Numbers 30 New International Version (NIV)
30 [a]Moses said to the heads of the tribes of Israel: “This is what the Lordcommands: 2 When a man makes a vow to the Lord or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said.
3 “When a young woman still living in her father’s household makes a vow to the Lord or obligates herself by a pledge 4 and her father hears about her vow or pledge but says nothing to her, then all her vows and every pledge by which she obligated herself will stand. 5 But if her father forbids her when he hears about it, none of her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand; the Lord will release her because her father has forbidden her.
Sometimes it is hard to be a parent. Sometimes it is hard to be a leader. Sometimes it is hard to do the right thing. Sometimes it is hard to know whether what you are doing is the right thing. But ALL times one must stand firm, fix one’s hope on Jesus, fear God and know that our Father in Heaven is judge and know what is best and He will bring it to pass.
I am standing at a place like that right now...
Having children is one thing but letting them get married is another. See the verses that start this blog? Once your daughter has been given your consent to obligate herself to the man she loves, or if you did not say anything about it when you found out about the commitment, you cannot say anymore. All you can say at that point are things that will build and encourage and offer a view that maybe had not been thought of, but you no longer have control, you have released control. Besides which, they are adults and need to learn to make decisions and work out problems. If one keeps helping them out or telling them what to do, one is not helping them, one is enabling them.
I remember when we were engaged, 31 years ago or thereabouts, and both of us still asked the opinions of our parents, particularly my parents in law. Was it wrong to ask them? No! However, it got to the point where we crippled ourselves in that we were hurt when they did not agree, or they did not like our choices.
Now don’t get me wrong, it was not for everything, but in the bigger decisions of life or bigger purchases we went to them and sought counsel from them and it gave them too much power. It helped them keep the “apron strings” attached, and we felt like we could do nothing right for them and we were not always happy ourselves then. We were not obedient to God’s plan and that is why we did not have the peace. You see, we are told in Genesis
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
And the man is the head of the home, leading the home, the people, with God’s wisdom. We had to break away and hold onto each other and buy things and do things that we felt were right, and even if others did not like it, if it were ethical and God honouring, then to simply stick with it.
So this raises the question: do we never ask for counsel then? Well, of course not. We would be silly if we did that. The book of Proverbs is full of verses encouraging us to seek advice, to seek wisdom, to seek counsel, however, God is the ultimate opinion we should seek and we should value His opinion above all.
Proverbs 15:22New International Version (NIV)
22 Plans fail for lack of counsel,
but with many advisers they succeed.
It is also better to seek the counsel of someone neutral, someone we don’t feel that we will get indebted t0, and the person should also have the same values.
So what does all this have to do with anything? Well, a situation arose that needed to be addressed. Our daughter’s fiancé found himself without a job. It is less than 4 months to the weddings now and without that second income, living after the honeymoon will not be easy. In fact, it would not be possible if they want to live in a reasonable apartment or townhouse. With the economy the way it is these days, jobs are hard to come by and my daughter has a stable job, so moving away is not really an option. He was feeling helpless and discouraged, which is natural and many opinions were being stated, but there was no system. So we did the hard thing... we called a meeting. With my husband and the children and his parents, and we prayed and we talked and we encouraged and we made suggestions, but ultimately, we had to come to a point, and we did. We set a date... a boundary, and said:”By this date a job must be in place. If not, the wedding is postponed.”
Is that what we want? No! But there is no more that we can do. Our job is now to sit back and pray and watch our God and let them implement the ideas.
We don’t want to take away their independence, we don’t want to tell them what to do, and we simply want to help them to get a good start on solid ground. And that is what they want to. This is all part of the job of the parents of the bride and groom, helping them to get off on a sure footing. This is all part of the preparation for the wedding, for let’s face it... it’s what’s after the wedding that takes a lot more work and money!
Sometimes it is hard to be a parent. Sometimes it is hard to be a leader. Sometimes it is hard to do the right thing. Sometimes it is hard to know whether what you are doing is the right thing. But at ALL times one must stand firm, fix one’s hope on Jesus, fear God and know that our Father in Heaven is judge and knows what is best and He will bring it to pass.
Blessings of hope to you, knowing that any situation can be resolved peacefully.... ANY. BB