It’s the Dude!

October 20th, 2008

Focus Text: Proverbs 6: 20-21 (NLT)

 20 My son, obey your father’s commands,
      and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
 21 Keep their words always in your heart.
      Tie them around your neck.

 

Stop Here and Reflect Before Reading Ahead

My little girl is the joy of my life.  She is the reflection of a lifelong love between Laura and I, granted by God and sustained by His daily infusion of grace.  My dreams for her are many and they know no ceiling.  I pray for her health.  Her mind.  Her heart.  Her spirit.  Her mate.

How strange does it sound that I would hold a three-month old baby in my arms and pray for her future mate?  She can’t even crawl yet!  Don’t you think it’s a little early for that?  Well, it is early for her mate to come knocking on our door (and to consequently be met by her father with a shotgun), but I know that no other single decision besides her decision to meet Jesus will affect her life more . . . either to her benefit or to her detriment.

You can watch for the book that I’ll write someday.  I’ll entitle it, “It’s the Dude!”  It’s the phrase that has repeatedly escaped my lips over the course of my ministry. “Pastor John, what’s wrong with me?  I feel distant from God.  I’m not close to my best friends anymore.  My parents don’t trust me anymore.  I never pray.  I never read my Bible.  I constantly mess up in the purity world.  I just can’t figure out what’s wrong!”

Hmmm.  Let’s see.  What was the turning point?  You’re dating a dude who we all think is nice and you obviously think is cute, but he’s not exactly where you are spiritually.  He may call himself a Christian . . . which pretty much ninety percent of people here in the Bible Belt do . . . but you’ve never seen him do anything that reminds you of Jesus.  He doesn’t pray.   He disrespects his parents, your parents, and every other authority figure in your lives.  He’s jealous of your church friends and makes you feel awkward when you go.  He doesn’t think it’s wrong to mess around sexually before marriage.  He doesn’t understand or ascribe to your specific beliefs; not just the basics, but the deeper stuff.  In fact, you’re so worried about what he would think that you have conveniently left out the aspects of your walk with God that might make you look weird.  

All in all, you would consider yourself at a different stage of maturity than him in your spiritual walk.  Yet, being around him makes you feel different.  Pray differently . . . or not at all.  Worship differently.  View your friends and family differently.  Hmmm.

Newsflash!  It’s the dude!

Now, I can hear through the pages of cyberspace the applause of the Christian guys who are reading this. You guys are all the time telling your Christian female friends that they make horrible relationship decisions.  Without saying it, you’re saying, “why would you pick some loser out there when I’m a great Christian guy and I’m right here?”

Fair enough, I somewhat agree.  However, first of all my goal is not that everyone would start dating just because seemingly good choices exist.  You should only date if you’ve heard the verbal green light of God’s Spirit.  Most of the time, asking God’s opinion is an afterthought.  Millions of wonderful Christians exist out there, but God has set you apart for only one of them.  You might want to ask Him about it once and a while.  

Secondly, gentlemen, if some of you would show just one iota of maturity . . . like prove to the females that you can indeed carry on an intelligent conversation without searing sarcasm, Dumb and Dumber quotations, or efforts to have your finger pulled . . . you might make their list of legitimate prospects.  I’m just saying.

But thirdly and most importantly, in all reality the guys do the same thing as the girls. You gentlemen make your own fair share of poor relationship decisions.  Hey, your only prerequisites for a girlfriend are hotness, availability, and the ability to speak English.  Scratch that . . . English is optional.  So be careful that you don’t fall off of your high horse because it’s a long way down.  All humor aside (for just like three seconds or so), we’ve all been guilty of missing the mental, physical, and spiritual marks of this most complicated issue of humanity.

But back to my little girl.  Knowing what I know and the issues I just presented, it’s obvious why I’m already praying about her future relationships . . . one relationship in particular.  When she’s old enough to understand, I’ll do my best to communicate to her the importance of these decisions.  I know, I know.  I’m not trying to guarantee that she won’t make mistakes and I’m not pridefully assuming that I can personally prevent disaster.  No, I feel much more humble on this issue.  I’m asking God to make it real to her.  To remove distractions.  To keep her heart close to Him . . . and to me.

Sometimes, moms and dads give their children physical keepsakes to make these points clear.  A locket or a ring.  Something tangible to help them remember the importance of what lies ahead.  I don’t yet know if or what Laura and I will give Sadie, but you can rest assured that my prayer is that she will listen and keep Godly wisdom close to her heart like a precious locket. 

Perhaps that’s what Solomon meant when he said to keep the wisdom of one’s parents “always in your heart” and “tied around your neck.”  Some people would interpret this “tie around the neck” verse as a parental noose of unreasonable authority.  They assume that the direction and correction of their parents is meant to harm them or to keep them from their dreams.  

But for me, that which Sadie will “tie around her neck” is the reflection of our treasured love for her.  There may be times that she feels lonely or insecure.  That she is tempted to trade her long-term destiny for temporary, shallow relationships.  At those points, I pray that something will unexpectedly brush along her neckline and that she will reach down and again grasp that which reminds her of her God-given destiny.  

How would our lives change if we viewed the Godly wisdom and correction of our parents . . . no matter how old we are . . . as keepsakes instead of nooses.  As anchors instead of tethers.  As treasures instead of traps.  There is much pain to avoid and much fulfillment to be found for those who keep the wisdom of God, which at times comes through our parents, “always in your heart.

Hey everyone, sometimes your parents are right . . . it’s the dude!  (Or the chick, if you’re a dude.) Don’t disregard the treasure of their wisdom.  

Oh, and I also still quote Dumb and Dumber.  In this case, I am the dude!

