Saturday, February 9, 2008

But, Honey? How Will He Feel? And An Elephant Named Isaac.

"And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac,
whom thou lovest,
and get thee into the land of Moriah;
and offer him there for a burnt offering
upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
And Abraham rose up early in the morning,
and saddled his ass,
and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son,
and clave the wood for the burnt offering,
and rose up,
and went unto the place of which God had told him.
Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes,
and saw the place afar off.
And Abraham said unto his young men,
Abide ye here with the ass;
and I and the lad will go yonder and worship,
and come again to you.
And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering,
and laid it upon Isaac his son;
and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife;
and they went both of them together.
And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father:
and he said, Here am I, my son.
And he said, Behold the fire and the wood:
but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering:
so they went both of them together.
And they came to the place which God had told him of;
and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order,
and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven,
and said, Abraham, Abraham:
and he said, Here am I.
And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad,
neither do thou any thing unto him:
for now I know that thou fearest God,
seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
And Abraham lifted up his eyes,
and looked,
and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns:
and Abraham went and took the ram,
and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh:
as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.
And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham
out of heaven the second time,
And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD,
for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son,
thine only son:
That in blessing I will bless thee,
and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven,
and as the sand which is upon the sea shore;
and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;
because thou hast obeyed my voice. "
Genesis 22: 2-18


A few months ago, maybe October or November,
my Honey was watching the Discovery Channel (shock - Ok, NOT a shock!)
This episode was so intriguing to me, I hope I can do it justice.
There was a particular herd of elephants,
where there were many teenage male elephants.
There were old male elephants,
not in their "hay-day" you could say.
There were not strong adult seasoned males.
The kind that can reign in and discipline the wild and youthful male elephants!

As a solution, they found a herd that could spare one or two adult males,
captured them and transported them to the herd
which was in need of their manly influence.
True to form, the young males tried to take on the strong adult males.
They later wished they didn't.
It just took one or two rounds to realize, they had a lot to learn!
It'd be better to grow up.
And to save fighting for when there was a real reason to fight!
It was fascinating to see how this indeed repaired the problem.
I was in the kitchen when the show came on.
And I knew at once when I heard the details
I had to go watch this with hubby!

Why did this speak to me?
We have two children. Both sons. a 23 year old, and a 15 year old.
Between them, my husband and Jesus, that is my heartbeat, the light in my eyes,
and is often the case in the heart's desires of our lives, my weak spot.
Those boys that is.
When the oldest turned 12, 13, 14 his Dad got much more stern with him.
It always hurt my feelings and his (our son).
I always wanted to intercede, explain, be the diplomat, extend the olive branch.


This did SOOOO much harm. In my defense, I didn't understand.
I did it in ignorance. As my oldest got older, I DID begin to learn.
But, it was a case of too little, too late.
Now, don't be alarmed my oldest is going to be fine.
It's a case of good, better, best.
We probably did low on the good side.
We trust God to COVER with grace, our lack of parenting ability.
We DID much good training, much loving, much praying, much trusting him to God.
And we continue to be very involved in his life, in a healthy way.
As a matter of fact,
he is in the backyard working with his Dad on some guy stuff, right now.
Now along comes the youngest. The baby. The last.
My oldest first slammed his bedroom door when he was 17.
My youngest when he was 3.
They are so alike.
And yet so different.
The oldest dodges conflict.
(mind you, many mistake that for obedience and sweetness, not necessarily the case!)
The youngest desires conflict at times!
(and many mistake this for lots of things, and they miss every time)
I am older, one hopes much wiser (one has much cause to doubt this),
no longer ignorant in this regard.
YET, I STILL struggle to get out of between the two males
in the household when it's time to discipline.


