**Most of this blog is for girls only! Any boys, please only read the posts linked to in the "For Boys" page on the sidebar. Thank you.**

Friday, 15 February 2013

An Amazing Gift: Parents // Part 1

 The sign on the door said, "Help for the journey." A young girl knocked, and entered as the answering "Come in!" met her ears.
 At the desk sat a Being, with an appearance that radiated both immeasurable greatness and extraordinary love.

 "How may I help you, daughter?" asked the Being. He spoke with a voice that shook the walls, yet somehow also whispered tenderly.

 "Well, God, You know that I have a big journey ahead of me. You know the trials ahead, the struggles I will have to face. I know that I can always come to You as my Guide and Friend, but, if you please, I would like some fellow travellers on the journey as well. Some people more experienced than I, and able to help me know what to do and how to best follow You."

 "My daughter," smiled God, "you already have two such fellow travellers! I gave them to you long ago."

 "Really God? Who are they? Why haven't I noticed them before?"

 "Child, the minute you were born I gave you your parents. Perhaps you have not noticed because they are always around you. They may have become too familiar. But even so, they are my gift to you! They are the ones who can best help you know how best to follow me. You can learn to go to them, to appreciate them, to re-discover them. Take advantage of my gift, daughter, for they will be invaluable in counselling you in My ways. And one more thing: I have placed them as authority over you. They are a gift in that way too, and you should always submit to them."

 It's true. Parents can be an amazing help in our journey of purity and growing closer to God! I think that often (and I am very guilty of this too) we don't seek their advice often enough or appreciate them for who they are. Here are some more thoughts.

The 'Teenagers vs Adults' Problem
 Our society has recently adopted the thinking that 'when kids become teens they rebel against authority and especially parents.' But get this: that's not the way it has to be! God gave us our parents to help us! And especially for the teen years when heaps of changes are going on and we need more help than ever! We, as Christian teens/young adults need to be setting a counter-cultural example. We need to be embracing the guides, mentors and authorities that the Lord has given us in our parents. What's the point in 'rebelling' when authority is put in place to help us know God better and guide us on the journey?!

Help for the Journey: Parents
 Guys, I hope you can realise what God did when He made parents for us (although I don't think I fully do yet!). The Bible (Proverbs especially) is full of verses telling the reader to 'listen to a parent's instruction.' Think about it: they are guides for the here and now, mentors for life's rough patches, encouragers for when we are discouraged, family we can do life with. They provide  wisdom, caution, accountability, love etc etc. How awesome! Why would we not want to embrace that? (More on this in a later post.)

Imperfect Parents
 Now, you may be reading this thinking "but what if my parents aren't saved?" or "what if I haven't  got any parents?" I'm very aware that I've written this post assuming that most of the girls reading it  are in a loving Christian home with saved parents. But I'm also aware that many girls may have a less than ideal situation when it comes to home and parents. So I'm going to offer a few reminders to those people out there as a sister in Christ.

  1. God never makes mistakes. He knows what kind of parents you've got, or if you don't have any. In the latter case, remember that God is a very special Father to His children. He will always love you. If you have unsaved parents, remember that God is still at work. He can still use unsaved authorities for His good. (I love what Sarah Mally says in 'Before You Meet Prince Charming': "maybe it isn't that He has given you unsaved parents, but that he gave them a Christian daughter!") You can always go to Him for guidance. Or maybe you can ask some other older Godly people to be your mentors. But always remember that God knows your situation, and He does't make mistakes. (For the Colin Buchanan fans, "God never says 'oops!,' never slips up, never makes any mistakes. No, God never says 'oops!' 'cause He's got a perfect plan. Oh can He do it? Yes he can!" :D)
  2. You still need to submit to authority. Romans 13:1-2 says, "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.  Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves." (Also check out Titus 3:1 and 1 Peter 2:13a.) Even if you have imperfect parents, you still need to submit to the authorities God has put in place for you. Unless, of course, they contradict the instructions in the Bible.
God 1st
 You also may be having niggling thoughts about where God comes into this. I've tried not to make this sound like parents are the cure-all and our only guide in life, but to clearly avoid confusion, I'll add some thoughts about where God comes into this.
 God should always be the one to turn to first. God created parents to help us, but He is still our First Authority. In fact, sometimes when I ask my mum about something (usually concerning direction in ministry etc) she says, "Have you asked God first?" "Um, no, I will" is usually my answer (see, I don't rely completely on God sometimes too!). Sometimes asking God will give me direction, sometimes I have to go back to mum. But I often need to learn to ask God first.
 In summary, God should be #1. But he has also given us parents to help as well. And we must always, always submit first to God, then our parents and other authorities.

 My message in this post is two-fold: (1) Parents are an amazing gift from God! 'Help for the journey' is a big part of why God has given them to you. (2) God wants us to submit to authority, and in particular our parents.

Cassie xoxoxo

P.S. Check out this great post relating to parents!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Happy Valentines Day!

Ah, Valentines Day. People happy, people moping, worrying if they will ever find love. But what about us? What about the girls who have decided to wait to date/court? What should we do on Valentines Day?

  1. Pray. Thank God that He is our true source of fulfilment and love. Pray for those who don't know that. Ask Jesus to help you love Him increasingly more. Pray for your future husband. Pray for a new generation of young men who are strong and Godly leaders. Pray for a new generation of young women who are Godly help-meets and servants. Etc etc.
  2. Give a friend flowers. (Or for that matter, a stranger!) I know this may come a little late for you to buy and deliver them, but think about it for next year. 
  3. Give something away. Just because.
  4. Write a letter to your future husband. I think it would be cool to be able to give him that letter years later!
  5. Any other suggestions??
Your dear sister,
Cassie xoxoxo