How Would You Advise...? Part III
I have four illustrations with four essential questions that should be asked for each illustration. This is illustration 3.
A teenager has been slipping out of her house every Sunday evening to attend a nearby Catholic church youth meeting. She knows her mother would be angry if she found out that her daughter was going to this church, so she had had to do it secretly. The daughter feels that the activities at this Catholic church are a great help to her.
Should she continue secretly attending the Catholic Church? Or should she stop attending if her mother objects?
First Essential Question: Did They Have Mature Attitudes?
The teenager who began to secretly attend a near-by- Catholic Church had previously developed the attitudes of rebellion and self-will toward her mother. By responding properly to her mother, she would allow her mother to see that her old attitudes had changed as a result of attending the church, and she would be advancing the most powerful encouragement as to why her mother should allow her to continue attending the church.
2nd Essential Question: Did They Discern Basic Intentions?
The basic intentions of the teenagers mother were not to stop the girl from going to church but to develop obedience toward her parents. This obedience involved assuming responsibilities around the home rather than "running off all the time." the mother observed that some of the friends her daughter had met at this church were not obeying their parents and also condemned their parents for not being as "spiritual" as they were. She did not want her daughter to develop these attitudes.
3rd Essential Question: Did They Design Creative Alternatives?
Alternative For The Teen-Age Girl Were:
- Ask forgiveness of her mother for past attitudes and actions which were wrong.
- Commit her mother to the Lord prior to asking if she could attend the youth group, with the understanding that the Lord is able to speak to her through her mother.
- Determine ahead of time that she would silently thank the Lord for whatever decision her mother gave and continue to develop right attitudes in the home.
4th Essential Question: Did They Give God Time to Work In Changing Decisions?
The Teen-age girl agreed in prayer that she would willingly accept and thank the Lord for whatever answer her mother gave her. When she asked her mother if she could go to the youth group, her mother became extremely angry and said, "No. You can't go to that youth meeting! I want you to stay home tonight!" The girl gracious response was, "Is there something you would like me to do around the house tonight?" This response shocked her mother. In unbelief she commented, "Yes, Get out in the the kitchen and do the dishes.!"
The girl cheerfully began the project. Before she had finished, her mmother came into the kitchen and gruffly asked, "Do you have your homework done for tomorrow?" The daughter replie that it was completed. Minutes later, her mother returned to the kitchen and said, "Since you've done the dishes and your homework, I guess you can go to that meeting tonight; but make sure you're home by nine o'clock!"
The heart of the king ( a nations authority) are in Gods hand to direct. Parents hearts (the family authority) is also in Gods hand to direct.
As the divisions of waters, so the heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord: whither soever he will he shall turn it. (Proverbs 21:1)
When the ways of man shall please the Lord, he will convert even his enemies to peace. ( Proverbs 16:7)
God is not as nearly concerned with what we go through as He is with our response to what we go through. In all that He designs or allows us to experience, His chief concern is that oyur attitudes become consistent with those of His son, Jesus Christ. He was subject to the authority of His parents as He was growing up.
And whereas indeed he was the Son of God, he learned obedience by the things which he suffered: (Hebrews 5:8)
I understand that this illustration is an illustration of a perfect world. So remember each situation will be a bit different, but the questions that should be asked would still apply. The key to all of this is that when you have a difficult situation like this it is so very important for prayers and fasting, asking for Gods direction and His will in the matter.
No Matter how inconsistent or unfair those in authority may be, we are responsible for our responses to them. God can use those who are hardest to get along with to motivate us to develop mature attitudes.