In the last post of the “Social Life” series, we talked about “Family: 3 Essential attitudes for you to become an overcomer Child”. If you haven’t read it yet, we recommend you to read because this text is a continuation of the previous one. So, when reading will be easier to understand the points we will develop below. So stop, go find and read it and then come back here …
# 1 – Close the gap in prayer: praying with your parents.
Regarding to this matter of prayer, is very important to pray with our parents.
Sometimes one of them can be more weakened in the faith than the other. In this situation, sometimes the children join the father or the mother who is strengthened spiritually and criticise the other who is weakened. The results are disastrous. Even being “hidden” critics, they only generate intrigue and roots of bitterness that do not bring the Lord’s presence.
But when we pray for the one who is weak, we please the Lord. Your heart for your father or your mother begins to change (Proverbs 26:20), and you realize that what is happening is not just the will of the person who is weak, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12). The person is weakened by human and spiritual difficulties (our parents are also involved in spiritual struggles). That’s why, to pray with your parents is to close the human and spiritual gap, helping them to overcome their challenges.
We belong to the same army and the same family. If we do not help each other, we’ll all get weak. Realize that, in the spiritual battle, the young ones are the frontline and their parents are the rearguard. Our parents are the ones who are behind us protecting while we go out and attack on the frontline of the spiritual battle. We need to pay attention to this, because if our parents fall, the enemy will come from behind, we will be surprised and may even lose the battle at that time.
That’s why, pray with your parents. Pray for the personal difficulties they have and remember that they are human and spiritual. Put them before God, ask for ways out, for solutions and also ask that they may have heavenly wisdom to overcome their difficulties. Believe: God will hear! And persist in prayer, because prayers are like arrows.
# 2 – Close the gap in the intimacy: understand that your parents fail and that the families may have problems, but it does not need to be open to the public.
Another important item is to always be concerned about covering the “nakedness” of our parents. This means that we have to know how to deal with the failures of our parents.
In the Old Testament we see that Noah planted a vineyard, drank wine, got drunk and naked. One of his three children, seeing his father’s nakedness, went to tell it to his two brothers. The attitude of these two brothers was to go to his father, wisely, walking backwards with the faces turned not to see him, and thus, covered their father’s nakedness without seeing it (Genesis 9:20-23.). When Noah was made whole again and heard what happened, he cursed his son who had exposed him and blessed the other two that covered his nakedness.
This is a great lesson for us. The moral of this story is that some events must remain within the tent. Some events must remain private. Young one, home is a private environment. The whole problem described in the biblical text was the fact that the son entered his father’s tent and then wanted to bring his brothers to also witness the nakedness of their father (which was something very private). See, the child did not only exceeded the limits, but wanted to make public something that was private.
In this story, nakedness is something very intimate that must remain inside the tent, must remain private. Take it as a failure of your parents or as a “boring” event at home. The gossipy son wanted that the other brothers to break the father’s intimacy. The son did not understand that the house is a private environment.
Young one you must understand that your home is a private environment. Things that happens inside should not become public. Understanding and practicing this principle brings blessing. The nakedness of your parents must remain inside the tent.
When you realize that your parents are living a fault condition (of sin), the best attitude is to pray for them. Telling the situation to other young people who can not help you and (or) give public testimony about the failure of your parents is not adequate and it can also hurt them. If you want more help, look for the responsible brother (elder) or a brother of the youth service (deacon) of the church. They have experience and will not allow the situation to become public. This will keep your parents and bless you!
# 3 – Close the gap in the personal consecration: sanctify yourself in favor of the younger and older siblings becoming an example that reinforces what your parents teach about God.
Regarding to the sanctification, which we mentioned in the previous post, we also need to sanctify ourselves in favor of our older and younger siblings. When looking at our example, our siblings who did not have an experience with the Lord may be inspired to have. Especially the younger ones, who do not take their eyes out of us, the older ones. Whether you want or not you are their example, closer in age.
Our parents teach that the Lord is good. Our positive example of sanctification reinforces this and generate more certainty in our siblings. If your parents say that the Lord is good, but you taste the world and remains tasting, your example is contrary to what your parents teach. In this situation, how your younger siblings will believe that the Lord is indeed good? In this situation you’re stumbling block and hinder the faith of the newest ones (Romans 14:13). Be a positive example of sanctification, reinforce what your parents teach and see the faith of your family grow!
