God’s Will for Someone Else

God's-willI  recently attended a homeschool conference. It was a good conference, and I hold the speakers in high esteem. I’ve read many of their books. But one thing became clear to me early on in the conference: whatever God convicted the speakers for, they felt everyone should adhere to their rules. The speakers have a dynamic walk with God, and I don’t doubt that God has led them to have the rules they have. But a lot of their rules don’t apply to everyone across the board.

In fact, Scripture says that those who are mature will have more freedom, and that people who are less mature will have more rules. The Bible is very clear about this. At the same time, if God convicts you of sin in a certain area, if you get rid of that area of sin, God is pleased. To take back that area of sin would be sin.

Take, for example, the television. They tell everyone that TV, or “the beast,” should be thrown in the trash; that it’s a sin to own a TV. I know a lot of people who have gotten rid of their TV’s, and their family life has thrived. It’s great to get rid of your TV, if God so leads you. But it’s not a sin to own a TV. My children watched Creation vs. Evolution debates on DVD’s on our TV. They have grown in their knowledge of God’s Word because of those DVD’s. But to be honest, in most homes, the TV is an idol. It is on every evening no matter what. In my own home, many evenings my husband and I have a cup of chamomile tea and talk quietly about God, or life, or a struggle I’m having. The TV is off. We are just sitting there for hours having a deep conversation. I know this is unusual, though, in most homes. My husband and I also like several shows that we watch together. We laugh and enjoy our time together, commenting on what’s going on during the commercials. Our children watch educational videos and DVD’s, and they learn an immense amount.

For many people, though, they can’t just have a little bit. They have to have tons. It’s just like drinking alcohol. Jesus drank alcohol, so it’s not sin. But many people go overboard by having tons. They drink too much, getting so drunk that they can’t stand up. (This doesn’t mean that people who have self-control in that area are sinning. I know many Christians who drink in moderation and don’t get drunk. But well-meaning people force other people to have the rule of not drinking because theoretically people could end up sinning if they drink.) It’s the same with TV or any other area of life. Anything can become an idol by wanting too much of it. Just look at what you look forward to in your life. Whatever it is will probably be an idol. (Not always, but usually.)

Something else about television: it is a tool that you can use for good or for evil. It’s very similar to the internet. If your heart is right with God, the internet can draw you closer to God. There are so many sermons and spiritually convicting articles and blogs. Plus, you can find out how to clean Sharpie marker off the wall, and other practical things. It can be used for good.

My husband and I were having a conversation last night, and he mentioned the fact that people who don’t have a TV are usually prideful and look down on people who do have a TV. I said, “What if they’re right? What if it’s like a paradise, with the whole family linking arms, swaying, and singing Kumbaya? In other words, if the house is quiet and you have nothing to do, men would play more games with their kids and talk to them more.”

“That’s not going to happen. It’s a heart issue. They’ll replace the TV with another idol to avoid their children and to de-compress. They’ll get a hobby, like going into the garage and working on a motorcycle. Family life will not be better just by getting rid of the TV,” my husband said. Parents can interact with their children and have a great family life, even if there is a TV in the house, in other words.

The speakers also believe in courting. Now, this sounds great, but dating isn’t necessarily sin. My husband and I dated, and we were pure on our wedding night. It’s not necessarily sin to be one-on-one with the person you’re planning to marry. Presumably we have given our children good values, and playing around doesn’t really have a place in that. For example, my 8-year-old said, “When I’m a parent…” and I forgot what else he said. He meant, “When I’m an adult….” but because it’s normal for adults to be married and have children, that’s what he considers normal. Restrictions and suffocation aren’t necessarily the way to go when dealing with adult children. It seems like by then they know God and are under His authority, and they fear Him. But who knows? I might change my mind when my kids get older, especially for my daughter. For some reason I believe my sons will make good choices for their future spouse. Already they love God with all their hearts and want to serve Him. If you’ve raised them right, it seems like courting would be a non-issue.

The speakers are also anti-sports, but I will deal with that as a separate topic. Since I hate sports, it would be so easy to go along with what they said, but they were wrong in a lot of their reasoning. However, like I said, if God was prompting them to take their kids out of sports, it would have been disobedience for them not to do it. So they did the right thing for their family, but what they failed to say was, “Seek God’s will for your own family.”

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10 Responses to “God’s Will for Someone Else”

  1. I totally agree with this write up. It is wrong for some people to play God in the lives of others by trying to force their convictions on others. The Holy Spirit convicts the individual in the area where conviction is needed. Let God be God, and let man not try to replace Him.

    • Susan says:

      Amen! All of us have different areas where we struggle, and we need to follow God’s leading in overcoming those areas rather than focusing on something that might not even be sin for us.

  2. Aadel says:

    I also don’t like when homeschool speakers say that it is God’s will for everyone to homeschool. It was God’s will for us to homeschool, and the speaker. But it may not be an issue with some people. I have friends whose kids are thriving in public school.

    And although I might respect speakers like that, I can’t really hold them in esteem because they are placing expectations and burdens on those who take their advice that really don’t need to be there. :/

    • Susan says:

      That’s true; they are placing burdens on others that Christ never intended us to have. Like the Pharisees is the days of Jesus, this sometimes drives people away from God rather than towards Him because of self-righteousness.

  3. Rebecca says:

    I somewhat agree 🙂 I think what you are referring to are some grey areas in life, in which God has not given us a specific command for. For things that God clearly has given us a law/command for there is not a grey area, the same law applies to all His people.
    I was wondering if you could post a verse/s which speak of those being more mature needing less rules and those less mature needing more?
    I believe God works in the same way a family does. Most have household rules and the same rules apply to all of the children in the family, but there may be slight grey areas, like a later bed time for older children.
    I hope you don’t take any of this the wrong way, this just got me thinking and these were my thoughts 🙂

    • Susan says:

      I Corinthians 8:9-13 is a passage that says that weaker Christians have more rules, and that mature Christians should help the people with rules not to stumble.

      I fully agree that a clear command from God should be obeyed. All of us must be seeking holiness. But each of us stumbles in different ways because we have different idols and weaknesses. So the rules we make for ourselves should not be forced onto others who might not be stumbling in that area at all. Galatians 5:13 says we are called to freedom.

  4. Bravissima! I completely agree! I loathe it when others impose God’s will on others and try to be the Holy Spirit. I try to make sure I tell people that these are my choices and that I am following God’s will for our family. God has a mission for them and they should have a vision for their own families. I just love everything about what you wrote. I read it aloud to my husband since we’ve had similar conversations.

    • Susan says:

      Yes, the Holy Spirit should convict each individual and family on what they should and shouldn’t do. I knew a lot of people walking away from that homeschool conference, feeling defeated.

  5. Christal says:

    Although I admire this family and the choices they were led to make, I totally agree they should have added the clause you mentioned “seek God for your own family”, leaving room for freedom instead of condemnation. The fact is, most Christian families, homeschooling or not probably will not be able to meet “the ideal standards”, (or do them purely from a sense of self-righteousness) because of the dynamics within – one partner in disagreement, etc. Thus, the defeated complex.

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