Oh, did I type that outloud?
“And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” Mark 6:11
We raise them and then they grow up and move on. Sometimes they even move away. Sometimes they move away and move on and take our hearts with them… broken, left to heal without closure, without peace.
The pain inside of you is very real but then again so is theirs. It might be that it is misdirected at you or something else, but it is real and they are looking for validity of their feelings and if they don’t get it here, they will go somewhere else. So be it. That’s life.
Children in our American culture grow up entitled, misinformed and usually emotionally bankrupt. We “raise” them for the 2-4 hours that we are home following our 10 hour day at work and help them find “things to do” on the weekends so that we can do other things without them.
We don’t make demands on them because we feel guilty that we don’t spend time with them and we do not discipline them, for fear of public rebuke…. then we wonder why they don’t respect us and turn to others in hopes to find the “family” that they never had…
We make time for them, do things with them, and raise them up in the Biblically sound doctrines of the Bible-based church, we have church friends and we are at every ball game, we have family dinners, family gatherings and game night and then they turn 18 and something in their hearts change – they develop an attitude and its disrespectful, they change the way they dress and act and their friends are not even close to whom you would allow in your home and the list goes on and on…. our once perfect little children disappear and we have a “wild teen,” a rebel without a cause….
And there are many, many more scenarios – especially in our day of blended families and that “grass is greener” mentality that we seem to be born with – but no matter what the world says or some new-age ignorant of the Gospel church says the truth is that disrespect is not allowed and should not be tolerated.
I have counseled so many people who have become non-functioning adults; they are depressed, angry, bitter, and either sad and sorrowful or mean and hateful and all because one day… some time ago or repeatedly day by day… they (have) had their hearts broken and these people choose to remain broken.
They live in the land of pity and some even like it there so they stay and complain because they don’t have the “abundant life” that Jesus promises. You know these people….
They are the one who is “okayyyyyyyyyy….” followed by a heavy sigh every time you see them and ask how they are… They function but only for moments at a time – then they hear a song or read a scripture and instantaneously fall apart because it “reminds” them of their son/daughter…. or better yet- the sentiment comes across Facebook or Twitter….
Or is it when you look in the mirror?
Well… if you want to stay pitiful, you aren’t going to be blessed. Pity is pride that has manifested itself into a very ugly, sad, arrogant self-absorbed life. Jesus is not welcome there – unless He is stating facts that apply only to your ill-advised teenager…. nor is that a place He chooses to dwell. You have made someone or something else your “god” and Jesus tells us that “You shall have no other gods before me.”
No one understands rejection better than the man who was murdered as a result of public and private rejection- and that rejection started in his own earthly family – Jesus’ own brothers did not believe he was the messiah until after his death and consequent resurrection (John 1:5).
So what did Jesus do? He left. The Bible teaches us that he did not preach or teach in the community that he grew up in and that they even sought to kill him… talk about the ultimate rejection!
When Jesus was teaching his disciples to go out and fulfill the great commission – he told them that if they were rejected, if the message was not heard… to not only leave, but as a symbol to the entire community – they were to literally take off their sandals and “shake the dust from their feet…” What that means is they were to show the ultimate in disgust for that particular town or community that had rejected them – nothing has changed… we are still required to do the same.
Our American culture wants to teach “tolerance.” We want to teach that we are not to discipline our children, but to “let them be who they are…” Well, truth be known – our children, like ourselves, our sinners with what the Bible calls wicked and deceitful hearts and they need redirection, taming, guidance and … wait for it… CONSEQUENCES… there’s a word we don’t hear or practice in this country anymore….
So when you children have disrespected you, God, your home, your rules, are you giving out consequences or are you tolerating the behavior? Are you making excuses for them – or better yet…. getting angry, “laying down the law…” then posting about it on facebook and “requesting public prayer” then allowing them back into your life to berate you and disrespect you again? Or worse yet – laying down and taking the abuse?
That’s is what we Christians call… Sin.
Here are the Biblical rules: You are to love the Lord your God with ALL of your heart, mind, soul, (and spirit). You are to put no other God’s before Him. You are to raise your child up in the way he should go, so that he does not depart (minded, he might stray a little… but he will come “home” more on that in a minute). These are scriptures, by the way.
Are you mourning their sin?
Why? It’s theirs. Let it go. Let them go. Quit taking on the problems of your children’s sin and be an example of a Godly person – take off your sandals! Yep. That’s what I mean: Show them the door and don’t open it until they come back with a changed heart – and that, my friend is not a simple, “I’m sorry….”
I’m sorry doesn’t mean nothing – if it is not followed by a noticeable attitude and lifestyle change.
By the way, this does not just go for our adult children – this is for all family, friends, acquaintances, business associates, etc. Let their sin be theirs. Shake off the dust and get on with your life.
The Bible promises us that even if we blow it in the raising of our children – but they have made a decision to follow Christ – God will “uphold them in his righteous right hand…” If we, “train [our] children in the way they should go, they will not depart…” They will eventually come home – what you need to know and understand completely- is that “home” is wherever God determines that to be – it is not your choice and you will never have the power to change God’s plan – you are called to be obedient to Him and…
Here’s a wake-up call…
It might just be that He is using your adult child to get your attention… God demands our heart! Our whole heart, mind and spirit…
So in as much as you are praying for God to bring him (your child) to his knees…God might just be doing the same to you and your pride!
So let it go. Lay it down. Shake off the dust and let God be God. Worship Him and Him alone and let Him be God over your life and your child’s life and quit trying to do it yourself.