As for me and my house…..

Bear with me, please. I’m processing this “outloud.” The above Scripture – have we neglected to embrace the fullness of it? Is it more than a declaration we like to hang on our dining room walls?

Myderbe, Patricia and I have been hashing out the letter posted by Tim Challies, referenced in my previous blog. One of the things that I have been wrestling with is the whole concept of Christian freedom. I need to process this and Jeff is at work, so you guys are stuck with my rambling thoughts. (Sorry -feel free to run like the wind at this point)  Please – speak to me regarding this.  If you read anything that is Biblically unsound, PLEASE speak into it!!

I am a stay-at-home mom, who homeschools her 7 children. We generally eat natural foods (generally). We drink coffee here (generally). We have varied taste in music. We are theatre majors who love movies. I wear jeans. I have short hair. I wear make-up.

One of my dear friends is Amish. She stays at home. She has 8 children. She sends her children to school. She generally eats natural foods too (generally). They don’t touch coffee (generally). They have one taste in music – church music, in German. They have never been to the theatre, don’t know anything about movies, nor do they care to, they don’t even the electric to watch a movie if they wanted to. She only wears jeans in a blizzard…. under her dress…. if no one else can see her. She has hair to her ankles and the only make-up she has ever touched is lotion.

Yet, I love her and she loves me. I consider my life richer and better for the relationship. We do not agree about everything we discuss. There are some things we even strongly disagree about. She loves being Amish and would no more consider jerking over to English than I would consider becoming Amish. She is passionate about her Amish-ness, while I am equally passionate about my English-ness. This does not make her right and me wrong, nor vice versa.

Soooo, if I can extend such grace to Rachel, why do I struggle when I hear of friends who have been stay at home moms say they’re going to get a job? Why do I shudder when I hear of Sisters in the Lord who are putting their wee ones into daycare to “get a break”?

I *think* I have been growing in wisdom, (along with the growing in years and gray hairs) and here is where my thoughts are trailing these days…. When the Lord calls me and/or my household to a certain way of life, being the innately lazy creatures that we are, He graciously gives us these unctions, along with a fair dose of passion. Without that passion, I do not believe I would have the will/character to simply press in on the hard days to do what is “right” for our family. (Speaking as someone who knows herself too well!)  I NEED that passion to do what I’m called to do.

I then believe,  that I take that unction plus passion and somehow create “law” in my heart/mind. Therefore, what the Lord has called us to, suddenly seems as though it is only right that all y’all (in honor of Shannon and Tiffany)  😉  should be doing the same thing.

Now, here’s the sticky part. There ARE things in Scripture that are not gray! There simply are. If I were to tell you I was harboring anger, the MOST loving thing you could do would be to confront my sin. (Ditto dealing with lust, greed and numerous other sins) But the key for me is keeping in mind the difference between calling and commandment.

Why can I not allow my Brothers and Sisters to live their lives according to the plans that Father has for them and not living the world according to Dawn? I am suspicious it is a mixture of fear, lack of faith/trust and control. I’d LOVE to tell you it’s my loving kindness. I’d like to think that it’s because I love you so much that I want you to have the “perfect” life. That’s what I’d like to think. (I’d also like to think that the smell emanating from the diaper here by me is really just a scent wafting in from the farmer’s fields nearby, too.) When the rubber hits the road, however, I am suspect of my heart.

I am suspicious that it is a lack of trust in you AND a lack of trust in Father – you to make the “good” choices and Father to lead you into them.  If that wasn’t my true heart, why would I wig when you come to me and tell me that you – after prayer – have decided to do thus and such.  Thus and such is not an issue of sin – so why am I judging you for your decision?! Why do I think I am in a position to determine what Father has called you to?!!!  (And I AM guilty of this, have no doubt!!)

Yes, there are some things that I personally think are best – IF the Lord is not speaking specifically to your family.  BUT more than ANYTHING else, we each need to seek and hear from Father for our own households.  Then we can truly say, “As for me and my house….. “

14 Responses to “As for me and my house…..”
  1. winkies6 says:

    Hmmm, maybe I won’t tell you what I’ve been contemplating. 😉 I know it’s hard because what’s good for the goose is not always good for the gander…. your medicine may not work the same way on me… God’s plan for my life is not the same plan he has for your’s. 🙂 ((((HUGS)))) Life doesn’t make sense all the time.

