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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Blessings of Obedience

I am home after having a time to visit my parents in Kentucky.  I just have to tell you how good the Lord is!

During the time of caring for my Mother-in-law, I often felt like I was neglecting my own parents.  I don't just mean the months of her cancer, but the years that she lived here in the same town.  We were her only family, and we felt the need to care for her - and were glad to do it.  There were many times, however, that I couldn't be home with my own parents, and though I knew they understood,  my heart missed them so much.  Then when the serious illness hit my MIL, and the care was intense, I missed my parents even more - probably due to the increase of stress and emotion.

What made that time easier for me was the understanding of my parents.  They never made me feel guilty for not coming home.  They encouraged me in what I was doing.  They prayed for me.  They told me they understood...and they really did.

Now my mother-in-law is in heaven and I have no regrets.  I know we did the right thing in caring for her.  I know that even the sacrifice of the times I would have liked to have been in Kentucky was the right choice.  Then the Lord graciously opened up the opportunity for me to go and visit my parents while my husband attended a men's conference last weekend.  He left on Thursday morning.  An hour later, my car was headed towards Lexington.  I was to come home on Saturday.  Two days - not long, but I was glad to take it!  Then the Lord sent SNOW!  It was the treacherous traveling kind - especially on the mountain roads I'd have to drive on to get home.  There was no question - I had to stay put.  Sunday it snowed again.  So I had two extra days to rest, visit with my parents, chat, attend church with them, and I even got help from my dad sewing my quilt squares together (he is a great ironer!). We had a sweet time together, and how I thank the Lord for giving me the desire of my heart at the time when my heart needed it so desperately!


There are two lessons here:

  1. Obedience brings blessing.  That's not the reason we obey, but it is a by-product.  God is a loving God, and He blesses us when we obey Him.  
  2. Parents that let go of their children are doing them a great service!  If my parents had made me feel guilty, I'm not sure I could have dealt with it.  They let go of me when I left home many years ago.  They always welcome me when I'm able to come visit, but they have NEVER pressured me or given me a guilt trip over not being at a family event.  They are obeying  a biblical command - Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Genesis 2:24  
Now, apply this to you -
  • If you're being obedient, but having to let go of something else in the meantime, be patient.  Keep obeying.  In His time, the Lord will reward you.
  • If you're a parent of a child who has left home - LET THEM GO!  They have enough pressure in dealing with life without having to deal with trying to keep their parents happy with their decisions.  Pray they'll make right choices, then encourage them in what they're doing rather than laying on a guilt trip because they can't attend your family reunion, Grandma's birthday or Sunday dinner.  Be a parent who rests in a sovereign God and obeys His Word enough to let them leave and cleave.
I'm home now and feel rested and so very blessed by my God Who gives me what I do not deserve - blessings, sweet, godly parents, and time away!

What do you struggle with in regards to obedience?  Do you have trouble letting go of your children? Or...Are you struggling with parents who have not cut the apron strings? How are you dealing with it?  I'd love to hear.

With love,


Dale said...

Good post, Sweetheart. Let me add one more note of encouragement. Parents, prepare your children to leave home. They can't "leave and cleave" and obey God's mandate if you are still cleaving to them. Also, Mom and Dad, build your lives around Christ and each other, not your children. You didn't marry your children. Remember, if you are born again believers, you will be with your children forever in Heaven!

Debby Whitsitt said...

Denise, even before Steve and I were married 31 years ago, we knew we had to make certain decisions that were different to the way we were reared as individuals.
1. We would be parents unlike our own parents.
2. We would teach (train) our children with respect and love.
3. When our sons became child/men, we allowed them to make decisions, and, if we knew there was an unwise decisions, then we stepped in to suggest otherwise.
4. Before Steven and Megan were married, they knew we were letting go. It has been HARD!!! But, they have each other, they love God, and they are doing a great job without our input. (Phew!)

Neither of our parents left us to ourselves. My Mom gave up about a month before she died. I remember one day when my parents were at our house, and they were watching our young boys plant seeds in a little garden. Geoffrey lost his balance and fell into the newly planted rows. Thankfully, I was right there and said, "it's ok Geoff, we can fix the rows. Denise, later that afternoon my mom thanked me for saying what I had said because I made it sound like it was not a problem.
I explained to her that things can be fixed, and I didn't want Geoffrey to think the rows were more important than he was.
In my growing up years (and Steve's) things and people outside our families were more important.

Soooo many mom's have said to me, "If it was up to me, I wouldn't let Steven go back into a war zone. Just tell the Navy he is your only living son now, and the Navy will keep him stateside." No! No! No! No! He's a 30 year old man with a career. He has a 100% supportive wife and two incredible baby girls. Our mommy/daddy days are over, and God is directing his path.

OK. I have shared my heart and am not sure I stayed on the same topic you wrote about :/ But, there you have it.
I love you, Denise, and appreciate your wisdom and love for The Word so much!

Denise said...

Oh, no, Debby! You stayed right on the subject. Thank you for sharing your heart. To be able to let Steven go and trust a sovereign God with his life, is exactly what I was talking about. You are preaching quite a message with that kind of attitude! May your tribe increase!
I love you, too, my friend!

M said...

Denise, we are proud of the way you took care of your MIL. We both had opportunities to do the same for our parents, maybe not exactly as you did, but was required of us. Your children will learn by example, and when the time comes they will pick up the banner and do the thing that the Lord commands of us.