My youngest is really in touch with his feelings,
and can at times, explain things,
(though not always in the tone I might like to hear it.
At times I permit this, just to be able to hear what is going on in that mind of his).
One of the best things is, he consistently tells me,
"Mom, you HAVE to stay out of Dad and me!"
His Dad says,
"Honey, I love you, but you have to stay out when I am talking to him!
I know what I'm doing! Really!"
I hate it when my knee jerk reaction is to Butt-in!
The type of personality I have wants to FIX everything!
And really, it is a very prideful attitude, to think everything and everyone depends on you to come and explain it!
Our children do it, too!
So does my husband! It can be QUITE interesting!
We laugh at it, at times.
At other times, it's not so Christ like around here!
But, we ARE learning!
I am learning!
AND we are QUICK to repent!
Recently, as I read "When I Lay My Isaac Down",
by Carol Kent, I GOT something about this.
God didn't ask Sarah to offer up Isaac.
He told Abraham.
Think about that. It was such an eye opener to me.
What did Sarah feel like left at home...?
With Abraham telling her his big plan?
Imagine with me if you will...

Abraham: Honey, I've heard from God. Yeah, we're gonna take a trip, Isaac and I. God's gonna point the way. I am to sacrafice Isaac, and then we'll come on back home.
Sarah: (as we say in the South) Do What? You're NOT taking my baby boy anywhere.
No, I don't hardly think so!
Abraham, have you been smoking that pipe again?
Abraham: Woman, I know what I am talking about. The same God who gave us this son, has asked this of me. The same God who asked this, WILL and IS ABLE to raise him up again.
Do you doubt that?
Sarah: But, what will Isaac think? What will he FEEL like (mothers like me, we ALWAYS worry about that, How will they FEEL?)? How will he KNOW that WE LOVE him (that's the other worry!), if you do this thing, Abraham?

Sarah watches them go the next morning. Her heart in her throat.
Hot tears burning her eyes.
She cries. She doesn't know where to turn.
She wants to run after them, and beg Abraham to reconsider.
She pleads with God to help Isaac know that his Father DOES love him.
Not to take his life. She reminds God of His promise to them.
That Isaac WAS and IS their child of promise.

When Abraham caused Isaac to carry his own wood.
The wood he would be burned on....
that part always just slays me.
How could he? I think.
Well, how could God cause Jesus to carry the cross?
The cross He would be nailed to?
The death to the flesh that was being walked out, is a picture of the death to the flesh that Fathers are uniquely equipped to help their sons to do.
The Strongs Concordance tells us the word wood as it used there means (besides the obvious! ;) firmness, to be stable.
Could it be this discipline,
that it's necessary, it's a GOOD thing, desirable to bring stability?
I REALLY did not look forward in some ways, to doing this post.
It's hard to talk about things that people will very possibly misunderstand.
But, I felt it was important to help any mother, maybe who has young children,
everything is so much less complicated when they are young.
But, as they get older, the roles shift. At least for sons.
The father's role becomes much more prominent in some ways, at certain times.
Two EXCELLENT books to understand this dynamic,
are Dr James Dobson, "Bringing Up Boys", and John Eldridge "Wild at Heart".
I HEARTILY recommend them.
Some of the conversations in my head about this post, are "But, Lord, the people that read have little kids, or if they do have older children, they KNOW what they are doing. They are going to think I am a bad wife! A bad mother!"
As you can see, I am doing the post! He won! :)
I am humoring Him! LOL! :)
All I can say, is when it comes to the tough issues,
when you think your husband or their father is too stern, maybe harsh.
Consider Sarah. Consider Mary.
Remember the reward.
Abraham & God the Father, had faith in the long term dividend of crucifying the flesh.
Fathers are wired to do this.
And they all lived happily ever after, sort of!



Karen said...

Great insightful post Maria. You have such a gift of writing, teaching and study! My son isn't one for sharing how he feels, or what is going on with him - I find that hard, because I want to be able to help (you know fix things), I see a lot of me in him and when he shuts me out I get frustrated. I am learning how a boy is wired. My daughter and I talk about alsorts (as much as you can with an almost 5 year old), but the dynamics are so different. I read the John Eldredge book - soooo good. I also have a few books on Raising Boys, but I still have trouble 'getting' my boy sometimes, much as I love him to bits.

Tiffany said...

