Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sometimes You Have To Be Different

Luke 1:61- And they said to her, "There is no one among your relatives who is called by that name."

One of the many lessons that I learned from my mother is that sometimes you have to be different, do things in a way that is different from everyone else, think in a different way, and act in a manner different from those around you.

As I was reading the Bible this morning, I was struck by the situation that surrounded Elizabeth and Zacharias in the naming of their son.

Typically in their culture, they would name a child, especially a son, after the father or in honor of someone who had passed on in order to keep the name alive.

After John "the Baptist" was born and circumcised, "they" were going to call him Zacharias after his father.

Now, how many times have I read that before? I cannot even begin to tell you how many times!

However, this time it really bothered me.

You see, I had never read it before from the standpoint of a mother.

They, those around them, just assumed that Zacharias and Elizabeth were going to do what was traditional and what they had done in the naming of their children. However, they did not know that God had spoken directly to Zacharias and had already given this child a name. What would have happened to Zacharias if he had just gone along with what they suggested? Would he have ever gotten his voice back? Would something have happened to the child because of the disobedience of the parents?

In our own lives as women and mothers, how many times do they just assume that you are going to raise your child(ren) the way they did, with the same values, same standards, or ideas.

As parents, sometimes we need to make sure that they know that we are going to follow God's leading in our lives for the raising and direction of our children.

Based on the parents' walk with the Lord, different convictions are placed on their hearts that may differ from those that they have, whether they be friends or family.

Please understand, I am not saying that they never have anything useful to say. We can learn many things from those who have gone before us. We just need to make sure that as parents, we filter everything they say through the Word of God and God's leading on our hearts.

If they are godly people serving the Lord, then they have much wisdom to share with us.

Back when homeschooling was NOT the thing to do, my parents felt that God was putting it on their hearts to home-school us. They were criticized by people and leaders from their church and friends. However, they knew what God wanted them to do for their children and they decided to be different and to follow God's leading on their lives. I am so glad that they did. Our family grew stronger because of the time that we spent together, my parents knew what we were learning, and because our education reflected them, they made sure that we learned well. Both Faye and I went to college, and we graduated with honor, by the Grace of God (Faye graduated as the valedictorian of her class).

When my friends were dating, watching certain shows on TV, and reading romantic novels, my parents felt that it was not beneficial for us to do the same. They were questioned and criticized by those around them, even those who were of the faith, who didn't understand why my parents held such high standards for us. However, my parents knew that they had to answer to Someone higher than their peers, and they chose to be different. Our minds remained untainted, and we were able to live relaxed lives free of regret.

Now that we are the parents, there will be decisions that Brian and I will need to make for our children that may go against the grain. And we have to be careful that we do not become the "they" to someone else and assume they are going to do what we are doing.

However, Brian and I realize that we will answer to God for the choices that we make concerning the raising of Addie. And when you answer to God and not to "they", sometimes you have to be different.


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