Friday, February 27, 2009

Following Free. . .

In this world. . .

but not of it.

So, how do we know where to draw the line? I like precision. perfection. But, God asks us to read His word, to seek His face, to trust and obey. And, that looks different for you and for me. He didn't call all of us to send our kids to Christian schools. He didn't call all of us to go overseas as missionaries. He didn't call all of us to live in really cool towns with megachurch pastors that inspire us to live like Christ daily. He called us to different places and different missions. And, that is really hard for me.

Ever since I became a mom, it has been a huge passion of mine. And, I have wanted to do it well. I spent the first two or three years begging God each morning to send me a mommy mentor. I wanted someone who lived close to me that I could meet with on a regular basis, someone who could inspire me, someone that I could imitate. But, my prayer was never answered. No Godly mama came out of the woodwork of my small town and asked me to follow her as she followed Christ. And, a few years ago God revealed something to me about all this. Basically, He said, "If I had given you what you asked, you would have followed her and not Me. I called you to something unique to you. Now keep your eyes on Me."

I tend to obsess over purity. This world is amazingly corrupt, and I long for my boys to be pure. But, you can't even watch a football game anymore without seeing commercials, cheerleaders, things that could lead their sweet little minds astray. And, that drives me crazy. I really like the whole raise them in a bubble idea. It seriously appeals to me, but unfortunately it is completely unrealistic.

I watched the Dugger boy get married on TLC's 17 Kids and Counting a few weeks ago. And, in many ways it reminded me of Erik and I. Although, we had kissed a few times before our wedding day. Not many times though, Erik wanted so badly for both of us to be pure that he would call off all kissing from time to time. But, anyway, I couldn't get that silly Dugger boy off my mind for several days.

Then, I went to lunch with my friend Sara. And, we spent a lot of the meal talking about King David and Queen Esther. We discussed our views of purity, and asked each other questions like, "How could God call David a man after His own heart after what he had done?" We discussed different things in the Old Testament like men that had several wives, or kings with concubines, things that baffle us. And, thoughts of our conversation followed me through the next couple of days.

And, over the next week, because I am seriously obsessed with my sons' purity, I continued to ponder all these things. In my mind I compared and contrasted my Erik with the Dugger boy. Erik grew up in New Orleans by parents who were not overly strict. They trusted their boys a good bit. He went to a Christian private school, Christian in name only, I assure you, and he was allowed to date without chaperones. And, the Dugger boy grew up homeschooled and very much monitored by his loving parents ~ little to no TV and limited access to the internet, and no dating ~ he found his wife through courtship. The two have marked differences in their background.

But, yet both were pure when they married. And, both claim to love God. And, I can honestly say that no one has ever been more of a picture of Christ to me than my husband. He is a selfless soul. He loves God with passion and not just words. He lives it daily. Period. And, if I knew the Dugger boy, I'd probably say the same thing about him.

So, now I am going to attempt to come full circle in my thoughts. As I watched the Duggers, part of me wanted to pull Joshua out of school and home school him, to shelter him as they do their children. But, then I thought of my Erik and how he has impacted lives all along the way from his early school days to his medical residency days. His residency director said it best when he said of Erik at his residency graduation ceremony, "Erik is the gospel in tennis shoes." He is Christ to others at church on Sunday and Christ to others on his 3rd night of call in a week. He leaves an impression everywhere he goes. And, if I knew the Dugger boy, I'd likely say the same thing about him.

So, what does God have for my boys?

I'm just not sure. But, I know one thing. It is for them to be like Christ, to walk like Him and talk like Him and act like Him at home, at school, at work, in all of their lives, in every single moment of every single day, breath by breath.

And, though I know that it is God's will for my boys to be pure, to remain pure, holy, set apart in this corrupt generation, I also know that just like with King David and Queen Esther, He is much more interested in their hearts, in their relationship with Him than He is in their legalistic purity. I say this not at all to downplay purity. It is my desire that my boys are able to experience what Erik and I have been blessed to experience going into our marriage pure. But, it is my even greater desire that they experience a true, genuine, intimate, daily, walking breath by breath relationship with their Creator.

So, I guess what God showed me through all of this is that He calls each of us to follow Him daily, to walk with Him, and to allow Him to lead us wherever He desires to lead us. And, if that means that God wants us to pull Joshua out of school next year and home school him and teach him daily what it means to walk with Christ and not just go to church or walk an aisle, then, glory to God, we are all there! And, if God leads Erik and I to keep Joshua in school, to trust Him to walk with our little man there, and through the years, to use our little man as a catalyst there, then, glory to God, we are all there, too!