  2. myderbe says:

    Dawn, I like it when you think out loud. Those are the same thoughts I’ve been having. It’s been a slow process for me. Probably because our Father knows how hard my head is.

    I agree with you about blatant sin. But issues that aren’t spelled out and that are left up to conviction and personal leading . . . well, isn’t it obvious that the way I’ve been convicted and led is the best way? 🙂

    I also think you hit the nail on the head about God’s giving us passion to go along with the calling. Good point that I hadn’t thought of before. But, boy oh boy, am I tempted to misuse that passion!

  3. Patricia says:

    I am VERY suspect of *my* heart, Dawn! It is only God’s grace that keeps me out of the pit, because my heart will drag me into one at every opportunity, I fear. Have you been reading Mark Lauterbach’s series on being “censorious” at the Gospel Driven Life?

  4. Violet says:

    I find it most difficult to live out letting the Lord lead in His own way and time when dealing with those closest to me, i.e. my family – especially my adult children! When we’ve trained them so well in all the “right” things, how can they ever go in a different direction and expect God’s blessing (oh, how blind I am and how doubtful of God’s goodness and sovereignty!)? I have learned so much about my own depraved heart and blatant lack of trust in God’s loving, gracious heart in this past year, that you would think this would no longer be an issue. But, alas, I’m back again to preaching the gospel to MYSELF everyday and praying for the grace to leave others in His hands.

  5. Tiffany says:

    Fantastic thoughts dawn! My question is then how do we graciously discuss these different options of Christian liberty graciously? Or if someone has said “I prayed about it and felt lead to do such and such” is our only answer to be “Ok. God be with you” ?

    In reading the discussion over at Challies I found most of it to be of a very gracious give and take- here are my reasons-here is why I think differently- here are the facts I am looking at- here I the facts I am looking at, sort of way. And yet both Tim and his wife were taken a back at the response, and at least some what upset, as were others who participated in the discussion. I don’t know how it could have been done differently on the web though. Should the subject be avoided all together? (I mean, Spunky left the web, what really is the point blogging about HS, right? 😉 )

    I love getting other people’s perspectives on things, and then once we’ve shared leave it at a mutual understanding that we are at different places and called to different things. I’d hate to give up the discussion just because we both go into the conversation confident of where we are at. I suppose I presume that anyone who starts such a conversation feels that way too. Maybe it is a faulty assumption.

    *sigh* so confused…..

    still, fantastic thoughts from you (and the rest of y’all as well) and ones I would do well to remember.

  6. myderbe says:

    Tiffany, some people don’t really want to know what I think or why I think differently than they do. I know . . I know . . . I find it difficult to imagine too. 🙂 hee hee But some people want to have their opinion or perspective and not be challenged or questioned or invited to discuss it. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way.

  7. javadawn says:

    md, But that’s not US! We ALWAYS want to hear from you! 😀

    Tiffany, you know I do think that sometimes the response we need to give is “Ok, God be with you!” There are many times (looking back – that old hind sight is an amazing thing) that I wish I would have said that and SHET MAH MOWTH!!!!! AND gone to prayer on their behalf. I can not quite figure out why, after 40-some years, I STILL think it’s my place to be the Holy Spirit for so many people. (ESPECIALLY my kids…..but that’s fodder for another blog, altogether!!!)

    Violet, my dear, gentle friend, may we ALWAYS be preaching the Gospel to ourselves. My soul needs the daily encouragement!!

    Patricia, No, I haven’t read his series, but I have now run into it in a few different places. (Nothing like ignoring blatant hints. If I keep it up, next step, I imagine is that Mr Lauterbach is going to EMAIL it to me!!!!!)

    W6…. Ok, God be with you! 😉 😆

  8. myderbe says:

    You mean I’m not supposed to be my husband’s Holy Spirit? Not my good friend’s Holy Spirit?

    A Christian I know was pastoring in a church and he would often eat at a Mexican restaurant in that town. He loved Mexican food. Well, just about any Mexican restaurant also serves alcoholic drinks, and there were some in his congregation who thought it was not right to eat at an establishment that serves alcohol. After talking ABOUT him for quite some time, someone finally got up the nerve to confront him on this issue. He said, very firmly but lovingly, that he didn’t see anything wrong with eating there and that if they thought he was truly doing something immoral and antibiblical, then would they please just pray for the Holy Spirit to convict him and bring him to their level of spiritual maturity.