What if my siblings already have a living of enjoying the Lord !? You still need to keep sanctifying yourself. This will ensure that your siblings are always encouraged by your testimony.
# 4 – Close the gap in the friendship: talk to your parents and siblings to build an environment of freedom at home
“Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;” (1 Petter 3:8).
Young one, you must cultivate friendship with your parents. We must cultivate friendship with our parents so that they help us in our various difficulties of our youth and also throughout the life. They are wonderful counselors because they seek the Lord and seek to show us His will. When we hear them, the Lord blesses us.
“Plans are established by counsel;By wise counsel wage war.” (Proverbs 20:18).
Young ones, you must be corageous to talk to your parents, because they serve the Lord and have a lot of experience with Him to help us! They can pray, read the Bible, read the Daily Food or a spiritual book with us and beyond asking for help, we can talk about other subjects to them. This draws us close and our life together is much healthier! (Do you remember the last time you hung out with your parents? How about you make the invitation to the next walk to them? Even if the schedule is tight run at home, for sure they will be happy for you to care about this matter. Take the first step).
There are also cases in which the young, despite being in a family that meets, has almost no dialogue with his parents. It is necessary to seek to get close to them. You can start, for example, asking them about how was their day, how are they doing… Even if it seems hard at first, you should create the habit of talking to them. You will feel happier and more comfortable in your home having your parents as friends (who really are!). You will have freedom.
Furthermore, we must cultivate friendship with our older or younger siblings because they are on our side on the battlefield! If we are not united, the feuds between us will bring difficulties to our parents, and will also bring us sadness. They are also our daily companions!
In most of the cases, our siblings have different tastes of our own, but are unique and special. Maybe you do not realize it for so noticing their negative attitudes. If you stop and try to understand your siblings,you will see that they have much to offer, but first they need us to open our hearts. If you are friend of your siblings, when the difficulties come you seek the Lord with more unanimity, and this will bring blessings to everyone!
# 5 – Close the gap of the conflict zone: strive to practice what your parents consider good and right to have peace with them
There is a great source of gaps that you can avoid: the conflict zone. Before explaining what is a conflict zone, let’s take an example.
Our mothers are just very, very, very, very angry when we put the wet towel on the bed. It is true that we do not do it on purpose, right? But what happens, perhaps, while we do other things, we forget the towel there and we forget that our mother don’t not like the towel on the bed. When do we remember that we forgot the towel on the bed? When our mother gets mad!
See… It seems something worthless to think that it is a gap in the relationship with our family. But, with time, by everyday repeating the same things, our parents get very unhappy and a deserved scolding comes. This brings unnecessary wear to them and to us.
Thus the conflict zone is a moment that is created by us and makes higher the chance of a conflict to arise. Generally, this moment is created when we ignore the advices that our parents give to us about what they consider good and right. And, how do you flee from the conflict zone? The way out is in 1 Peter 3:11, which says: “Let him turn away from evil and do good;Let him seek peace and pursue it.”
Do you want to have happy days? We must strive! Have an attitude! Here Petter says that we need to seek peace and pursue it. Do you know those things your parents consider good and right, they tell you to do, and you ignore them? Yeah … it’s time to pay attention, to strive to do what they consider good and right to have peace with them. This is what it means closing the gap of the conflict zone.
If you close the gaps in the conflict zones right when you identify them, little by little your practices will change and the advices of your parents, that were previously impossible, will become possible! Your problems and conflicts will end, because you have sought and striven for the peace at your home. Praise the Lord!
# 6: Close the gap of the high demand: understand that our parents have financial limitations, but give their best to us
We must be comprehensive and be satisfied with that our parents and the Lord give to us. Sometimes our parents have no financial condition to give us the best clothes or the latest of the technology. Sometimes it is not something so expensive, but at that moment it is not possible for them to buy it. When we know that the financial condition is not well at home, we should not put more pressure on our parents.
First of all because they already suffer this pressure by the media, on their daily living. Also because we can seize these moments to have experiences with the Lord in prayer. The Lord clothes the lilies of the field in the best way and it is He who feeds the birds of the air. We are His children! How greatest care the Lord has towards us! Just pray and God may present himself as something more than abundant.
It is important to remember that for us to encourage our parents. Thus, to satisfy financially what we desire and goes beyond our needs, our parents need to work twice as much, losing physical energy, spiritual enjoyment and that extra time they have with us.
