Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Proverbs 19 - Ear Muffs

"Cease listening to instruction, my son,
 And you will stray from the words of knowledge."
 ~ Proverbs 19:27

I listened to instruction from my parents until I turned...eleven? Twelve? And by the time I turned sixteen, I stopped. I heard their words, but I didn't receive the instruction.

And I strayed far, far away from their words of knowledge.

Teenagers think they know it all. By the time children hit the age of eleven, they're trying to tell their parents what's what. My son tries so hard to know what he's talking about. Half the time I'm correcting his misinformation, which he loves to share with his siblings. I understand he's coming to a place in life where he desires to feel a bit more independent. I know he's trying to express himself and is looking for my approval, attention, and affection. But he doesn't know it all, yet. He doesn't have a clue.

I remember being a teen and thinking I knew it all. Yep. Even though I'm nearing forty, I haven't forgotten the plight of finding myself. I disregarded the words of knowledge my parents taught me since birth. Disregarding those words sent me places I never would have desired to go if I'd known about them beforehand. Places like Lonely Land, Regret Road, Shameful Place, and Death Row. 

One of my favorite scriptures is James 1:13-15.
"Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.
But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death."

Let me give you a visual illustration of this process, which ties into the fact that when we cease listening to instruction, we stray from the words of knowledge.

I quit going to church by the time I entered eighth grade. I started reading romance novels at this time. Not Christian romance. The hot, steamy romance novels my mother had on the shelves in the office loft. The temptation to read these overcame me, and I sneaked them to school. I would sit in English class with the romance novel stuck inside my reading book. Guess which one I was reading...

Which led to a deeper desire for a boy to want me. I dreamed of being swept away by and handsome and strapping man. Only these were boys. Not men. Thus began my desperate search for true love and a lifetime of regrets and shame. Desire had conceived in my heart. This is the point where I put my ear muffs on and drowned out the words of knowledge my parents tried to plant. I refused to allow them to water my soul, and the plant withered and died. For awhile.

My desire lead me straight into sin. Boy after boy. Relationship after relationship. I just wanted to be desired and loved the way I desired and loved. 

Until one day, my sin matured and lead me straight to death's door.

I wasn't in physical danger of dying. But my insides had died to the point that I took another life. I built up a wall of defense for so long that no life could live inside of me. Against every word of knowledge I'd ever clung to, and against what I knew was right, I had an abortion. My sin lead to the death of an innocent child.

When we cease listening to instruction, to wisdom, to the words of God and the parents He placed in our lives, we stray from those words. We lose our moral compass. We stray off the path God has chosen for us and wander in our self-inflicted wilderness for too long. I know. I've been there. I've done that. It only leads to death.

The one blessing in all of the curses I brought upon myself is that Jesus' light shone at the end of my tunnel. I knew as I lay on the cold, metal table of the Planned Parenthood clinic, listening to the sound of the Shop Vac suck the life out of me, that Jesus was my salvation from Death Row. I went back to my dorm room that night, called my mother, and confessed what I'd done. In her love, she explained that she and my father had found a new church and invited me home to join them. That same month, I found the Love of my Life. Jesus has loved me and desired me more than any other relationship ever could or will. 

And He's there for you, too, if you'll only ask...

Photo Courtesy of amminopurr

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