I'm so glad that you gave in and did this post! My husband is reading Dr. Dobson's book right now. We (Hugh, Trey and I all watched Abraham & Isaac by the Nest Entertainment -Animated Stories from the Bible- recently.) It led Hugh and I to discuss later, if we could trust ourselves to follow the Lord, if He commanded us to do the same. It made us both shudder, literally! And Hugh said I don't even want to talk about it. I know in my heart my answer is the same- No, I probably wouldn't. And maybe that's why I've had soo much death in my life, I don't know. Sometimes, I feel that because God knows my heart that He is trying to teach me not to hold on too tightly to the things of this world- not even the people I love. -not to "idoly" put anything in my life above, or between me and Him. And I know that so much of what I am saying could be read wrong too! I don't see my Lord as mean, spiteful, or hurtful in anyway...on the contrary He is the only unmovable, unchangable thing in my life. The only One who will Not leave me, -who will always love me, always protect me. But, I also know He is always "breaking me," in order to make me better than I am right now! Did that make any sense? On a side note, I thought about the fact that maybe God didn't let ole Abe tell Sarah, for the exact reason you explained! If she had trusted the Lord in the first place, she wouldn't have talked Abraham into taking her handmaiden, as a wife and to bare his first born. I'd also love to know how Isaac reacted to being bound. Did he ask why, beg or plead, or did he simply trust and love his father and heavenly father enough, that he was willing to be a sacrifice. But hey, that's the woman in me, wanting to analyze and know everything. Sorry this is so long... hope you are having a wonderful evening! The babies are in bed and Hugh's at work so I'm going to catch up on some reading! Blessings!

Denise said...

Such a beautifully inspiring post dear.

luvmy4sons said...

LOVE THIS POST! You go girl! AMEN and AMEN! As the mother of four sons I struggle with this all the time. I have looked back also and seen where hubby had been right and I had butted in because of my mother sensitivities. I am almost 1/2 way through When I Lay My Isaac Down. Awesome book. I have also read Dobson's book. Our society has emasculated our men and it is so hard for women today to understand that we too do much to emasculate our husbands and sons. I think it is very important for wives to share their opinion with hubby if it is truly that important to them, but in private and submissively and with the attitude that-I know you know best but wanted to put this out there for your consideration. Never in front of the children. I am SO not perfect at this! Awesome post dear sister!

Carole said...

This post needs 150 amens. However I am a bit peeved that you wrote it after my youngest was 28 How am I suppose to change my behavior now? Good stuff.

Still, some of us have fathers or mothers that are crazy and get brutal and violent. In those cases the children need someone to step in and protect. This I think is what the Christian parent needs to weigh, for safety's sake.

You look good in a vulnerable state Maria. I applaud you to be able say the truth with your eyes open, not flinching.

Sharon said...

Yes, and AMEN to this post.
And I will have to say I had a little chuckle when I saw your scripture passage--we talked on the same exact one in Sunday school today. How cool is that?
This is up my alley. I am a "how will they feel" person.
Gosh there is so much that I could say--but our story is not finished. I am still looking at a son who needs a male elephant to put him in line. I am afraid that this is not going to be my husband. You see when you have a Daddy that wants to be a friend instead of a Daddy---it causes problems.
The sad thing is that we often view God as we do our earthly Fathers. God is not our pal.
Thank you for this post. I will continue to pray for my son until the day he bends his knee to his heavenly Father.

Thank you cuz. :)
This touched my heart.

Sharon said...

Oh--about the words I added to the comment section.
When you log in click on customize in the upper right. Then go to settings and click on comments. Scroll down and there is a box that says--Comment form message. Put you message in their and then make sure you save the changes.
That should do it.
I just learned how yesterday or the day before.
Hope this helps.

Sharon said...

A little love for you over at my place.;)

Nicki said...

Well how about that for some raw cookie dough??!!! That's some good stufy girly!! I'm so glad you wrote all this out! It's awesome!!

MelanieJoy said...

Hey's a pleasure to meet you as well. Thank you for your visit and comment over at my place. This higher level of walk is very new to me...looking forward to it and learning new things.
Loved this post by the way!

freetofly said...

