Friday, June 3, 2011

Journey of Faith Friday: Free Will

Amber's Articles

Free Will

Here I am asking questions again.  Questions that occasionally go unanswered, questions that occasionally lead me on a search through the hundreds of pages of God's written Word and those inspired through His Word offering me a glimpse of truth.  

Pouring out those questions here is something I am not ready to do, as it will be of little benefit to you, the reader, but the glimpse of truth is worth the pouring out.  I have heard it before, but sometimes truth heard the second, third, or millionth time is revealed differently than the first.  

This week, while reading Parenting With Love And Logic with my husband I read these words:

"Too many parents confuse love, protection and caring.  These concepts are not synonymous.  Parents my refuse to allow their children to fail because they see such a response as uncaring.  Thus, they overcompensate with worry and hyper-concern.

   What these parents are doing, in reality, is meeting their own selfish needs.  They make more work for themselves and will, in the long run, raise children who make their own lives more work.  Protection is not synonymous with caring, but both are a part of love.  

   Let's look at the way God operates.  If we ask ourselves, 'Does God care about us?' we'd probably respond, 'Sure, God cares a lot about us.'  But if we then ask ourselves, 'Would He let us jump off a cliff tonight?' we'd all have to admit, 'Yeah, now that you mention it, He probably would.'  So does he care?  Of course he does!  Yet God loves without being overly protective." (p.32)

"God gave all humans-His supreme creation-considerable freedom, and that includes the opportunity to goof up.  Failure and success are two sides of the same coin.  If there had been no forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden, humanity would have had no opportunity to make responsible or irresponsible choices, When Adam and Eve made the wrong choice, God allowed them to suffer the consequences.  Although He did not approve of their disobedience, He loved them enough to let them make a decision and live with the results.  

   God's love in the garden sets the example for all parents to follow.  He allowed Adam and Eve the freedom to make the choice.  In a similar way, if we give children freedom and loving acceptance, they will sometimes make choices and do things we don't approve of

   As our children grow older and gain more power over their lives and environment, the correct exercise of their ability to make decisions become even more important for them.  Just as God gave us a good mind and the ability to excel, He has given us the capability to blow up the planet.  However, a race capable of blowing up the planet is also capable of flying to Saturn.  High success and high achievement carry with them the risks of abysmal losses."  (p. 28-29)

These words were just the glimpse of truth I needed, not so much about parenting, although that perspective is more than helpful, but about questions that lie deep in my heart.  Questions that may never be fully answered this side of Heaven, but that keep me coming to the feet of Jesus and asking for His wisdom, His grace, and His mercy.

In God giving us free will He was demonstrating one aspect of His love for us.  Unfortunately, free will can NOT guarantee positive and loving responses.  Free will allows choice.  IT IS choice and often times people choose evil, people choose actions that produce negative outcomes, people choose to act in ways we don't approve.  Unfortunately, many of those choices affect those who are innocent or those who are trying to make positive and loving decisions.  Those affects most often leave deep wounds that are difficult to heal and that is probably best case scenario.

That is where I struggle, where I wrestle with God, but today I rest in the small glimpse of truth.  The truth that a God who loves gives me, gives everyone, the opportunity to choose, because He LOVES.  

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You can read previous Journey of Faith posts HERE.

Every Friday, I post about the work God is doing or has done in my life, as I journey on this road of faith.

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6 comments:

Ashley Sisk said...

Really well said today Amber - it's one of those things I've struggled with as well. Actually, beyond that to the point where I've been doing even more studying in the past week than usual. Thanks so much for sharing and have a wonderful weekend.

Casey Martinez said...

So true! It seems that there is a lot of blogging going around this week on parenting but, this is the truest way to parent. I thought about how even when my little gal falls (not hurt flal just a sit fall) I go to her and help her up but, I wasn't allowing her to learn to stand on her own...very symbolic if you will. It kinda opened my eyes to the fact that I am a softie and I need to be careful to not coddle her in what i think is love, as that will ultimately squelch her growth. Beautiful post Amber!

Chrissy said...

Beautiful photos, Amber. I had to look over your post again just to view them again. You are really very talented.

denise* paper angels said...

im not a parent but i really do admire you guys raising your children in godly families. :) it does look really tough but really worth it. :) thanks for posting. x

katy said...

Hey lady. I haven't been on the internet or blogosphere very much lately so I was way behind on reading blogs. I just caught up with several posts. I am so sorry to hear about your Granny, but thankful that you are always transparent and encouraging through your struggles.
Loved this post, by the way. What a good reminder of parenting priorities! The older K gets the harder I seem to struggle with this as she is EVERYWHERE all the time!

Carolina said...

Thank you for this post, really spoke to me.