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Monday, October 24, 2011

Dare to Be Different

I love the stories of Daniel.  (Daniel 1:1-21) One of my very favorite stories is when Daniel and his friends dared to be different.  Instead of eating the king's fine, rich food, they would only eat the vegetables and drink water because that is what God wanted them to do.  What courage Daniel and his friends had before the king!

My two middle boys don't play football.  They tried it in elementary school, but so far, in junior high and early high school, neither of them have desired to play any more.  That may not seem like such a big deal, but in a small town, where football is "king", it really is a big deal.  Football Friday nights are a BIG deal in our community, and while we go to many of the home games and a few of our children go to some of the out of town games, it's not that big of deal to us.  We're supportive of it and the team (in fact we sponsor a few of the football boys), but , we're just not as into it as most everyone else in town seems to be.

Our oldest son Zachary, who is in high school, commented several weeks ago, that it's harder to not play football now that he's in high school.  Immediately my "momma radar" went off, thinking he meant people were making fun of him or teasing him about not playing, but he assured me that no one did.  What he meant was, that football is a  BIG DEAL in high school, and he recognizes even more that he's not a part of it.  He's okay with that because he's not going to change his mind. (Okay....."momma radar" went off!  All is good!)

Then a couple of weeks later, the younger junior high boy, Jacob, and I were talking.  Something was brought up about kids at school being picked on.  I asked him if people made fun of him for not playing football.  He answered: "No, they don't, and I don't know why.  It's the weirdest thing, because no one says anything to me about not playing, but then there are a few others that don't play and they make fun of them for not playing.  It makes me so mad!"  I talked to Jacob about standing up for those others.  He said he did.  He said that he even asked them why they were picking on others for not playing, but they don't him.  Of course, the "pickers" didn't have a reason.  Jacob was still aggravated about it telling me the story.  It's really not fair and doesn't make sense.  Sometimes children and adults are just mean and cruel!

Football isn't that big of deal.  My boys have chosen to be different and not play like most every other boy in school does, but they haven't had any trouble because of it.  Obviously, some others who have made the same choice haven't been as fortunate.  My boys' conviction of daring to be different and not playing football is admirable to me because I'm their mom.  Their dad feels the same way.  But still, it doesn't really matter in the scheme of life.

But, where I want my boys (all three of them and my daughter, as well) to be different and where it really does matter, is in spiritual matters.  What matters to God is if my children will dare to be different when it comes to drunkenness....when it comes to sexual immorality.....when it comes to respecting others.....when it comes for resisting sin and standing up for their morals in regards to the music they listen to, in the movies and TV shows they watch.  That's what really matters.

So far, all of our children have dared to be different in those areas and in others, and for that, we are proud of them for the choices and stands they have made.  It takes a lot of courage to be different.  Sometimes our children have been made fun of - by other teens and adults.  Sometimes they have stood alone.  Sometimes they've had a few friends standing with them.  But, I pray that they will always dare to be different as a child of God - no matter what. 

It's easy to be like everyone else.  It's easy for Christians to just blend right in with the world.  It's easier to not be different. 

So here's a challenge for you this week:  Dare to be DIFFERENT!

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Ephesians 6:10-13

1 comment:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

Excellent post! I guess I didn't realize they weren't playing football! My boys never really got into it either even though they tried it in elementary school. I'm glad their football player Dad didn't pressure them to continue. All those little ways they are different really will help them to achieve the outcome we all want - to be more like Jesus!

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