Karen, Thank you so much for your encouragement! It means way more than you know! And I know what you mean about the frustrations. But, I have to say, your children are in great hands! You are SOOOO far ahead of where I was when mine were little! P.S. I will get my Memory Verse up in the morning! I wasn't hardly home today! :)

Tiff, Thanks for the encouragement! AND I heartily agree! I couldn't either! I think in the New Testemant it is more about the dying to flesh, and that is why we can't relate to what Abraham was called to do. Jesus wiped that out. Also, remember - He deals with us in ways we understand - and Abraham was called out of a pagan culture, it was not unheard of to have a human scarafice in the culture which God called him out of. Where in our day and time,if someone did that, they are criminal and possibly psychotic...which gives me a great big sigh of relief! To know those days are done! Thank you Jesus! Literally! LOL!

Hope all is well for you, Tiff! I haven't fogot I owe you an e-mail...hopefully tomorrow!

Thanks, Denise!

Leslie! Way cool! You're reading it, too! Makes ya' cry doesn't it?! Phew! But, it's worth it! You know I have to send you an e-mail too! And I DO agree about sharing the opinion! (clearly I could do no less! LOL!) But for me, (STILL more than I would care to admit! Yikes!) it is the how & the when that troubles me! Pray for me! LOL! Pray for HIM! LOL! Duct tape might help me! Thank you SO much for encouraging me!

Carole! You are SUCH a doll! Thank you more than I can say! And I agree 100% that some families are whack! And this won't apply there!

Sharon, YES I AM! :) Praying for yours too, woman! That IS tough, but, He is MORE than sufficient to fill in our weak places, matter of fact He works best that way!

Oh! & Thanks for the love! I will be over to see that! :)

Nicki! Thanks a bunch girl! This is something you won't have NEAR as much trouble with since you have all girly girlz! ;) But, you will be helping other women who are in the fox hole of motherhood! :)

Thanks Melanie Joy! Your post was such a blessing and very humbling to read.

TO ALL: You EACH blessed my socks off! I NEVER dreamed to get such sweet and thoughtful responses...and the angst this weak spot has caused me is much relieved by getting it out in the sunshine! Thanks for coming along for the journey for a bit! And sharing some of yours with me!


Renee's Reading Corner said...

I have stopped by and read this post several times. It has been so hard to take it in but I KNOW I needed to hear it (read it--you know what I mean LOL). I need to step aside too but am struggling with this. I'll be getting those books you recommended from the library. Thanks so much for this post!


What Does it Mean Anyway? "Free to Fly"...

Well, it's like this: Here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Free: a : having the legal and political rights of a citizen b : enjoying civil and political liberty c : enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination d : enjoying personal freedom : not subject to the control or domination of another2 a : not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being : choosing or capable of choosing for itself...having a scope not restricted by qualification 7 a : not obstructed, restricted, or impeded ...Now, here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Fly:1 a : to move in or pass through the air with wings b : to move through the air or before the wind or through outer space c : to float, wave, or soar in the air ... a : to take flight ...6 : to work successfully ...Examples which apply from Websters: fly high : to be elated - fly in the face of or fly in the teeth of : to stand or act forthrightly or brazenly in defiance or contradiction of

What does this mean in my life? This means that in life we are meant to be free. While historically mankind has not always enjoyed the opportunity to fully appreciate what that means, we are so indescribably fortunate as to live in a time of the greatest spiritual, physical, financial and political freedom ever known. Freedom doesn't come cheap, nor does it come easy. But the best things in life don't come that way do they? As I write this I am struck by how this sounds like a political statement, and for me this is much more of a spiritual thing, but, same goes for that (political that is). Freedom doesn't come easy. And it's worth whatever fight you have to make to overcome in your life in order to live a life that succeeds. Now the questions is - what is success for you? What is your standard? In my mind what is needed is a definite target - because you can't hit and maintain a moving target. A stable, rock-solid, anchor with no variable, yet multi-faceted. Something pure, just and worthy. If you look at any web page of news you can see that our society is certainly lacking in this area. What a great time to live as a rebel! Nowadays to be a rebel, all you have to do is be willing to engage in the battle of life, while anchored to Christ!