Being Passed From One Hand To The Next

Posted by Steve Nyhof on 26 March 2011 | 3 Comments

Today a thought came to mind that triggered many other thoughts related to children, adults, parents and God.

It seems clear to me now how easy it is to give up control when I think about how God designed things in the first place, then because of sin, how things needed to change. But His design still stands.

As I grew up, I understood that my parents were in control to guide me down a right path. Because they are often messed up in their own understanding (just as I am) of their role before God, they often do things, or say things, or don’t do or says things to guide me correctly, so I follow as a child based on my understanding that they love me, and therefore everything they do or say must be right.

To take this a step at a time, I want to go back to God’s perfect design... God created man and woman to love and serve God. Adam or Eve did not have parents! Nor where they children! Their was no parental guidance from a parent, nor from any other human being. Their guidance came directly from God Himself. God’s perfect design of husband and wife is to look to God for guidance. And, they were perfect and complete in this state of being - without parents.

God says in Genesis 2:24 “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” I happen to love this verse because God says that the “man” shall leave and cleave to his wife, not the other way around - but that’s another topic.

Then sin entered the world (Genesis 3) and the first blaming takes place. Blame came into the world when Adam and Eve took their focus off of God; what should have been their only Guide, and instead listened to others (non-God focused) advice givers.

Then in Genesis 3:16, God says this... “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."

I do not read the part - where the husband “shall” rule over his wife, as a command, but rather a result that sin will demand humans to rule to prevent chaos. Now that sin has entered the human condition, (a focus away from God), sin and fear demand control.

Man was not only going to rule (take control) over his wife, he was going to have to work hard to control others also. Not just Adam, but tens, then hundreds, then thousands of men and woman who will work to prevent others from wanting to harm them or their children, etc. Adam is working hard to til the land for food, others will be lazy and want to steal, etc. Look at Cane and Abel! Focus was away from God, fear of rejection generating wrong thinking behaviors, takes control by killing his own brother - he felt a desire to rule over another out of fear.

I want to go back to what I see happening in my own life as I see this play out... I am guided by my parents in the way “I” should go - not the way they think I should go. Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Whether you have godly parents or not is besides the point, if they miss this one thing.

What way should a child go? Sin created fear (I was naked so I hid myself) generating a desire to control my circumstances, and out of an absence of focus on God as Guide, resulting in self or other focus that someone else will take control - will see my shame or in some way harm me.

God’s perfect design was for us to focus on Him, and Him alone. He wanted to be Adam and Eves Father, just like He wants to be my Father.

I have children who are both adults and children. In my misunderstanding of how I should raise up my children in the way they should go, I guided them in the way I thought they should go. In fact, I really don’t want to see them go - and where are they going? Why? Because I feel compelled by fear to control - I don’t even question why! I just followed my father, who followed his father before him.

As I grew up, I seen myself as very knowledgeable and more than capable to guide my children. All along I know about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, but never do I think of Them as the Father or Friend of my children - not really. God was some big guy out there Who "judges us", "loves us", etc, but not safe and loving like a hen her chicks.

I wanted my children and my wife to seek and love God, but I also wanted to remain in control. Now I see that as long as I am in control as father or husband, my children and wife cannot see past me to even see God as Father and Guide. While I should be the Light that shines through me, I also did not trust God, so why would they?

I have asked myself a few months ago as I was learning to let go of my father and begin to trust God, do I really trust God at all? I believe it is because of what I am sharing here, that as long as “I believed” my father (parents) was in control, I did not feel the need or desire to look to God the Father to guide and direct me. I didn't even think of it.

As a parent myself, I am to guide my children in the way they should go. This means to me that I am to take the first 15 years or so of my children’s lives and point them to God the Father - away from me. While their young years are reliant on me and my wife; as they grow older, we must begin to wean them off from us, because we are fallible because of sin, and will most likely guide them astray if we hold on too long - codependency.

