How can sinful people tell me how to live my life?

Son,

Even God himself will not tell you how to live your life.  Instead, he places choices and consequences before us and leaves it up to men and women.  A good friend, an atheist, often says that morality is simply “long term thinking.”  He is correct; I just think longer term than he does.  Nevertheless, God often works through our brokenness.  He chooses the foolish, weak, base, and despised to show His strength so that no one can boast.

Consider your mother and I and the rules we have tried to teach you.  We have taught you to keep our mind and body pure.  We have held up prayer throughout each day and at times of crisis.  We have held up the Bible.  We have taught order.  We have taught responsibility and integrity and respect.  Yet, we are such bad examples of these.  We were unsuccessful at keeping our relationship pure before our marriage.  As a result, sex has been a continual struggle for us.  My prayer life often looks more like a checklist than a discussion, and I rarely make those quiet times that are needed to feel God’s presence.  At its best, my personal study has been patchy, only by the grace of God can I still bring to mind those things that I have read a once or twice.  Our house is far from an ordered and consistent.  I have not modeled respect in our relationship.  I have tried to hold onto my integrity, but God often reveals hidden motives or half truths in my speech.  I have often let things fall through the cracks or onto your mother.  So what can I say?  How can I hold up these rules?

Rather than hold up my moments of brilliance, I will hold up my moments of weakness and darkness.  It was in those moments of weakness that I finally humbled my heart.  It was when I was crushed that I was driven to my knees and finally felt God’s presence.  It was at the time of giving up on God, that He was able to teach me His word.  As the clutter overwhelmed me, I found peace within, and knew it was of God.  When those disrespectful words leave my lips, I find God rebuking me and know He is with me.  When I most feel above reproach, God reminds me where I came from and how quickly I can fall.  When the responsibilities seem too much, I find the God that limited himself to my existence and perservered through it all.

You see, I will continue to hold up those rules for your own good, but my strongest advice is to hold onto God.  In Him, expect to find strength to walk as He walked.  In your weakness, find His presence, His rebuke, and His shaping.  Rejoice in it all.  Rejoice when you find He has made you more than you thought you were.  Rejoice when you find that you must still lean on Him.  Know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.

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