Our parents have financial limitations, but give their best to us. It is important to know this not to force them to engage too much with the “world of work” just to meet our selfish desire. In addition, by understanding this, we develop the courage to go to the Lord to ask him to super abound the resources that our parents already have.
# 7: Close the gap in the character: working our character generates a proper humanity that strengthens our preaching of the gospel and strengthens the quality of spiritual help we can offer to other people.
Beyond not to do what our parents do not like us to do, we should also do what our parents like us to do. “This item includes, doing the dishes, for example?” Yes, includes! It is a very practical item regarding to the obedience we talked about in the previous post and that shapes our character.
Beloved young one, we are instruments that the Lord wants to use. We are like a glass that is able o receive a wonderful content, for we contain Christ! But how people will drink “in this glass” if it is “bitten on the edge” or dirty? Even if the content is very pure, how people will touch the Christ in me and in you, if humanly we do not have a suitable character? If we can not obey our parents even to do the homework, our testimony is impaired.
This way, even if we help our friends to enjoy Christ, at certain moment they can look at our testimony and character and question whether we can really help them or not. Our daily living builds our practices and people notice all that we, Christians, do. The people to whom we preach the gospel and offer spiritual help seek a proper humanity. They see how you talk, how you eat, if you are careful, or sloppy. After judging our humanity, they may want or not to hear what we say.
Maybe you feel wronged having to obey and do many tasks that do not want, but we can see in the example of Joseph (a story of a very special young man of the Old Testament, who sought the Lord), that he suffered a lot. He was sold by his own brothers to Egypt as a slave and in a period of his life he was unjustly imprisoned, but the whole situation that seemed to be negative prepared him to reign!
Everything changes when we see things with another look. That’s why, we want who to be overcommers, must take advatage of the opportunities to be worked by the Lord in our character. It may be, for example, doing the dishes, or washing the bathroom, organizing the wardrobe, or sweeping the house, the tasks help us to shape our character. If we have a proper character, the Lord can use us greatly!
May we seek before the Lord to be people with a worked character and a proper humanity! Young one, remember: the best preaching of the gospel and spiritual help come from those who are suitable humans. That’s why, seek God and let Him work on you so you can have a testimony that reflects a character and a proper humanity. This will strengthen your preaching of the gospel and the quality of the spiritual help you can offer.
# 8: Close the gap in the heart: recognize our value, focus on the positive words we hear from our parents and know that they sometimes.
We spoke a lot here about how must be our attitude in favor of our parents. And we know that sometimes, being in a moment of difficulty, sorrow or due to the rush of their daily living, they can say things that drives us sad. For example, if your parents say, “you NEVER make your bed!” or “You ALWAYS forget the light on.”, you should not focus on the strong words. The fact that they used the words “always” or “never” does not mean it is literally that way. It is just a expressive power.
When they say these words again and if you really care to fulfill the duties as a son, remember that the moment led them to use those words. Our parents sometimes, but before these reviews we must recognize our value and focus on positive words.
The details that are in focus make the difference. When they are towards positive things, they mark us positively. But when towards negative things, they generate sadness and roots of bitterness, which can grow in us if we stay feeding the negative thoughts. That’s why, your focus should be on positive things. You need to extract a positive lesson from the negative things. For example, when your parents say that you ALWAYS forget the light on, actually they are saying that AT THAT MOMENT you forgot the light on. The lesson in this case is: turn off the light at that moment.
That’s why, deliver yourself of the negative focusing. Young one, recognize your value and focus on the positive, understand that your parents sometimes. Use the spirit that God gave you, set aside the sophistry of the negative thoughts. Take your thoughts to be positive and bring them into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5), this will revolutionize your relationship with your parents.
If we learn how to go through those moments, taking advantage of the opportunity to grow in the Lord, we will reap good fruits in the future because the way we take care of our family today, will influence the way we take care of our future home. Remember that what you sow today is what you will reap later on:”Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:7).
May we seek to live wisely, obeying our parents, honoring them and being grateful to them, always seeking the Lord, so that our living at home expresses Christ in order to bear fruits for God and become overcomers in Him every day!
May the Lord keep you in Him, dear young one!
Author: Débora Moreno
Translation of the article 8 BRECHAS PARA VOCÊ FECHAR NO RELACIONAMENTO COM A SUA FAMÍLIA – SÉRIE “VIDA SOCIAL” (6) (Blog “Eu Vos Escrevi”)