As a child of my parents, when I left my home to cleave to my wife, they should have helped me understand that I was being weaned from their care, and that as I cleave to my wife and we become one flesh (just like Adam and Eve who had no parents), God would become my and my wife’s new Father.

This way of thinking does something else that is liberating. As a child I desire my parents affection and approval. When I know that I am to leave my father and mother to become a new form as husband and wife, who now has a new Father as Guide, our desire for affection and approval are met in our Heavenly Father - no longer our parents.

It is a wrong behavior triggered by fear of rejection that desires to control this demand for affection and approval from my parents. God’s perfect design is for me to honor my mother and my father, but as an adult, I am to first love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.

What this also tells me, is that as a parent, I should not want to take back control of my children when they are now fully reliant on God as Guide. That would be the same as when Eve decided to accept the advice of the serpent, and then to offer this destructive advice to her husband, taking his attention and focus away from God.

If ever in my advice I am pointing my children away from their focus on God as Guide, then I am very possibly sending them down a path they should not go, and harm will come to them.

As a parent myself, my desire to keep my children safe from harm, is a result of fear which believes that God is not big enough or safe enough to take care for my adult children. My adult children then understand that God is scary and not trustworthy, so their younger child desire for affection and approval turns back to their parents - they remain children in adult bodies.

Of course as a parent, I will continue to offer love and affection to my children, but I must respect my children as complete without me, therefore, giving them the sense that their needs will never be met in me because I am no longer their Father God - their saviour. I myself am complete in God, and they as adults are complete in God, therefore, respecting who we are in our new state of being.

As an adult child of my father, I am to honor and respect my father for his complete state of being before God, but God my Heavenly Father is Who I should go to for guidance. I might go to my father for guidance if I know he will point me to God. But even if he doesn't, I can still honor him and enjoy our fellowship knowing that I can respect him as complete with God as his Father.

My son Travis is about to turn 18 years old. As his father, I need to guide him to the understanding that God will be his guide, and that I am letting him go, and letting go of control as father. While I am responsible for him now, he will soon be responsible for himself and before God. The best situation would be that when he needs some money or has a question about something, that he should turn to the Holy Spirit who is far more capable than I for help.

If Travis understands that I will not be responsible or care for his needs, his desire will be to connect with someone, and his first thought should be to go to his knees, which he will do if I set that example in my life, and if he sees I am not going to help. We all want to cling to someone. I do understand that he may turn to someone else for help, but that’s not my problem. If I make it my problem, I take back control as father and lower my respect for myself and the respect I have for Travis as an adult. I also lower my trust in God as my Father, and enable Travis to turn away his focus on God his Father.

This sounds mean spirited, and yet it would be more mean spirited to rob Travis of connecting with a God who is far more perfect, more loving, more kind than I could ever hope to be.

In the Superman movie, Lois Lane falls from a building, Superman swoops in and catches her. He says, "I got you", she says," you got me! Who's got you?" This statement of couse calls to question a higher power.

I believe now that Travis can only trust God, if he knows that I also trust God and believe He is safe. Our human condition of fear causes us to turn to someone or something for help. If someone helps, they may be enabling failure if they are not pointing the person to the Holy Spirit with their advice.

1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”. As a father, I am not capable without God to love Travis like he needs to be loved. Only God has perfect love, therefore, the only way I can help Travis with his fear is to point him to the One with perfect love, and away from me. Also, by dong this, Travis will see Christ in me, and not me.
This also opens up many more things, but what comes to mind is forgiveness. I am realizing that it is the child in me that wants affirmation and approval. This came because I did not understand the weaning process of leaving my father and mother and cleaving to my wife. While I may feel abandoned by my father for various reasons, I understand that he was never properly weaned from his father and mother as a child, therefore, working with what he knew from the generation before him.

While I do honor the child in me that wants affection, I know now as an adult that I should have been weaned from my father and mother as I entered adulthood. Not let go (a feeling of abandonment) as I felt, but purposely slipped from the hands of my parents and into the mighty hands of God. While that may have been the intention , I didn’t get it. It would be fifty years before I began to understand this, and believe it to be right thinking - truth.