I guess this is what freedom in Christ is all about, but, man, is it hard for me. Most days I'd prefer a book of dos and don'ts. Following a plan, a schedule, a list is easy but following Christ that is an entirely different thing! He is like the wind, blowing to and fro, wherever He chooses. Unpredictable. Reckless. Free. Following Him takes discipline, focus, and a humble, teachable heart. It takes being quiet in a very loud world. It takes love and patience. It takes perseverance. It takes all I have, all that I am, and that is exactly what He desires of me.

He has more faith in me than I do in myself that is for sure!

Goodness, I love Him!


Jill said...

This is such a challenge as a mother and a Christian to allow my chidren to walk in the world but keep their hearts and mind on things above.
We sent our first to a private Christian school for kindergarten. It did not work for him or us; he was not challenged enought, we thought the school was not challenging his faith enough.
We are now in the public school. It was scary at first. It was the right choice for him on both an acadmeic and spiritual level.
He's been challenged to keep the faith, he's leading others to a deeper love of god. He's bold. Courageous and Jives to Toby Mac.
You can't make a wrong choice.
God will lead you.
You are doing a great job.

Sun said...

I homeschool - we have three girls. I am the only one out of all but one of my friends and the only one in my family (in fact my mom is a public school teacher). To homeschool or not - to choose private school or not (I went to a private school for my first six years and then public) is such a personal decision. You CANNOT fail doing what you are doing - seeking the hand of God. You have such a beautiful and humble heart that loves God and loves your sweet family - I am continually inspired when I come here to read your blog. You have impacted my parenting and my walk. I do not know you personally - I came here from Sarah's blog a long time ago - (I just love her too) and I have been continually blessed by you - thank you for sharing your heart! Sunshine

Kelly said...

beautiful. I don't even have kids yet and purity is a huge concern of mine. But, I really think you said truth there. God has got it, as long as we are following Him.

Matt Mooney said...

i love the name of your blog as well as the name of this post. thanks for posting on our blog so that i could find yours & be so blessed by your words.
ginny mooney

FaceforGrace said...

So true, all of it. Beautiful post. I certainly have no answers, but I know that God will lead you in the way He desires for you to go.

Sarah said...

Beautiful post, sweet friend. :)

Brittani's Holding Little Hands said...

I loved this post! It gives me such good perspective as I pray about Park's schooling choices in the next few years.

I can relate so much to your desire for purity for your boys, but I loved what you wrote...He is much more interested in their hearts, in their relationship with Him than He is in their legalistic purity."

Thanks for the great insight!

Bree said...

What a great post-thank you:) I can so very much relate, desiring the same for our boys. I watched in amazement the Duggar's son court and get married and had that brief moment of "for real?!" and then "could that be possible?" My husband and I did not grow up in Christian homes and sadly did not follow this path (and more sadly, probably would have laughed at the idea.) But praise the Lord for HIs mighty grace and mercy, here we are trying our best to raise these precious boys the Lord has blessed us with in a Christian home, learning to love and be loved by our precious Jesus! Yes, I want our boys to court, to be pure, to enter into a marriage without all of the "baggage", to know their worth and the worth of God's precious daughters. In regards to school, we homeschooled, public school, homeschooled and now back to public school. the two oldest are only in 2nd and 1st but yes, it tore at my heart, sending them into the "world" and not keeping them home. But in all this, God is teaching me it is His will, not mine and He gave hubby and I the peace when we finally made the decision to put the boys back in school. So will we homeschool again...I don't know, would I like to, yes, but do I want to go against my Father's will, no. I have the peace in all of it, to know He is so much bigger than me and He loves these boys more than we could even imagine. And yes, He loves hubby and I more than we could imagine, that He hears our hearts desires, and He will lead us in what is best for His precious children. Thank you for the lovely perspective! God is so good!
God bless:)

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Hi! I live in a sweet country home overflowing with love, laughter, and little ones. I have been blessed to journey these days beside a man that I love, respect, and admire. He is my soul-mate and best friend. Together we are seeking to raise our seven children to be lovers of God, to be wise and discerning, and to be all that our sweet God created them to be. I am in the goldfish and cheerio stage of life, but I am keenly aware that these days are slipping right through my hands. This blog is my attempt to keep our memories safe for years to come.


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