• 16Mar

    I seem to be in a bit of a stew.  I’ve been thrust into the position of sole caretaker and decision maker for my rather large family and with that comes a certain amount of responsibility with which I am unfamiliar as well as some requirements that I would rather avoid. 

    One of the joys and privileges of a wife is to be in on the making of a decision, but not having to be responsible for the outcome of the decision.  I was very comfortable sharing  my ‘two bits’ with Dan, giving him my thoughts, feelings, and sharing my experiences on any given topic.  I knew that he would take what I said (he usually asked for it), process it, and come up with a decision that he thought was best for the family.  So, once I told him what I thought I would often totally dismiss the problem from my mind.  It wasn’t mine to deal with anymore and if he made a faulty decision the blame would rest on his shoulders, not mine.

    Now I find myself in the position of being the one to shoulder the blame, the consequences, the results.  I’ve been taught good methods for making decisions, I’m not totally lacking in brain power (although my blonde streaks do show up on occasion), I have a confidence in what I know and don’t know, and I have a God who knows everything I don’t know and has promised to guide and direct me if I look to Him.

    The real problem lies another direction.  One of the helps for making a decision is to seek counsel from those around you.  But how does one accept the counsel of one and reject the counsel of another? 

    It makes me think of Solomon . . nope, it was his son Rehoboam.  The people come to him with a request for him to lighten their work load that Solomon put upon them.  Rehoboam gets counsel from the old men and from the young men.  The old men say “Yes, go easy on them.  Lighten their load.  Show them you care.”  The young men say “Beware, if you go easy on them they will think they can walk all over you.  Show them you are tough.  Make their load a little heavier so that they don’t think you are a softy and have no idea what you are doing.”  (my paraphrase, of course)  We belittle Rehoboam for his choice to follow the young men’s counsel, but fail to recognize that there were probably hundreds of other little details that contributed to his choice and not only that, my Bible says that “the cause was from the Lord”.  Meaning that the Lord made that appear to be the right choice so that He could “perform his saying” and make Jeroboam king.

    Rejecting the “old men’s ” counsel in favor of the “young men” has always been put forth as a stupid thing for Rehoboam to do.  So now, when thrust into a position similar to Rehoboam (a man’s home is his castle–or woman’s in this case) I am finding it difficult to put aside the “old men’s” counsel in favor of the “young men’s” counsel. 

    For those of you who think that I am a wimpy, shy little thing, and are afraid that people will be able to run all over me, I have to remind you that I am a Mother.  Mother bears defend their cubs to the death and I am no exception.  I will do what I feel is necessary for the care and protection of my children regardless of others opinions.  But that doesn’t mean that I won’t feel anxiety about the choices I need to make.

    And Yes! I can blame this on you, Dan.  If you hadn’t wandered off I wouldn’t have to be dealing with all this and trying to figure out how to shoulder Your Responsibility as well as my own.  I liked being able to toss it into your lap . . . .

    But  I find I’m falling asleep at the keyboard so I must save any further comments on this conversation for a future date.

5 Comments to Rehoboam’s Choice

  • Hi Liisa,
    Just wanted to say that I hear you and wanted to offer maybe some suggestions. Many women seek to be in charge of their households not realizing what a blessing it is to be under their husband’s authority! But since you are now like you say, the one in charge of your very large household, I believe God will give you wisdom and grace to make choices that need to be made. Going forward in faith (vs. fear) will go a long ways. Of those giving their opinions, consider the source. And yes, we have to live with consequences of our choices, but better that than to live in fear not making any decisions at all!

    You reminded us that you are a Mother. Yes, indeed. It may help your decision making to be aware of your priorities. I am tempted as a Mom to want to do all kinds of other things that present themselves as good opportunities. But good is not necessarily the best. I am a wife and mother first and foremost and all these other things need to be secondary to that. Being a mom is a calling of God also. Don’t take it lightly. Some things need to be put on the back burner for now to keep the main thing the main thing. I realize your situation is complicated, so I don’t pretend to have easy answers, but maybe these thoughts will help you along a bit.

    I have enjoyed reading your blogs, but have been timid in writing lest I say the wrong thing. So here goes. I’m going to be brave and send this. We are still praying for you and think of you often.
    Much love,
    Aunt Jewel (Jeff and fam.)

  • Opinions are wonderful things when people keep them to themselves unless asked for. However, they are more likely to be given unbidden so as I learned from another mom, Just say “Thanks for the input” and let God be your guide. People have all the answers when they don’t have the responsibility, but I dare say that if most were given the job you have they would fail miserably. Keep doing the great job you are and listen mostly to God and a chosen few. You will know who. Love you.

  • Hi Liisa,
    I know, for me at least, people like to help– and don’t know how or can’t do it physically. Advice or opinions is an easy way to “help”. Joanne is right with the “thanks for the input” comment and letting God be your guide. God plants seeds in so many different ways. And often where I start thinking I’m going gets changed for something better once other seeds grow that I had never considered. Kind of like a brainstorming session– I go prepared with an outline and get the input of the group. Sometimes it looks like what I started with, sometimes it changes totally for the better. But with God on your side, and he is, you’ll grow the seeds of wisdom for doing HIS will for you and your children! Thanks so much for your continued sharing. It means so much to me to be a part of this wonderful ministry God is sharing through you.
    Continued blessings for you and the children!
    Beth

  • You are right; that is a tough spot to be in. Kimmie has needs that Jeremy and I have never encountered before, and that causes us to seek the counsel of others frequently (as well as God’s). But many times, people whom we respect have drastically differing viewpoints (which is good because then we get to see both sides of the situation and could make a more informed decision). But it can get confusing, and it can get frustrating. How do you know what is right?

    Jeremy and I have come up with a system: We listen to everyone’s advice. (I sometimes even write it down.) Then we pray and wait for a time period. Some decisions do not have significant consequences…I mean that sometimes either way can be right. There are pros and cons to both, and you just decide which cons you are more willing to live with. Other times, if it is significant, God will lead.

    Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.

  • Missy,
    It is so amazing to me how you just hone in on what I am really trying to say without getting all caught up in the miscellaneous words I write. Thank you again for your faithful comments. Your advice was right on target. Why didn’t we get to know each other better in college anyway? =)
    Love to all!
    Liisa