I grew up trusting my father, and not trusting God because I wasn't taught how to step from one to the other. When I faced this a few months ago, I realized that while I said I trusted God, I would have to say that I didn’t see Him as safe. I didn’t know He was safe because I didn’t witness this safety or love in God through my parents - I didn't catch it if it was there.

The other thing that comes to mind is respect for my adult self, and my adult parent. In Gods eyes, I and my wife and my children are all the same. We all were born, we all will grow old, we all will be responsible before God alone. We are each unique children of God from God's perspective. Yes, we are also a child of a parent, or a parent of a child, but that is what I needed to get myself past. I needed to see myself and my parents as whole, perfect and complete in God alone. As an adult, I no longer expect something from my parents as though I were a child yet, or their child. I am an adult just as my child will be an adult and deserves the same respect I would give any adult. As an adult child of my parents, the same holds true for them. Can I love my father for who he is as an adult in God alone? I can't speak for him, but I can love him and treat him as I want to be loved and treated.

I will no longer go to Travis and say, "as your father, I am asking you to do..." This will make Travis feel like a child and I am the parent - as though he is 12 years old. I just lowered respect for God, for myself and for Travis. Even though I am 49 years old, if my father would say, "Steve, what you said to Mary the other day was not nice", he places himself as parent, makes me feel like a little boy, and respect for all parties again go down. We are to life one another up! You wonder what my father should say then? Nothing! I and my wife are not his problem. I left to cleave to my wife. I am now responsible before God.

Love by it's very nature is the solution to all problems.

Now I feel because of this new understanding, that there is a kind of disconnect. God’s perfect design is for me to let go of my father’s (and/or mother's) approval, and focus solely on God’s approval. From one to the other. The child in me is still there, the feelings of abandonment are real. But as an adult, who’s purpose is to love God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength, is seeing now that where I am is at a place where I no longer trust my father for guidance, but the Holy Spirit Who lives within me. But I also remain in respect of my father and love him.

Therefore, I am finding forgiveness possible because as I live in the perfect design of a God centered focus, there is no room here for bitterness, shame, guilt or fear. These are things I should have left behind when I left my parents to cling to God. It is because I did not let go of how I felt as a child that I could not forgive the pain of abandonment, and the shame for not feeling good enough, or accepted.

When my mother died, I felt alone. I remember crying and saying, mommy, mommy, mommy over and over just to help me cry. I didn’t know this then, but it was the little boy in me who was feeling alone and abandoned. If I were properly weaned from her into God’s care, I would still miss her, but I would have understood that she left me in good Hands; the Best Hands. I know now she didn’t abandon me, but rather my little boy didn’t understand I was supposed to have been passed into the arms of a safe God a long time ago.

I now know that this process of weaning my children from trusting in me, to trusting in God as they go forward into adulthood is very important indeed! I am anxious to wait on the Holy Spirit as He continues to open up my mind and heart to His truth, and His perfect love. And I am looking forward to watching my children look to God alone for help and guidance. I therefore must guide them by showing unconditional love to them and my wife.

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  • Thank you.I know God LOVE each one of us.
    It very importtant to LOVE God are my heart.I hope,faith,and trust in God.Every things I do I handed to God.

    Thank you God.

    Kong Sourivong

    Posted by Kong Souriviong, 04/04/2011 7:14pm (11 years ago)

  • Thank you Kong for your comment and prayers for my family. We are doing so much better as we all continue to become aware and learn from the Holy Spirit.

    Posted by Steve Nyhof, 28/03/2011 8:22am (12 years ago)

  • Thank you,Steve for share how God Love each one of us.I Love God all my heart.I trust God every things I do.I am LDS THE CHURCH JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS.I used to worked in the temple for 8 years.Again Thank you Steve for free website system God you, wife and your children to have peace and love each other.Again I Prayer God your family and my family.


    Kong Sourivong

    Posted by Kong Souriviong, 27/03/2011 6:16pm (12 years ago)

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