Right Relations / Family Relations / The Parent Child Relationship

Well here is the next piece in the puzzle of my project Right relations. Sometime I wonder if anything I am writing makes any sense or if I am just rambling. So I hope that those of you who are taking time to read along as I continue on this journey are finding things that are helpful to you. Please feel free to make any comments or suggestions as you feel inspired to do. This is a work in progress.

Family Relations/The Parent Child Relationship

Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” (NLT)
Leviticus 19:3 “Each of you must respect his mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the LORD your God.” (NIV)
Deuteronomy 5:16 “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” (NIV)

These are only 3 verses on how children must act towards their parents, yet they show the importance of the relationship between a child and their parent. Now do we stop obeying this commandment when we become adults? The answer is no. What if you parents are not good to you as you are growing up and even when you become an adult, does this mean you do not have to keep this commandment? If you read what God has instructed us to do, you will see there is nothing said about the parent’s behavior. It simply tells us to honor our mother and our father and by doing this you add to your life. Why does God care about your relationship with your earthly parents? It is not like you were given a choice who your mother and father would be. Yet these two people made a choice and you were conceived.
I do not know what your childhood was like. Some have loving and caring parents. Then there are those of you who did not have bad parents, they made sure you had what you needed as far as food, clothes, shelter, and other things. Yet they were gone a lot, they worked long hours to provide for your needs, but had little to no time for you. Then there are those of us who grew up in unstable and abusive homes. Maybe you were not the one getting abused, but you watched one parent hurt the other repeatedly. Your house was filled with anger, hate and fear. Some knew about the affairs their mother or father was having and this made you angry but there was nothing you could do. Then there are the ones who were raised by a single parent, which used to mean you were raised by your mother, but in today’s times you could have been raised by your father. For whatever reason they were left to raise you alone, and how much they showed you they loved you, there was still something missing.
I know I have not covered the entire list of dysfunctional childhoods, but you can see by this list that there are many reasons to question this commandment. How do you honor a parent that is neglectful, abusive, absent, selfish, and cheats to name a few character flaws some parents have?
How can you respect or honor someone you are afraid of? You may love them because they are your parent and you are desperate for them to love you back. Yet they have hurt you in ways that leave your angry or depressed and feeling worthless. You may do everything right, and never speak an angry word or ever talk back. Yet you cannot trust them. You live in fear of how they are going to hurt you, your siblings, or your other parent. Where is the honor in this?
You have been raised by your single parent. Some are so loving and do twice as much to make up for the lack of the other parent not being there that you do not doubt you are loved and that they will do anything to make you happy. You have no problem loving or respecting this parent, but what about the absent parent? The one who left you behind,. Whether it was before or after you was born. How do you respect or honor them? They haven’t been any part of your life, or they just show up on rare occasions, and you don’t have a relationship with them other than a biological one. So why do we even care about this person?
Unfortunately the actions of our parents are not controlled by us or by God. They have free will to choose how they live their lives. This does not always have a positive effect on our lives. We grew up watching how our parents treated each other and then how they treated us. If it was good it had a good effect on most of us behaved ourselves. Yet there are some that no matter how good their parents were they still acted out, hurting themselves and those around them. Why I cannot tell you. Then those who grew up in the unstable and dysfunctional homes it had an effect on the person we were. Some grew up to be exactly like our parents. We became victims to others just like our parents, or we lived angry, abusive, neglectful, selfish, with no self control. Either jumping from relationship to relationship or ending up in an abusive relationship of our own. Then others who grew up in these types of homes worked harder to get away from this life and made a good life for themselves.
So whether your home was good, loving and stable or it was broken and unstable it did affect the choices you made, and the relationships you formed. For some the effect was positive and we made the best choices and learned to live happy and productive lives, but still have difficulties trusting people, and honoring your parent may seem like it is not worth the effort.
So why is this command repeated throughout the Bible? Right now it I see it as a reflection of how we are to relate to God. He is called our Heavenly Father. Yet how we relate to our earthly parents effects how we relate to Him. Even the people who have the loving and nurturing parents can still have difficulty relating to Him. Not because they had a hard life, they had wonderful childhoods, so good they cannot see beyond their parents. Yet for a large number of us who grew up abused, abandoned, neglected, etc… we have difficulties seeing a loving Heavenly Father when we got stuck with jerks for parents. You may wonder how He could love you and stick you with parents who were going to hurt you? I cannot answer for Him but I will say He did not take away their free will, and He is not responsible for their actions. They chose how they lived and how they treated others. The other thing I want to tell you is that, no matter what you lived through, both good and bad He was always there and He still is. Which reminds me of a song that even thinking about still brings tears to my eyes? “A Sad Little Girl” Look it up and listen to it, if you have never listened to it before. It will tell you about how in the darkest time of this little girl’s life Jesus was there for her.
So how can we honor and respect our Heavenly Father when we do not honor or respect our parents here on earth? We can’t. Honoring and respecting anyone does not mean we have to be there door mat or punching bag. We do not have to allow ourselves to be abused in anyway. Like the old saying goes, ‘Two wrongs do not make a right.’ Just because they have done you wrong does not mean you have to return wrong for wrong. Some ways we can honor or respect the parents who failed at being good parents is by not speaking in hateful or hurtful words about them or to them. This does not mean you have to pretend like they never did anything to hurt you, and you can share what has been done to you because this is your testimony. Just speak the truth without hate or bitterness. For those of you who think this is impossible remember this verse.’ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ I also want to let you know that I have not perfected this in my own life but I am putting in the effort, and doing as the Apostle Paul said, ‘ I have not yet finished the race but I press forward until I reach the goal.’
For me to have a good relationship with my Heavenly Father I am going to have to work on the relationships with the parents I have here. This includes the relationship with my mother who is no longer alive. Just because she is gone the relationship we had still plays a major role in my relationship with Christ.

