Dare #5 of The Respect Dare – Trust God or Idols?
Of all the dares in the book, Dare 5 strikes the most nerves.
A child is injured.
Mom saw it coming.
Choose to Trust God?
She chose to stay out of His way, and God showed up to teach her husband something.
But what if it had been worse?
Could you have trusted God’s goodness if it hadn’t gone well? Would you have taken it out on your husband?
Jim Daly asked me that during a Focus on The Family interview in January, 2014.
One of the stories in The Respect Dare is about one of my own kids doing something my husband was cool with, while I was not. Everything ended well with out son… but what if it hadn’t?
We all come to places in our journey where we have to decide if we are going to trust an idol or trust God. Idols come in many forms, and many times it takes the form of our own thinking, marriage, or kids. If we believe that:
He is everything,
This life is all about His glory,
and He is good….. then we have to trust Him with all things, including the awful ones.
Lessons that Grow Us
Ages ago, my heart bucked at the notion that a good God would allow bad things to happen to the people that chose to follow Him. And as I grew in my parenting (a context, I believe which can really help us understand Him more, and probably why He designed it) I began to allow circumstances to run their courses. I didn’t always rescue my kids as they grew. Jim and I let them make decisions, and mistakes.
Along the way, we’ve learned we can’t and shouldn’t, protect them from everything.
But childhoods that have been overly protected and/or easy, typically produce adults with thin skins and little tenacity.
What’s interesting to me as an author, however, is how harsh some other Christians have been about this particular story in the book. I do understand their angst, but some of the blog posts, emails, and Amazon reviews wielded razor-sharp words that well, just hurt.
And early on, I confess some of those words stung enough to bring tears.
But I also needed some toughening up. I probably still do. And I’m thankful for the opportunity to pray for those who worship a god who only allows good things to the people that follow him.
They don’t know the One True God.
And neither did I when I thought He was like Santa.
But it’s a question with which we all must wrestle. Should we worship Him for loving us enough to provide challenging or difficult opportunities for growth? Or should we walk away from a God we didn’t even know?
And knowing Him is not only possible, it’s everything. He’s life, He’s hope, and He’s everything.
Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.
Isaiah 46: 9
In the meantime, as we encounter fellow wrestlers, we need to remember our husband is one of those people. He will also become our brother if we can be his friend and journey with him; instead of expecting him to be our God or Holy Spirit, or trying to be his, all the while wishing he was “further along” in his faith.
And while half the world argues over “submission,” “respect,” “slaves,” “how Christian women are still oppressed,” and Jesus, we just need to remember that every moment of every day presents us with a plethora of small decisions to worship. Will we choose Him? Or self?
Will we become an encouraging person? Or will we continue to complain, nag, focus on what’s wrong, instead of looking forward to the learning God has for us in THIS. Even if our current state is awful?
Dare you to ask Him to teach you, and know I’m joining you daily in that!
And know you’re not alone…I hope you’ll subscribe to the blog in the sidebar. Know we don’t give out your email to anyone for any reason. But we’d love to have you in our community and join us on the journey.
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What do you think about all this? Glad you are on the journey!
Love to you,
If you are a parent of tweens, teens or twenty-somethings, get your hands on Debbie Hitchcock’s phenomenal book With All Due Respect.
And get a copy of the newest book in the Dare collection, “Dare to Respect” by Tammy Oberg De La Garza – it’s a novel about 6 women who tackle the Respect Dare together.
If you lead women’s studies, and you want to do marriage ministry that makes a crazy wild lasting difference, you need to join us. Pray about it, but there’s nothing like it out there. I recently discovered that many of the same elements in Celebrate Recovery and AA (two proven programs) are in Daughters of Sarah. There’s a touch of them in RD, too, especially if you do the videos and the small group experience. The training method is unlike anything else you’ve probably done.
Nina the whole month of May this is what God was trying to get me to see. I have been trying to keep everyone on the track to make me look good as the people pleaser I have been and God just put some cork skews in the family mix and shoved me out into catastrophic parent mode. As I was running from one person to the other to get the right answer God began telling me I was doing His job plus trying to gain favor by all of us being “checklist” Christians
It has come down to idolatry and lack of trust. Then I learned of Deb’s daughter’s death and I realized how different it would have been for Barry and me. How full of false guilt and shame because we would have taken the tragedy as our
Problem and God’s punishment.
I cannot say I remember this dare hitting me like this last time, but I am grateful God has shown me that all of us sin and we have to leave space for God to work in other family members lives.
It is my job to take my concern in prayer to God and trust Him even when it hurts. That last sentence was easy to write but I am learning by watching and listening real parents be real not faking it and in my situation that it hard and only possible with God.
Thanks for writing.
Ugh! I hear you!!
Lived that. Still visit sometimes!
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