Friday, January 15, 2010

2010 – Day 15. Jan. 15 – Choosing Your Battles

Study from Genesis 34 – 25; Passage for Reflection: Genesis 34: 31 … NIV But they (Jacob’s sons) said to him (Jacob after they had avenged their sister’s defilement), “Should we have treated our sister like a prostitute.”

My Journal for Today: When one reads and studies, in Gen. 34, this rather extreme, and somewhat bazaar, story of Dinah’s defilement by Schechem, the ruler of the area where Jacob had settled, we might react by thinking that the revenge taken by Dinah’s brothers was justifiable revenge. But Jacob realized that their act of revenge was ill-begotten and unwise because it would bring with it too much social chaos, misperception, and political recoil in the region.

So, what are we to learn from this story? And there is a plain truth here; and that is, “Pick your battles wisely.” And the most obvious, pertinent example God brought to my consciousness this morning had to do with parenting. As our kids grow into and through those “terrible teen years,” we are going to be at odds with our kiddos as they try to test our limits and boundaries (and they will!). And the question will become, “Where do we draw the lines of battle?” Will it be that earring my son wants or the tattoo our daughter desires? Which of the music their downloading from I-Tunes do we allow? Should we let our son have a laptop behind closed doors in our home? Do we let our kids have Internet accessible cell phones?

Some of those battles are worthy battlefields where battles must be fought to protect the purity and growth of our kids; but some of them will be fought with the collateral damage (the relationship between parent and child) being too much to go to battle. And unfortunately it takes the wisdom of Solomon and the war vigilance of Joshua to do battle as parents in this sexually charged culture.

Today parents are faced with battlefield decisions which are mind boggling at times. When my parents were raising me, about the most vigilant they had to be was to watch the friends with whom I hung out. But today, parents have to be vigilant about protecting their kids from the drug wars, the hypersexualized media, and all the rapidly advancing technologies on the horizon. When I was growing up, my parents could easily monitor my whereabouts; but today a parent almost needs to have a GPS device implanted under the skin of their kids to know where they are and to sense what they’re doing.

Parent … if you have kids today, as a grandparent, I hope (and pray below) that you can pick your battles and let God be your guide, as was Jacob in moving to a place where God led him for protection. I pray that your kids recognize your love in settling on clear boundaries for their lives; because the world is ever trying to draw these young ones into the godlessness of our culture; and it’s becoming harder and harder to do the right thing – to pick the right battles – in raising our youth as Christians.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, I lift up the kids of our culture. May those who raise them in Christian homes have the wisdom and discernment that only You can provide to pick their battles and win them over for You. Oh, and how I pray that for our daughters, their families, and our grandchildren. Amen

Blogger’s note: My reader-followers, please forgive me for getting a bit personal with my entry for today. Normally, I try to go “generic” with the lessons God gives me to share in this place. However, today, when it came to applying what my devotional had to teach from Genesis 34, the examples above, which are quite personal, came to mind. So, being faithful to God’s leading, I have posted them above as commitments to Godly direction for me … and prayerfully for you as well.

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