"That they (the older women) admonish the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." Titus 2:4-5

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Birth (God) Control Part 4/ Wednesday Wifehood


If you're wondering how we got into this discussion, you can go to the first post here and follow along.


Sorry for taking so long again to respond. Down to the very last minute again...are you noticing that I am a notorious procrastinator?


Questions:
Do you believe God has given us the freedom to choose what course of action we take in life? If so, do you believe God predetermines the "right" choice in every circumstance, or are there some choices he leaves entirely up to us? For example, when you wake up in the morning, and you are trying to decide whether you want to eat eggs, or pancakes, do you believe there is a right and a wrong answer to that question in God's mind? Or do you believe that God doesn't really care which you choose, as long as you do it in a way that is most glorifying to him?

Answers:
Interesting thing happened tonight at Bible study/prayer. I was walking around behind Lizzy during the prayer (as I usually do) just watching her toddle around, dropping her toys, bending to pick them up, go where she shouldn't go. Tonight, we were studying Matthew.... 18 I think. About Jesus and the children and how we are to become like children. We are God's children and I can't tell you how much revelation and understanding of God's character, what a Christian's character should be and our relationship with God I've gotten since becoming a mom.

Thad and I have been struggling a lot lately, especially about feeling direction from God. He feels that he hasn't heard or felt any leading from God in quite a long time now and it's becoming frustrating for both of us. I've been getting the feeling from God that He's trying to teach Thad to start making wise, mature Christian choices about some things. We were reading in Hebrews the other night about "mature believers" in Hebrews 5:14- "But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." We both had to smile at the timing of us reading that passage recently.

Here's how I feel about this, take it or leave it. When we first become Christians, we are spiritual babies. Many of us are saved later in life (I was 19) and already have an established pattern of sin. To make righteous, holy or wise decisions is impossible for us. God has to lead us and teach us in EVERYTHING just as I took care of all Lizzy's needs and made all decisions for her. But she's growing up now. She's learning right from wrong. She's becoming independent. Tonight, I let her walk around, carry her little toys and make decisions about where she's going to walk. When she'd drop one of her toys, I wouldn't immediately pick it up for her, I'd wait to see if she could manage it. If she needed help, I'd give it. When she turned and started going the wrong way, I'd redirect her, or in some cases, completely relocate her. I'm starting to let her make her own decisions about little things that she can manage. I'm not going to let her drive the car next week. But I might let her try feeding herself with a spoon. And she's going to make a mess. But she'll be learning.

We are a lot like that as Christians. No, I don't believe in pre-determined "right" choices, but all choices have consequences, good or bad, that we will have to deal with and God knows what those consequences will be. Children often ask their parents for direction/advice. It would be bad parenting to NOT help our children and God' s not a bad Father. When we look at buying a car, I will probably call both my earthly father and Heavenly Father about it for advice. The choice will ultimately be Thad's and mine. We are the ones who will have to deal with the consequences, whatever they may be. I tell Lizzy "No" when she messes around with drawers and cupboards, because I know she's going to smash/pinch her fingers. But if she chooses to do it anyway, her fingers will get smashed and she'll learn something. But if she's reaching for a hot pot of boiling water, my reaction is going to be much firmer and more urgent; I will probably race to her and pick her up. If we are staying sensitive to the spirit and looking to our Father, I believe He won't let us go in a direction that could be very dangerous. God will give us warnings of dangerous ground, but it's up to us to listen or not. He doesn't force anything on us. But He loves us so much and promises to take care of us.

Thad and I strive to honor and glorify God with our lives and decisions. Thad is growing more mature as a Christian and is learning both from experience and God's word good from evil. The good, solid foundation has been laid and he is now able to begin making wise decisions. This is not to say that we shouldn't pray about things, seek God for direction or listen intently for Him, especially in very important issues (like if we are called to go to Turkey as missionaries). In smaller issues though, God may be nudging Thad to exercise his good foundation and discernment, to grow and be stretched. Or, maybe it's just a test to see if we'll patiently wait on God for direction. I'm not positive yet, but when we get through this season (as I know we eventually will!) and can look back in hindsight, I'll let you know. But these are my thoughts for now!

2 comments:

Ryan and Anna on October 10, 2008 at 7:03 AM said...

Janeen,

I think you've hit the nail on the head.

To take your analogy about a parent and a child one step further, imagine a child who has graduated from college, and who goes to their parents and says "I want to make sure my choice of occupation pleases you. What career should I choose?" A good parent would say "Why child, there is any number of careers you might choose that would please me. As long as you stay true to the values you have been taught as a child, you can do whatever you like."

So to, I think, it is with God in most circumstances. When we, as his children, need to make decisions about how to best order our lives, we should go to him for advice and see what he has to say. Sometimes he will have a specific task in mind. But oftentimes, I think the response will be "Why child, there is any number of paths you can take that would please me. As long as you stay true to my values, you can do whatever you like."

So far, I think, we are in agreement. For the next step, would you agree with me that the Bible does not specifically approve of or condemn birth control? You listed a lot of different biblical principles you believe should guide one's decision about birth control, but isn't it fair to say that none of them actually say "do not use birth control" - or something of the like - in so few words?

Christian Frugal Mama on October 15, 2008 at 11:48 PM said...

Hi. Sorry for taking so long to get back to you. I think I'm going to have to wait till tomorrow to write about this. Sorry, it's been crazy lately!

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