Questions to think about;

What does honor and respect mean to you?

Do you have problems trusting people, and does this go back to your childhood?

How do you see yourself?

Are you depressed, angry, or are you happy and and at peace with yourself?

Have your need to forgive your parents?

Have you forgiven yourself?

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Bending/Your Will or God’s Will

God is who he is. The Great I Am. He does not change, His Word does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The only bending He does is to bend down to pick us up. He does not break His commands nor does He change them. The ones who try to change what God has commanded is the enemy and man. We say it is okay to do things that His Word says is wrong because He understands what we are going through and that we don’t have a choice. He forgives us and we are under His grace. We try to bend His Word to fit how we want to live, when we should be allowing His Word to transform us to His will.

Something to think about.

Take a moment and think about the serpent and Eve. Do he strange out lie to her or did he bend the truth to deceive her,that eating the fruit would not harm her? Now what things do we as Christian’s do that bend His truth, believing that we are doing something good and that we are not hurting anyone?

Is it time for a change of your name?

As you read through your Bible you find that names were changed by God. In Genesis 17:5 You read that God change Abram to Abraham and in verse 15 Sarai becomes Sarah. Jacob becomes Israel, Simon becomes Peter, and Saul becomes Paul are just a few names that were changed by God.

So why the name change? When a woman marries a man she then takes on his family name which identifies her as his wife. Think about that we are called the bride of Christ. Who we were before we came into the knowledge and relationship with Jesus is now a part of our past. That is who we used to be, but now we are made new by Jesus.                 2 Corinthians 5:17  (NKJV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.                                       Isaiah 43:18 “Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past.
Ezekiel 36:26″Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Most of us still identify with the person we were and still hold onto the traits of the person we were before we received Christ Jesus as our Savior and repented of our sins. When we repented, we turned from our sinful way of living and turned to Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father but through Him.

I can try to change my behavior on my own, but this is nothing more than what is called behavior modification. My actions have changed but the desire to do the things I once did is still there. There are two things that I need, but not limited to, and they are (1) The heart of Christ Jesus.  James 4:8  – Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse [your] hands, [ye] sinners; and purify [your] hearts, [ye] double minded. 1 Samuel 16:7  – But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for [the LORD seeth] not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. (2) I need the mind of Christ. For how I think and see things are not how God sees or thinks. Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

I have to make the decision to submit to God and allow Him to transform me into the creation He wants me to be so that I can better share the love of Jesus and testify what God has done for me through His Son Jesus. How He changed my life in ways that I never could on my own.

