What Is Best for You?


God calls us to do things, which aren't necessarily what we want, but what we need for spiritual maturity. Pastor Ron Edmondson shares how this relates to parenting his children.

"This is what the LORD says-- your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: 'I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.' " (Isaiah 48:17)

God gives us what is best!

One of my toughest assignments as a father is to do what is "best for my children". Sometimes I have to say "no" when I would rather say "yes". Often I have to discipline them, which really does hurt me more than it hurts them, to train them in Godly ways. As much as I love to see my boys' faces light up when they get something they want, I can't always give them everything they desire, but instead I have to carefully plan for them what I feel they need in order for them to be molded into Godly young men.

We went on vacation for a week in Florida. It was our first week long vacation together. At the first of the week, I set up a rule which was at first not popular. I said that there would be no TV all week. No, it hasn't been completely fun. (We had a hurricane scare at the first of the week and I did let them watch a short video.) They get rather wild at times when they are bored indoors. It would have been easier at times to let the television be our babysitter. I would have enjoyed seeing their faces if I had said, "just kidding, turn on the TV", but I knew that I had set up the rule for a purpose.

Television, in my opinion, is ruining many homes. I'm not just talking about the content of TV, although that is certainly a problem as well, but I see TV taking precious family time away from our society. I cannot be convinced that we can have quality family interaction while we are gathered around a television set. If we are honest, I think we have to admit that it is a distraction rather than a conduit for family togetherness.

The content is equally disturbing. There appears to be no borders anymore. Anything goes with today's programming. Sex sells, and it sells well. Yes, I know we can all offer up a defense for certain programs which "aren't as bad as others", but as an entire package, television is a deterrent to spiritual growth more than it is an enhancement for Christ-likeness. Wouldn't you agree?

So, if I was to give my family, including myself, what is "best", I felt we needed to use our vacation time more wisely. We traded our TV time for family devotion time with the boys even taking turns leading our discussion.

I'm not offering this to you to lift my family up, but to encourage you in your own practices. Sometimes God calls us to do things, which aren't necessarily what we want, but what we need for spiritual maturity. Are there things in your life that you may need to give up, perhaps even TV (ouch), in order to have the life God intends you to have? Only you and God can answer that question.


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