Obedience. Honor. Submission. All these words have something in common, a connecting thread. We are taught from childhood to obey, honor, and yes, submit to our parents. But why do we do it? At times as a young adult I find myself struggling to simply obey--the little four letter word that often means turning against my now "adult" mind. It's not that I don't honor my parents. I live under my fathers roof, I pledge my heart to him. . .but wait. One can't honor without obedience. My dad is my God-given lord. He isn't called to overbear or rule with an iron fist. Through experience I know he requires basics that are followed by everyone in the household. Not very difficult; I follow the rules. . .Biblically the Lord commands me to yield. But there is so much more to the bigger picture--I don't obey because my father has forced me into submission, I don't even obey because I need too; I obey because I honor him.
In our modern culture, and even in Christian circles, young people, particularly young ladies, are thought "overly sheltered" if there are certain guidelines followed within the home. "What? You aren't allowed to date? You don't watch rated R movies? Not even most PG13 ones? Ok sure, you're dad taught you that way, but listen, it's time to come out of the box. . .you're nearly 21! Talk about a control freak father." Wrong.
1. My dad loves me with all his heart. I don't believe that simply because he says so. . .it's obvious in his treatment, his protection and care for my well-fare. Dad's been around the block a few times more--he's viewpoint isn't control, it's experience.
2. Notice the word "viewpoint" in the above sentence? My father doesn't force convictions on me. Keyword, conviction. There actually is a difference between "tradition" and "conviction," just sayin'. . .different topic. There is nothing more special to me than my dad's advice. Recently I went to him with something that was bothering me. His answer? "I would't do it, but I can't make that decision for you." He wouldn't do it. I see his testimony, I watch his lifestyle--it means the world to me. Why wouldn't I take his advice? There was no command, no force, but I chose to heed his council.
3. This "way of life" has become my own. As a child I did everything in the footsteps of my parents. Hey, they wanted me to, and I'd probably get spanked otherwise (which happened often, we are talking to a strong willed gal here!) Now, as I've matured in my walk, made it personal, swam through oceans of trials, I've seen that their way is HIS way. It actually, really works! Thankfully I never went through a serious "wandering" time. . .the Lord showed me these things gradually yet instantly as I grew. There is no room to doubt. When outsiders look in they see a 21 year old girl still living at home, LISTENING TO HER FATHER, heaven forbid, and doing weird, "old fashioned" things. Hate to break it to you, but this isn't the result of control. . .I want to live as I live. And gasp, I honor my upbringing.
With all this in mind, I do struggle. There are times when my will cries, "but dad, mom, I'm turning 21 in less then a month! A month, did you hear that?" Then God slams me in the face with the reality of His Word. It's rather chilling how He hand picks verses just when I need them. When I'm doubting. . .when "everyone else" assures me I'm wrong--that my parents are wrong. If you ask me these folks need to examine their hearts. Take the plank out of you're own eye!
Conviction and what it entails--the persecution is often evokes, seems to be a common topic here lately. Well. . .my heart has been so full because of recent trials, and when there are trials, what a better place to vent then one's blog? And in the process I want to encourage my readers. . I hope it's working! Guess what--no matter who you're father is, no matter how old you are, who you are--dad is always right. I love my dad with every ounce of my being, and I'm GOING to honor him! Remember, honor and obedience go hand in hand. It's worthless to honor without it's partner; "honor" and only "honor" is taking the cowards road, the--"well, I'm asked to do it. . .and I live here, so I do it"--road of self pity. Finding that contentment in Christ, and better yet, realizing that this obedience stuff actually has a point--will make that winding Walk straighter. Follow HIM!