Questions;

If God changed your name today, what do you think He would change it to?

What part of the old you are you holding onto? (like an old pair of jeans that do not fit anymore but you hold onto because one day they might fit again)

 

 

 

Seeds, Trees, and Growth /January 3, 2017

This small grapefruit tree was grown from a seed that came from a grapefruit given to me from a person who had a tree in their garden in Florida. The the original tree was in Florida this new tree is here in Bridgeport Texas. The fruit did not make it here own its own. A person took the fruit from the tree in their garden and brought it here a few years back. They then shared the fruit from their tree and that is how I received the fruit. I ate the fruit and took the seed and then planted it. I did not know that it would grow but God blessed the seed and it did grow and it continues to grow. It has not grown large enough to produce fruit yet but it is still growing. Now think about the seeds and fruits written in the Bible. For a seed to to grow it must be planted and then cared for. You do not just toss it on the ground and expect it to do anything. You first take the seed from the fruit, then you prepare the soil it will be planted in. You then make sure it is watered and that it gets the sunlight it needs so that it may grow. Then as it grows you prune off any dead leaves or branches. It does not grow over night and will need for you to continue to care for it so that it may continue to grow. Now think of the seeds that have been planted in you, the scriptures you have taken in, and the ones you have planted. You have to care for these seeds to see them grow in you and in the ones you have planted. If you neglect these seed they will not grow and if you do not care for them once they have begun to grow they will wither and die.
So what are you doing with the seeds God has given to you?
Food to grow on.
God bless.IMG_0004

Get Knocked Down, Get back Up Again / January 2, 2018

Who has never been knocked down? We all have. We do our best and still get knocked down from time to time. Do we stay down? Some of us do spend sometime wallowing in the pit we fell in, but we don’t stay down. Sometimes to get back up we need the help of another. Yet we get up wipe the dirt or mud off and keep pressing forward. Yet it is so easy when you get knocked off track to go back or to get lost. We forget we are not alone, and that God will never leave or forsake us. This I am grateful for today. I took a good hit this morning when my work hours took a serious cut without any notice. I went to work and in less than an hour I am notified that I have lost a client and no new client is lined up for me. Anger and fear took over me. Panicking about bills that would not be paid, I lost sight that God is my provider, He is Jehovah Jireh the Lord who supplies all of my needs. My attitude went downhill, but thankfully as I began to vent His Word gave me the encouragement that I so needed. ‘Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding’ , came to me. I had to be reminded that no matter what the world may throw at me, God has me. ‘No weapon formed against me will prosper’.

I was disappointed in myself because God had blessed me the week before and the money I was short on rent was given to me anonymously. I was so grateful that God knew my needs and had blessed me through a person who did not want to claim any credit. I ended one year and began a new one with such hope and praise, and now only two days into the new year I stumble. my emotions began to take control and the negative feelings and thoughts came pouring in like a flood. I am so grateful that I did not wallow for long because His Words started filling my mind, but I was still upset that I had complained and spoke negatively. Thankfully the Lord is merciful and forgiving. He picked me up and reminded me I am His and that this was an attack meant to make me fall and stay down. That the enemy wanted me to forget that the Lord is always watching over me. God however did not have to yell to get my attention. He was right beside me and gave me His Helper, and Comforter, the Holy Spirit. His Word spoke softly and clearly. I am not happy that I let myself even for a moment forget this, but He thankfully is not holding it against me. So here I confess that I stumbled and give thanks that He kept me from being harmed.

If you fall of your bike get back up and get back on it and ride. The same goes for falling off a horse, and if your way of traveling is on just your feet, then get back up and walk on.

Philippians 3:13-14(ESV)  Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Proverbs 3:6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 24:16 for though a righteous man falls seven times, he will rise again, but the wicked stumble into calamity.

Psalm 37:23-24 The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.

Psalm 145:14-16 The LORD helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads. The eyes of all look to you in hope; you give them their food as they need it. When you open your hand, you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.

