Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Letting go....letting God

Romans 8:28-29  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 
 We have all heard that God works all things together for good. When Anna died I thought, "This is not good." I had to let go of my idea of what was good and look at God's idea of good.  God's goal for us is to be conformed to the likeness of his Son.  That is what he calls good.  I confess that being like Jesus has not always been on the top of my "to do" list.  My life is consumed by things I am involved in, the difficulties I face, the hardships I endure, the choices I make.  But those things are only important in light of God's ultimate goal for me--to be conformed to the image of Christ.

This issue came up this week in a class we are taking for parents of teenagers.  If you have a teenager you know that the experience can be challenging and frustrating.  I realized one of the primary reasons for my frustration  is that I have been trying to conform my teen to my image.  I want him to be like me.  I want him to like the music I like.  I want him to run cross-country because I ran cross-country.  I want him to join clubs, wear preppy clothes, and get all A's, because then I would be comfortable.  But guess what, he's not like me.  He doesn't like the music I like.  His clothing choices are edgy.  He's not interested in student government.  His grades are okay, but he would rather spend time with friends than study.    He is not me and he is not supposed to be me.  My primary goal should not be to regulate his behavior.  That makes me a policeman.  My ultimate goal should be for him to be conformed to the image of Christ.  That can't be done by checking things off a list (clean room--check, homework done--check, in bed by 11pm--check).  

Paul Tripp says, "The rules-and-regulations approach that focuses on keeping the teenager 'out of trouble' will ultimately fail because it does not deal with the heart.... we may well be trying to produce what only God can produce as he works to change the hearts of our teenagers.  What we need to do is trust his work as we seek, in restful faith, to be instruments of change in his redemptive hands."

And so I face these high-school, not with fear and trembling, but with faith that God is at work conforming my son to the image of his Son.  

1 comment:

Reba said...

Powerful and wise words. We aren't quite there but we are only a year and a half away from the teen years. I can already tell I am going to have to let go of my ideas of who my kids should be. Not easy!