    Well, I bet some people would have liked to tell me that in the past — “stop pestering me, stop debating me, and just pray for me to be as in-tune with God as you apparently are, smartie pants.” 🙂

    A “God be with you” would probably be much better. 🙂

  9. javadawn says:

    md, Only on the 8th Tues of each month. 🙂 Then I’m certain God would want you to serve in the position of Holy Spirit.

    You know, when I think back to times that I was likely walking out of sync with Father, if people would have said, “Ok, God be with you” – and did it in such a way that I didn’t feel judged or criticized (not the way I would likely say it, “Ok, if that’s what you’re gonna do, then God be with you, cause you’re GONNA NEED IT.) 😉 – it’s a whole lot more likely that I would have been able to hear from Father and return to walking with Him faster. Doesn’t that thought cause me to pause and tremble in fear………?????

    AND here’s another thought for you – if I were truly willing to trust Father with your life, then wouldn’t this mind set of “Ok, God be with you.” allow us to have more open and intimate interaction with one another?

    Isn’t that REALLY part of what draws people to the internet? I’m not really sitting right across from you – so I feel more freedom is sharing more deeply of who I am – since I can’t see you judging me in your eyes. (Does anyone but me ever feel that way?!!!)

    SO, if we’re allowing one another that freedom to be what God has called them to and not what our expectations are calling them to, wouldn’t we be ready to open our lives up to one another to allow them access to the truly deep issues of our lives, the place where we’re most likely to hide our sin, anyway?!! Would that kind of loving acceptance not open the door to repentance? Is this not what Scripture means when it says that it’s God’s KINDNESS that leads us to repentance.

    (Sorry y’all if you’ve made all these connections LONG ago – I’m just putting the dots together this morning. Maybe I should audition for one of those McDonald’s commercials – when they suddenly wake up and realize they’ve got a life??? OH, that’s right, I forgot, you don’t have a TV in your house.) 😉 😉 😀

  10. javadawn says:

    OH CRICKEY!! Here’s another thought for you, as I “walked away” :

    And is it not interesting, that in light of the fact that I’m going to go to a party tomorrow night, filled with young women who work, run around with their friends and have lots of tatoos (either that or they are Amish. Pretty much sums up the crowd…either way, I don’t fit in.) 🙂 that the Lord is dealing with me re: Christian freedom and not responding to others in judgement?!!! What is it that whimsy said?? Zing, bullseye and she’s down!

  11. Violet says:

    Here are some quotes from Oswald Chambers that have been helpful to me concerning this issue.

    “How do I deal with a sinful soul? do I remember who I am, or do I deal with him as if I were God?…To know that the truth is applicable to another life is a sacred trust from God to you, you must never say anything about it….Remember, in estimating other lives there is always one fact more you don’t know…If we realize the intense sacredness of a human soul in God’s sight we will no longer romp in where angels fear to tread, we will pray and wait. Never talk for the sake of making the other person see you are in the right, talk only that he may see the right…When you are brought face to face with a case of happy indifference pray for all you are worth, but let him alone with your tongue – the hardest thing for an earnest Christian to do…Never give a soul the help God alone should give; hand him right on to God…Our duty is to present God, and never get in the way even in that.”

  12. Tiffany says:

    Oh wow, violet….good quote….on that note I may have to close down my blog…..

  13. daproffessor says:

    great stuff here…I always enjoy when people ramble out loud…that is when we get a chance to see what is really going inside;)…I am not an expert…but I have learned several things in this regard…one is that whenever we are not in control…we try to control others…sometimes it is subtle and other times it is overt and obvious. secondly how we interact with people and respond to them gives us an indication of where we really are with God…

    all in all I enjoyed reading this…
    Peace & God Bless

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] It seems that I keep bumping into the theme of Christian liberty. JavaDawn has this great post. Storbakken has a good post and comment section about Christmas trees that ends up being more about Christian liberty than Christmas trees, I think. And Tim Challies has written about how we school our children, which winds up being about Christian liberty as well. We are also studying Romans 14 in my Sunday School class. And this subject is certainly one the Holy Spirit has been chiseling away at my heart about for quite some time now. So, bear with me as I share my rambling thoughts with you. […]

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