Relationship with Your Parents

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November 5 was our meeting about our relationship with our parents.  Many young people today think that authority is a bad and undesirable thing, and so they often rebel against the authorities God has placed in their lives. They fail to understand that as the Author of the universe, He has all authority over it and He delegates authority to human people to accomplish His purposes (Rom. 13:1-5). As young people, the primary authority God has placed over us is our parents. When we submit to their God-given authority, we are submitting to God (Eph. 6:1).  When we disobey our parents authority, we are disobeying God.  Believe it or not, being under authority has many benefits including provision, training, correction, and protection.

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God has given us the protection of our parents.  He uses their authority that He has set in place in our lives to bring blessing and to be a protection over us.  Just like an umbrella protects us from getting wet from the rain, the authority of our parents protects us from the dangers of the world… as long as we stay under their authority.  When we chose to obey our parents, we are choosing to be under the protection that God has set in place.  When we disobey and resist authority we move out from under the protection that God has given us opening ourselves up to the dangers of the enemy.

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It is so important that we have a good relationship with our parents.  When we respect them and their authority, there are many blessings that follow.  Honoring our parents and being submissive is often hard, yet it is the key to a close relationship with our parents.  When your parents ask you to do something that you don’t like, ask the Lord to give you a submissive attitude.  When we have an attitude of true submission, obedient actions will follow naturally and we will being honoring our parents and the Lord.

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As we seek to be strong for the Lord and use the years of our youth for Him, we need to choose to honor the authority of our parents and seek to develop a close relationship with them.  As we honor our parents, others will notice and we will be a shining testimony to them.  Let’s each commit to honoring our parents and developing a close relationship with them for the glory of God.  Ask the Lord to help you gain a submissive attitude and to provide you with opportunities to build your relationship with your parents.

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For our activity time, the girls enjoyed making cards for their parents and writing notes of gratefulness to them.

Practical Assignment:  Write down three specific ways that you can intentionally honor your parents this coming week and do those things before the next meeting!

Submission

For our last Bright Lights meeting of the year, we finished up Set 6 of the Bright Lights curriculum by studying the topic of submission.  When discussing this topic, it is important to understand the difference between submission and obedience.  Submission is more than just obedience.  It is an attitude from our heart; it is joyfully putting ourselves under someone else’s authority and giving up our way.    It is possible be obedient without being submissive.  We can obey and be rebellious at the same time.  We can be forced to obey, but not to submit.  Submission is the inner attitude; obedience is the outward action.  While we might have the outward appearance of being obedient, the Lord looks on the heart and sees whether or not our attitude is truly submissive.

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Object lesson: a chocolate box with dirt inside illustrates how we can be outwardly obedient, but inwardly rebellious instead of submissive

Submission is…

  • obeying with a humble attitude.
  • complying not only with the commands, but also to the wishes of those who are in authority over us.
  • lowering ourselves and joyfully putting ourselves under another.
  • voluntarily giving up our way and trusting God to work out His plan through the authorities He has set in place over us.
  • delighting to honor our authorities not only in our actions, but also in our attitudes.

Jesus is our perfect example of submission: He is Lord of all, Creator of the universe, yet He was willing to demonstrate submission, both to His earthly parents (Luke 2:51) – who weren’t perfect – and to His Heavenly Father.  Jesus came to earth, not to do His will, but the will of His Father (John 6:38).  Jesus submitted His will to the will of His Father, even when it was most difficult (Luke 22:42). If Jesus hadn’t been willing to submit Himself, He wouldn’t have gone to the cross and we would have no way to be saved!  Submission requires a humble spirit, and in Philippians 2:5-11 we are called to follow the example of Christ’s humility.

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A submissive volunteer obeying bossy orders as she does a math worksheet

Submission is one of the very hardest things to do.  Everyone naturally wants to make their own decisions and be in charge of their own lives.  We don’t like others telling us what to do.  We think we know more.  We think our plan will work better.  Our pride often gets in the way and causes to do things our own way instead of submitting to others.  The world often considers submission to be degrading and negative; the world says to be independent and that you don’t need to do what others tell you to do.  God’s way is opposite:

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.  –1 Peter 5:5-6

Submission is lowering ourselves.  Few people realize that when they lower themselves, God promises to exalt them in His time.  God tells us to submit because He know that it is for our protection and good.  The challenge is hard, but God’s rewards are always greater.  God ultimately wants us to learn submission to authorities so that we will submit to the Jesus as Lord of our lives.

