Today's sermon was absolutely wonderful! An Australian accent mixed with humor and truth made for a delightful, amusing, healing, and fresh change of pace. The kids were laughing, we were laughing and we all learned a HUGE lesson this morning!
*We have been struggling lately with the decision to put our children in Children's Church. We are torn between what "today's" standards are for family worship, and our belief that a family should and needs to worship together. So many tell us that the only thing they learned sitting in church was to be quiet or you get pinched, glared at, etc. Or, that they learned nothing from sitting for an hour while wishing they weren't in service.
Today confirmed our belief that our children WILL sit in church with us! They sit quietly, minus Shelby which stays in the nursery, and are quite pleasant during service and today were fully involved in the sermon. It was amazing! Dr. Allan Meyer shared how even the best of the best in the Bible were "bad" people. They went from "good" to bad within a few chapters. Here is our outline:
1. Noah was a good man. *Genesis 6:9
2. Noah was a bad man. *Genesis 9:20-25
3. It was is son who paid the price. *Genesis 9:20-25
This is a paradox, but it was the
child who needed to be able to handle it.
4. King David was a good man. *2 Samuel 1-10
5. King David was a bad man. * 2 Samuel 11-18
6. It was his sons who paid the price.
This is a paradox, but it is the children who
needed to be able to handle it.
7. How do you honor a defective parent? *Exodus 20:12
"Honor your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord
your God is giving you."
8. The key is the word "Kabed"- to give weight- but not only to the good. Both positive and negative issues.
9. On the positive side, we need to learn the skill of gratitude.
10. On the negative side, we need to learn the skill of forgiveness.
Two things that can help you learn and apply this skill:
A. Do a treasure hunt.
B. Understanding their wiring, and their history.
*An example he gave was: One day as a kid, he went and bought a new tube for his bike tire. When his father got home he grabbed a branch off a tree and gave him a good "whipping" is what he called it (the one and only time he ever did this). His father never explained why he did it, or talked with him about the situation. From that day on he decided that his father was a man to fear. "It was just a tube for a tire!" in his mind. But, in his father's mind, his fear that his son was going to be a wasteful man when he was grown, was the drive for his reaction. To explain his history...his father had 9 siblings and lived during World War 2. So for his father, the most foolish thing his son could have done was take money out of his savings and pay full price for a new tube, instead of being wise and fixing the flat one. Hence the "understand their history".
So many of us demand that our parents give us something to be grateful for. Our hearts should be thankful for the fact that they chose Life! If that is the only good thing your parents did in your life, that's enough. We live today with all these expectations of privilege, when we are called to Honor our Fathers and Mothers without expectation. Parents (usually) do their best. If they didn't, it doesn't give you the right to harbor bitterness and unforgiveness towards them. God says "Honor you father and mother..." Not "Honor your father and mother if you see that they are a qualified and have done what "you" think is deserving."
*Dr. Allan did a treasure hunt on his parents. What he found out was life changing.
Here are some ?'s for you:
- Have you ever thanked your father for working hard all his life to provide the home, food, and clothing that you had?
- Have you ever thanked your mother for carrying you in her womb?
- Have you ever thanked her for all those meals she made?
- Have you ever thanked your father for coaching your sport teams?
- Have you ever thanked him for sacrificing his youth for your comfort?
- Have you ever thanked your parents for tucking you in at night?
The list could go on and on. Yet, we focus on the things that they didn't do! Most parents are good willed people. Not perfect, just good willed.
*It's your responsibility to take that disappointment, honor it, and then lay it at the cross for Christ to heal you. It's not your parents job. Stop blaming and be proactive about it. Christ is the only one who can change you. You do this in order to not repeat the offense or action with your children. Even though we don't mean to do it, we act/repeat our parents. This is how a baby can learn to speak. They absorb everything their parents are doing. No one sat there and showed them the grammar of English language. They witnessed it, and did it. If your parents argued a lot, you will most likely argue in your marriage. If your parents divorced, you are at a higher risk of becoming divorced. If a parent shut down when angry, you'll probably do the same. If your parent yelled, you'll probably be a yeller. If your parent wasn't self-controlled, you most likely not have self control. You repeat what you see. It's a simple as that.
A paradoxical person is someone who was doing well and fell into sin.
The definition of paradoxical is: Contradictory, inconsistent, self-contradictory, puzzling, baffling, incomprehensible.
Doesn't that sound like most all of us? At least at some point in our lives? That is why it is so important that we follow Exodus 20:12 because the best is yet to come! Again, it comes down to forgiveness from your heart.
I challenge you to do a treasure hunt for your parents. I bet you'll be surprised at how long it is! Send it to your parents and leave it at that. You shouldn't expect a thank you, or response of any kind. That's not what this is about. It's about honoring the ones who you are called by God to honor. Can you argue with HIM? Nope you can't. Wouldn't you want to know what your children were thankful for with you? I do! I know that I would be surprised at what my children put on their lists. It's not going to be thank yous for gifts or things of that nature but, things like, time you said they did a nice job on a project, or the kiss you gave them for being them, or your cheering for them at their baseball game. Those are the things they will remember, that you most likely wouldn't have given a second thought to. But, it's their memories, their prospective on their life. And, we all look at life from a different angle!