Saturday, January 7, 2012

Fathers, Daughters, Mothers, Sons

This is a copy of the devotions that I did for youth group recently.
Fathers, Daughters, Mothers, Sons

So is anyone else uncomfortable yet?.

So why pick a topic like this one? Maybe a little background for you guys. You know I do the Hopeline for DMLive.  The reason for starting that went along these lines. God blessed me with a great upbringing, stable family, no question that my parents loved me. If  I could share some of that stability with the kids calling the Hopeline, it would be a good thing I could do to build Gods kingdom. But something odd happened along the way, God used that experience to teach me about his grace, mercy and love. It also taught me something about being a parent.

A show of hands, who thinks their parents just don't get it? One of the things I found at the hope line, was that I tended to agree with parents most of the time. Not all the time mind you, but most of the time. And honestly that surprised me a bit. I wasn't expecting that. I really thought these kids would come from some messed up places. Some did, but some of what I heard was just parents and kids not figuring stuff out.

But parents and kids not getting along is something new right?
Matt 10:35 "for I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law...".
So 2000 years ago this was going on. Not far enough back?
Micah 7:6 same verse.
Let's go back a little further, Jacobs dream was Jon's topic two weeks ago. He received his birthright but deceiving his father, with the help of his mother.
What I'm trying to say here is that the conflicts between parents and their kids is as old as the human race. And it is a far too big topic to address on a Wednesday night.

But God gave us the perfect pattern to follow to be parents. He calls himself our father doesn't he? So why aren't parents perfect? Let's try something.
We have two easels here, I'm looking for three volunteers.
So one of you will give instructions to the other two. Use the instructions that you heard to recreate the picture that you envision being described. The end results looks nothing like what the instructions that where given.

In the same way that these pictures became distorted by the fact that the people drawing them didn't understand what they were drawing, parents don't always get it right either. They don't understand what they are being told, or they aren't paying attention, or they have a detail that they think is more important. Lots of reasons, but not what God intended. We, and you, can't  fix what's wrong with your parents. The only part of that relationship that you can control is you. And sometimes that is really hard.

So I'm just going to focus on a couple of specifics of the relationship. The topic tonight, was listed as fathers daughters mothers sons for a reason. In all the relationships that I watched at the hope line, these two were, in my mind anyway, incredibly important. These two relationships lay the framework for how your future relationships work. For starters these two relationships are one of the few you will have in your life, that don't have a sexual element to them. They give you a way to figure out how to interact with the opposite sex, without sex being part of the picture. So much of what happens in a marriage is just life. So watch how you young ladies interact with dad, and guys with mom. It matters to your future.

Guys, understand how dads feel about their daughters. It is the guy relationship that you will be judged against by the young lady that God brings into your life.
This past week I've been having a couple of conversations about asking a girls dad, for permission to marry her. Think of it as a matter of respect. Respect the relationship that she has with her dad, enough to ask him for her hand. It isn't a rule, but is a good idea.
Also understand that the relationship that you guys have with your mother will shape how you and your future wife interact. And guys, the girls are watching how you treat your moms, and the other women that you interact with. Can you say teachers?

Girls, the respect that you show you fathers, is something that someday you will share with your future husbands.

All of this just adds to the amazement that I have for God, and how incredibly he made us. He created all of these interactions.
 One time I told a young man at the Hopeline,"you want to know how amazing God is? He understands women."

And how wonderful is God? He created women.

But that is a topic for another night.....

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