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A submissive volunteer learning to drive while given rapid-fire directions

God has commanded wives to submit to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22-24); this is an example and testimony to the world.  It is also a picture of how we as Christians, the Bride of Christ, should be submitted to our Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ.  If we as young ladies can learn to submit to our parents, we will have a head start in learning to submit to our husbands (Lord willing) and to others for the rest of our lives.  Submitting to human authorities will help us learn to submit to God.

Each of the topics that we have covered in Set 6 (Preparing to Be Wives and Mothers) are things that we should be cultivating in our lives, whether or not the Lord has marriage in store for our future.  Our ultimate goal in life isn’t to get married; rather, it is to please the Lord and glorify Him with our life.  We can only do this as we learn to submit to God’s will for our life.

For our activity time, we enjoyed doing small group skits (a favorite activity in our Bemidji BL group!).  Each group was given a verse and had to come up with a skirt relating that verse to the topic of submission.

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Colossians 3:20 – “Children, obey your parents in all things…”
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“…for this is well pleasing to the Lord.”
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Proverbs 15:5 – “A fool despises his father’s instruction…”
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“…But he who receives correction is prudent.”
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Romans 13:1 – “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities…”
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“…For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.”
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1 Peter 5:5 – “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another…”
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“…and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.'”

Since this was our last Bright Lights meeting for the year, we finished off the evening with an ice cream sundae party!

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The snack table laden with sweets
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No one minded the long line as we enjoyed fellowship while waiting for our ice cream
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Build your own sundae bar (someone called it Bright Lights Cherry Berry!)
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Beautiful Bright Lights smiles

We have had such a blessed year of meetings and we are sad to come to a close.  I’ll miss you girls, and am looking forward to seeing what the Lord has in store for our Bemidji Bright Lights group.  May each one of you girls continue to seek and serve our Savior throughout the summer and shine as bright lights for Him!

Holiness

On January 17, we started Set 4 of the Bright Lights curriculum with a lesson on holiness.  We learned that to be holy is not only to be clean and pure, but to be special, set-apart, and reserved for God’s special purposes.  We talked about how when two things that are separate become mixed – like applesauce and cottage cheese served with the same spoon – it gets polluted or ruined.  If we as Christians mix with the world, we will become polluted, ordinary, and lukewarm.  God warns us many times in Scripture of the dangers of mixing with the world.

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We read 2 Timothy 2:20-22.  Using the illustration of a plastic cup versus a delicate teacup, we talked about how God desires vessels that are clean and set apart.  He wants us to be His best instruments for His special uses – we must be reserved and prepared for these things alone.  We need to be willing to be separated from the world’s thinking and from what is common, knowing that we are reserved for God’s special purposes.   There are things that we cannot do because we are set apart for God – this is not a sacrifice, but rather a great privilege as daughters of the King of kings!

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So how can we be holy?  We need to obey the Lord.  Obedience makes us different, Christ-like, and gives us that contrast and distinctiveness from the world, which is holiness.  We need to be a picture of God’s way to others – that is what it means to be a bright light.  A holy, set-apart  life is a radiant testimony to the world around us.

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Acting out the story of King Asa

Concluding our lesson, we split into small groups for discussion on how the condition of our heart is important to a living holy life. Why?  We can’t live a holy, set-apart life if our heart is polluted with the world.  Each group did a “heart study”, looking up Scripture that shows us what kind of “hearts” God wants us to have (understanding heart, tender heart, clean heart,  lowly heart, pure heart, etc.).

For our activity, each small group chose a heart from the study and made a poster with that theme – and a contest was on!  Each group was so creative, making it hard to judge which one was the winner.

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Here’s some pictures of the finished posters:

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Special thanks to the moms who posed as our panel of judges.  And thank you to both Hannahs and the N. ladies for providing our delicious snacks for the evening.