Psalm 63:7-8 for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

Isaiah 41:13 For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

December 20, 2017 / What is my purpose?

Tonight I was able to study with some women at church and the study was Rick Warrens ‘The Purpose Driven life’. I have enjoyed reading this book in the past and the Bible studies I had previously done with others. Some may say if you have done this before, why are you doing this again? For me the answer is simple, going back is like hitting the refresh button. It is a good way to remind ourselves of things we have learned and how important those lessons are still today.

I enjoyed going through day one of this book with these wonderful women, and being reminded that the purpose of my life is not for my own self but to serve the One who created me with His purpose. He has already taken care of my needs, and given me more love than I will ever deserve. If I can do anything to show Him my love in return that is a good purpose for my life and that is to serve Him in whatever way He asks. To share His love with anyone I meet, not just friends and family, but my neighbors and the strangers who I meet everyday.

I am thankful for all that the Lord has done for me and for the love Jesus gave to me when He died on the cross to pay for my sins, saving me from myself. I am to lean not on my own understanding but trust God with my entire being.

I am alive so I do have a purpose, thank You God that You have chosen me.

A thought and a question continues 9/15/17

It does not take much to open the door without realizing that you have let the enemy in, and once he is in he is difficult to evict. I however have made the decision to kick him out and guard that door window and any other way he could come in. I remember living in a mobile home in the country and my daughter told me we had a rat in the kitchen. I told her it was probably a mouse but when I turned to look it was a possum! It was difficult to chase him out but when we finally got him out I yelled “I am not Ellie May and animals are not allowed in”. Later I found that it had eaten a hole in the wall behind my refrigerator and had a nest with its’ babies living there. Once we rid ourselves of these creatures I found the hole in which they had made to move in. I not only covered it up but bought steel wool and placed in in any place I thought they might try to make their way back in. I kept a watch out to make sure they did not return and thankfully they did not, but then a wood pecker decided to make its’ home in my bedroom wall. How I found this out was every morning I would be woken up by a knocking on what I thought was my door. I would get up open the door and no one was there. This went on for a number of days. Now I lived in the country and neighbors were not close. I never heard or saw a car drive away and I knew if it was a child playing ding dong ditch I would still see them. So every morning I became more and more annoyed. One morning I saw things going by my bedroom window making me believe that someone was on my roof throwing things down. So I storm out run around to the back of my home in time to see a woodpeckers head sticking out of the outside wall of my bedroom tossing out pink insulation. Once again I felt like Ellie May, but unlike her these were not welcome guests. Until I was able to have new siding put up, I would go to bed at night and bang on the wall and yell at the bird, “How do you like being woken up?” So why am I bringing up this old story? Well with this continued journey to get my thoughts right with God I was reminded of this time in my life. If I did not work at riding myself of these unwanted guests they would have made my home theirs and they would outnumber me and I would never had gotten them out and I would have been the one who would have to leave. It took effort and in order for me to train my brain to think on what is right I will have to put in the work and keep putting in the work. Every time I slack off  and let my guard down and even welcome these unwanted guests in it will be harder for me to get rid of them. If I catch them early it will be easier for me to deal with and rid myself of this poisonous way of thinking. I am thankful for those of you who have already left encouraging comments yesterday, including scripture on my first post regarding this topic. So I will fight the good fight and even if I stumble I will get back up.

Todays Question; What are some things that we do that allow the enemy to come into our thoughts?

Scripture to meditate on

1 Peter 5:8-9 (ESV)  Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.

Matthew 12:29 (NKJV)  Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.

Matthew 12:43-45 (NKJV) “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. 44 Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”

Psalm 94:19 When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.

2 Corinthians 10:5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ

Prayer;

Father, 

I submit myself to your will. Asking for your help in taking every thought captive and riding myself of that which is offensive to you. I am choosing to focus on Your goodness and mercy. Thinking of ways that I can please and honor You. Thank you for loving  and forging me. Alone I could do nothing but with Jesus all things are possible. Thank You Lord Jesus I need you this and everyday of my life. Amen