Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's Tough Being a Woman -- Turn Around

"Dear, Dad

I now you like to fish. But please do not take to many fish. Why? Because seals eat fish. And if you take to many the seals won't have ining to eat. And they'll die.

Love, Erin

Please help the seals"

My eight year-old daughter found out her daddy was going to be going camping this weekend and fishing with the guys in our Sunday school class, so she gave him this letter Monday night.

This morning, Erin asked her daddy if he was a Christian. He said he was, and she wanted to know when he asked Jesus into his heart. August 1, 1990, was his reply. "Who have you told about Jesus? Who are you witnessing to?" I have to admit I left the room about this time, but I knew that Patrick had taken an opportunity to witness to one of his workers last week. She followed up with the question, "Daddy, are you a missionary?"

I don't recall being concerned about the world around me at eight or the condition of my parents' souls, but my daughter with the gift of mercy is. She is concerned about others which is a wonderful quality to have, and just like most of us, she will have to learn where to draw the line.

There was a recurring theme in our "red book." Women are tired of feeling responsible for everyone else sometimes to the point of being overwhelmed. As women, we are responsible for the primary role in raising our children, but ladies, at some point in time our children will be grown at which time our role will change. There are some that don't make the change well. There are some that don't make the change at all and end up in the middle of their grown children's affairs where they do not belong whether they were invited or not. I know of a grown man whose parents have bailed him out of every fiscally irresponsible thing he has ever done, and he is still making horrible financial decisions. I don't pretend to know where that invisible line is in every relationship. You know the one that separates the actions of a listening and praying parent from the one who is overly involved in a grown child's marriage, finances or child-rearing. I don't know how my mom knew, but I'm thankful she did.

Then there are those of us who are fixers or just want to help. I was in what I called a "friendship," but it grew into something altogether different. I was solving her problems and telling her how to live her life. Beth Moore said having that hero mentality can cause emotional bankruptcy, and she is right. After that relationship ended, it took a long time before I became close friends with another woman. I had crossed the line.

I'm going to talk to you as one girlfriend to another. "If it ain't yo' baby to rock, don't rock it!" Do you know what happens when you start rockin' a baby that isn't yours? It becomes yours, and you keep it till it's complete. Meaning, if you start handling someone else's problems, they become your problems till they are resolved or finished. I have enough issues to deal with. I really don't need to take on someone else's or get into the middle of their business. Ladies, the reason we get overwhelmed with being everything to all people is because we take on responsibilities that are not ours to take on. When we try to be all things to all people, we are taking out the need for Jesus Christ in that person's life. We are attempting to replace God in essence, and that is not Biblical. What if we backed out of meddling in the affairs of others including our grown children, friends, coworkers, family members, and prayed for them instead and did as the Lord led? What do you think would happen? For one, they would survive. Second, instead of relying on you, maybe just maybe they would turn to Christ and rely on Him. Isn't that what we want to do? Point others to Christ.

(Note from Sandra: I love how Beth described us when we're attempting to do things that only He can and should be doing. She said we were trying to be "God Jr."

We don't have to take on every cause that comes across our paths. It's okay to say, "no."

Unlike us, Esther was responsible for saving her race, God's people, but she wasn't doing it alone. God was in control the whole time. Esther was not responsible for the "how" everyone would defend themselves or the "how" each should fight. She was responsible for being obedient to God, and she was. She stood up. She acted. She spoke, and she wrote a new edict, and that is where the line was drawn. Each province and town down to every family had to determine the best defense for themselves. Am I making any sense? Just as God empowered her, she empowered her people, God's people. Are you empowering your people or are you enabling?

Erin started off this week carrying a crusade to save the seals that might eat the fish her daddy might catch in the bayou which is a noble cause, but she got down to the heart of the matter this morning. Let's empower our children, families and friends and encourage them in their spiritual walk, and let's allow Jesus to be responsible for their "hows."

1 comment:

Sunni-Nichole' said...

This is wonderful! The letter is precious and the message is powerful.

I keep reminding myself over and over that God didn't tell Esther to figure it out, he only told her to obey. I'm such a planner and a problem solver. It gives me so much peace to see how Esther's situation worked out and all she had to do was obey. Many times I find myself disobeying in order to try and fix a situation.

This week was incredible! I'm so sad that our study is almost at an end.

Are we planning a summer study? :)

P.S. I'm in on El Salvador. Thanks so much for the encouragement.