 

 

 

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~ by johndriver on October 20, 2008.

7 Responses to “It’s the Dude!”

  1. this is something that happens often throughout the teenage years, as i am experiencing. its hard to admit it, but yes even my parents have a lot of useful wisdom and that area of life. there are many times when i say,” dang, why didnt i just listen?” they are my parents and they do know whats best for me. i tend to jump into things faster than i should and in the end regret it. think ahead of time, listen to my parents, and talk to God about it… it will save me some mistakes hah. (i do wish it was that easy)

  2. ” Millions of wonderful Christians exist out there, but God has set you apart for only one of them. You might want to ask Him about it once and a while.”

    I LOVE that. Ha. I tell my friends that all the time when they come to me upset about not having somebody or when they go after too many good people. Just because somebody is a good Christian does not mean they are the one for you! But sometimes people confuse what I’m saying and think I mean that they should not date until they are really and seriously looking for the person to settle down with. I have a boyfriend so obviously that is not what I mean. I think while God has of course prepared for us a person to marry, I think he has also picked people for us to date along the way. People to help us grow in a relationship with Him, our family, our friends, and that other person. A person to not only help us to grow but to back us up in times of need, to discuss things like this with, to practice HEALTHY dating and relationships, to help us set our marital standards and stick to them, to learn about loyalty and commitment, to help us learn to guard our hearts, to help us learn to choose carefully and according to God’s will, to help us deal with pain, and of course to make us at least a little bit happier. Ha.

  3. so basically i gotta give Lesley credit cause she got me to read the thread today and i am so glad i did! This is like what Ive been struggling with a lot the last few months. I have been DESPERATE to find my princess and i know shes out there and i know there has got to be a reason that God is making me wait so long for her. I have always thought that i was the good christian guy that every girl should want, not to mention im so attractive, but after reading this i realized i always have set the “bar” so high as far as having a girl that is basically single and HOT! I now realize, just cause a girl is single and laughs at my stupid jokes doesn’t mean she will be my girlfriend. I feel like God has given me this situation of “being single” for a reason. God wants me to rely on him and him alone for comfort and guidance. I also need to straighten things out in my life before i get in a relationship, (don’t we all tho!) Anyways John thanks for talking bout this and i will continue following God and asking for guidance and comfort from our Abba father. And hopefully my princess angel baby will come to me when i least expect it;)

  4. i really believe

    “LOVE SHOULD BE A SHELTER NOT A STORM”

    one of my moms favorite quotes shell never let me forget,
    yet it is so true. true love should be a place of safey and comfort,
    not a constant uphill battle. it should be a place to go to at
    the end of the day where even though the weight of the worlds on your
    sholders you know when you get there theres a loving spouse who is there to
    help you get through it and just cuddles with you and makes it all better
    not one who when you get home is constantly tearing you down
    i mean i know love isnt perfect and its stressful with bills and stuff
    but either way you shouldnt fear your mate
    they should encourage your walk with god, and help make you stronger
    ha so when you date it should be the same way!
    dont be in a realtionship where the guy disrespects you or your morals,
    i mean i know teen girls especially feel like they NEED to be in a relationship..
    but hello!!??? wake up?!!?? if he donsnt respect you or he is like talking to a freaking
    rock common just sayyy TALK TO THE HAND!
    there really are better guys out there.
    i guess its by human nature we want the LOSERRSS THOUGHH!
    ha joy…..

  5. This is probably one of the most beneficial topics for me. It might be just because I’m a girl, but not a day goes by that I don’t think about who I might marry. Finding the one God has for me is so important to me. I know for a fact that I’m always aware of “God has the right guy for me,” but my decisions don’t always match up with that thought. I know I can do better with making this thought an action. I look at this situation like a cycle. The focus is God. I center my life on the idea that God has the right man for me. Whoever comes into my life is a possibility for a future husband. I have to be close with God, and keep his wisdom close to my heart because I need to know which of those possibilities I could date with the intention of marrige. (I don’t mean that I’m going to get all psycho and clingy and think the next guy i date will be my husband either!) The last stage would be that whoever the next guy is is for one of two reasons: God has placed him in my life for experience meaning that I figure out more of what I want in a guy but not the “one” or God has finally sent the “right one” for me. What I’m going to try to do most of all, is pray about absolutely everything. Praying about this situation will be so much better because we WILL know when the right guy has come. God will totally show me the way, and my future spouse as well.

  6. i really dont agree with your generalization about male maturity! lol. anyways, i don’t wanna be “the dude” that always messes things up. i really think im beginning to understand this whole concept of wisdom and how it not only relates to our life in the sense of marriage, but also how we live our daily lives, how we talk to people and how it is a great spiritual gift to attain!

  7. “Perhaps that’s what Solomon meant when he said to keep the wisdom of one’s parents “always in your heart” and “tied around your neck.”

    Its a reminder of what God wants in our life. People get emotional scars all the time and can never see them so they eventually forget .But if they have something that they wear it will feel weird to take it off . That’s when you know something is not right here. I have a purity ring, I keep it on at all times! No I’m not saying just because I have this ring no temptation will come across me, HA that’s bull! The ring symbolizes purity, “clean.” God gives us so many things all around the symbolizes something to us, to remind us of what happened there or what it means. Too bad we can’t wear the bible around our neck. Then again even if we could would we read it. We have God right on our finger tips when ever we need Him. Its easy to forget that we do. I bet if we called God every day like our boyfriend/best friend it would seem weird not to go to that next level with Him. I hope and pray it will feel strange in my life when God and I don’t have that “ring” on everyday as a reminder of what our relationship truly means.\

    Thanks PJ

    Em.

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