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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Peer Dependency versus Obedience to Parents

Good morning. Thank you for asking me to return.

Did everyone enjoy their extra hour of sleep this morning?

Our topic this morning is Peer Dependency versus Obedience to Parents.

This sounds like a rather deep subject for early in the morning...well it is!…why do you think you got that extra hour of sleep?

But note this word in the middle – versus

Peer Dependency versus Obedience to Parents…versus…sounds like a battle brewing. Like David versus Goliath… or Jet Li versus Jackie Chan…or the Toronto Maple Leafs versus the Montreal Canadians.

What does versus mean? 

In law and sports it means against.

This word is one of those examples of a homonym…well almost…two words that sound the same but mean two different things.

Versus and verses.

Now here is the trick question…I’m telling you it’s a trick question so you don’t’ get tricked…if I read from the Bible, am I reading versus or verses?

At home I have another interesting book. It lists all the words in English that people spell wrong…it’s called a dictionary.

I know it’s still early in the morning but I’m going to start with a few questions…so I’ll make them easy ones.

What was last Friday?

What did you do last Friday evening?

Were you here at MCBC?

Or did you go out for “trick or treats”?

When I was young, I used to get dressed up and go out for Hallowe’en. My brothers and sister did also. All my friends did the same and in fact, everyone in the neighbourhood did…but we never asked why we were doing what we were doing.

My brother Ted and I didn’t know what Hallowe’en was about…we weren’t interested. All we wanted to be sure of is that Mom was going to have our costumes ready by the time October 31st evening came, different costumes of course…no one wanted to be caught dead wearing the same costume as someone else.

What my brother and I did know was that we did not want to be the only ones in our group of friends not going out.  We wanted to fit-in, we wanted to belong and we wanted to be accepted. This is what peer dependency is; the need to fit in and the desire to be accepted and belong.

At the place where I work, all week long people were decorating the office with Hallowe’en stuff. All week long people were reminding everyone not to forget to wear a costume on Friday…and on Friday almost everyone was wearing a costume.

Some people even brought extra costumes for those who didn’t. I was one of the few who did not wear a costume…and I felt like I was missing out some of the fun…I felt like I did not fit in. This is what peer pressure is; conform and fit in or be rejected.

I noticed that all the decorations always had to do with dead things: skeletons, coffins, grave stones, ghosts, blood, and all sorts of creepy stuff.

Why do people want to celebrate that which is dead? I don’t know. But I do know this: Jesus told us that God is not the God of the dead but of the living. (Matthew 22:32)

Jesus did not always say nice things to the important people, but Jesus always spoke the truth. Listen to this, “Woe to you teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean.” (Matthew 23:27)

That’s like saying, “You look normal on the outside but inside you look like Hallowe’en decorations... full of skeletons and everything creepy.”

Unfortunately, the world has many people like this and the Bible also describes them as “Wolves in sheep’s clothing waiting to devour the unsuspecting.” And they are dangerous because you cannot always tell who they are.

I work for a transportation company that moves containers all over the world, including Canada. Most of the stuff you buy in stores is imported from somewhere. Two weeks ago we had two RCMP officers come into the office…they were interested in one of our containers and wanted to know who was bringing it into Canada.

We arranged for the person to come into the office to pay his bill and we were really surprised – he was 82 years old and looked like he could be anyone’s grandfather. The RCMP officers were waiting and followed him when he left. Several days later he was arrested here in the city for smuggling in $30 million dollars in drugs.

A drug-dealer who looks like an elderly grandfather – and as Jesus described, “like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean.” (Matthew 23:27)

But I was wondering, are costumes mentioned in the Bible?

Actually yes, and the first account has to do with this second part – obedience to a parent.
The first account is found in Genesis and tells us about Jacob being obedient to his mother Rebekah in order to deceive his father Isaac so he can steal from his brother Esau.

Yes, you heard that right. Jacob was being obedient to his mother Rebekah in order to deceive his father Isaac so he can steal from his brother Esau.

The Bible does not hide the truth…and honestly tells us about a family with problems. And this family had problems! These twin brothers were fighting each other before they were born. Let’s hear what happened.

“His mother said to him, “My son, let the curse fall on me. Just do what I say.” (Genesis 27:13)

“Then Rebekah took the best clothes of Esau her older son, which she had in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob. She also covered his hands and the smooth part of his neck with the goatskins.” (Genesis 27:15-16) So here we have the costume and Jacob made-up to appear to be Esau.

“Jacob went to his father and said, “My Father.”
“Yes, my son,” Isaac answered, “Who is it?”
Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your first born.” (Genesis 27:18-19)

Isaac, who is now blind, is not completely convinced that Esau is really the one speaking to him, and says, “Come near so I can touch you, my son, to know whether you really are my son Esau or not. Jacob went close to his father Isaac who touched him and said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob but the hands are the hands of Esau.” (Genesis 27:21-22)

Up to here is the deception and lying to his father

“So Jacob went to Isaac and kissed him. When Isaac caught the smell of the clothes, be blessed Jacob.” (Genesis 27:27)

And Jacob steals Isaac’s blessing from Esau.

