have to work things out the best way they knew how. Once again, their plans were not God’s plans…and the results were devastating.
Four women who were sincerely trying to do the right thing for their families…
Four women who jumped into action when God’s plan seemed to be taking too long or not working out quite like they thought it would…
Four women whose impulsive decisions impacted not only them, but their children and future generations, as well…
So what did I learn from these women?
I need to trust God with my adult children. I need to be quiet, and quit hinting, suggesting, and advising. I need to pray. I need to claim the promises of God, and wait patiently for Him to act. I need to resist the urge to take matters into my own hands when things don’t seem to be going "according to plan."
I need to “…cease striving and know that [He] is God.” (Psalm 46:10 NASB)
These are hard lessons for a girl who has never been afraid to speak her mind or make things happen! While I’m sure there will be times God prompts me to speak the Truth in love or spur people to action…the resounding message I’m hearing from God at this particular time is “Wait on me. I can be trusted.”
I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg in my parenting adults’ adventure! I feel certain there are many more lessons to learn, and I’m sobered by the fact that as spouses and grandchildren are added into the mix… the stakes will be greater, because more people will be affected by the decisions my adult kids make. It’s a tough gig to be a mom, but I’m committed to praying and trusting all the more!
In the meantime, will somebody get busy and write a book to help me out already!!???