Was Esau upset?

The Bible tells us that Esau said, “…I will kill my brother Jacob” (Genesis 27:41)

What is a peer? An equal – as in social rank.

Who are your peers? Your friends, your classmates at school, those who are sitting beside you right now.

What is dependency?

My dictionary defines dependency as: to be dependent upon; in need of...which means the opposite of independent.

What is the difference between “Peer Dependency” and “Peer Pressure”

How many of you think you follow the lead of the crowd?

How many of you think that maybe you are leading the crowd?

How many are not sure?

If you did not raise your hand, then you are probably following the crowd

Peer dependency is internal, from within ourselves: wanting and needing to fit in and desiring to be accepted and belong. We can’t always achieve this.

Peer Pressure is external, from outside: the world telling us to conform and fit in or be rejected. We can’t always achieve this either.

Surveys reveal that more than 95 percent of people would change something about themselves if they could. This implies that most people do not accept the way God made them. If we reject our design, then we will have difficulty trusting our designer. Every relationship in life will be affected by how we view ourselves.

This leads us to the 10 Unchangeables – 10 things about yourself that you cannot change.

1.                  Parents
2.                  Time in history
3.                  Race
4.                  Nationality
5.                  Gender
6.                  Birth order – Jacob and Esau
7.                  Brothers and Sisters
8.                  Physical features
9.                  Mental capacity
10.              Aging and Death

Outward beauty is not related to inward happiness.

The Bible tells us to obey our parents and the Bible does have some interesting examples.

“On the third day, a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. (John 2:1-2)

So who do we know was at the wedding? Jesus, the disciples, his mother.

“When the wine was gone, Jesus mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” (John 2:3)

What was Jesus answer?

  1. Send one of the servants to the LCBO to buy more wine
  2. Oh Mom! Why me?
  3. Dear woman, why do you involve me?
  4. Do whatever I tell you?

The Bible tells us, “Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.” (John 2:4)

We don’t know what Jesus mother may have said to Jesus afterward, but the very next verse tells us this, “His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5)

The Bible tells us that changing water into wine was the first of Jesus miraculous signs, and interestingly enough, this was because of Jesus mother, and because of what she said.

The fifth commandment is the first commandment that involves relationships between people, “Honour your father and you mother.” (Exodus 20:12)

One thing we Christians must never forget is that Jesus was Jewish. Jesus was born into a Jewish family and into the Jewish people because he is the promised Messiah. This also means that Jesus was brought up with all the Jewish customs and traditions.

The Bible tells us, “Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. When he (Jesus) was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom.” (Luke 2:41-42) Remember his age; it is important.

And then things started to happen that were not part of Jesus parent’s plans. “After the feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it.” (Luke 2:43)

Now doesn’t this sound like the plot line of a movie…instead of Home Alone, we have Away Alone.

Do you think it is really possible to forget someone and leave them behind? Well it does happen. My son’s name is David and some of you may know David from Big Kid’s Fellowship. Years earlier David was in the Junior Fellowship and then the Way Fellowship. One Friday night after fellowship, the young people and others were all invited to meet at Mr. Tee’s home for a birthday party – David’s birthday. At Mr. Tee’s home we were all ready to light the candles on the cake, but we couldn’t find David. No one could remember bringing David from MCBC to Mr. Tee’s house…and after making a telephone call to MCBC, sure enough David had been left behind and was waiting for a ride.
Let’s read on, “Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him.” (Luke 2:44-45

How old was Jesus?

“After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.” (Luke 2:46-47)

“When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” (Luke 2:48)

What two things was Jesus doing when his parents found him? Listening and asking questions.

What do you think Jesus did after listening to his upset parents? He asked more questions.

The Bible tells us, “Why were you searching for me?” he asked, “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49)

Again, how old was Jesus at this time?

A Jewish boy reaches religious maturity when he is thirteen years and one day old according to his Hebrew date of birth. At that date he is called a Bar Mitzvah, meaning a son of the commandments, and he becomes fully responsible for his religious conduct. A Bar Mitzvah is a big celebration in a Jewish family. This is also an important day for the Jewish Father, because the father is no longer responsible to receive God’s punishment due for a son’s deficient religious observance.

Jesus at twelve years old meant that his earthly father was still responsible for Jesus conduct in the temple.

The Bible tells us, “Then Jesus went down to Nazareth with his parents, and was obedient to them.” (Luke 2:51)

This is the only verse in the Bible that provides us with definite information about the relationship between Jesus and his parents. Jesus obeyed his earthly parents.

Parents are not perfect and they never will be. You probably know this already. But your parents do want what is best for you.

My parents are still living. I am still obligated by God’s commandment to honour my father and my mother, and also obligated to obey my parents.

Remember, peer dependency is internal and comes from within ourselves: wanting and needing to fit in and desiring to be accepted and belong. This is normal but reality is that we can’t always achieve this.

Is your need to fit in and desire to belong leading you to disobey your parents? If your answer is yes, then maybe it is time to examine what you are trying to gain.

Is it really worth what you may lose?

 Message for the young people
November 02 2008
The Oddblock Station Agent

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