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Raising God Pleasers Instead of People Pleasers

I've spent a lot of my time as an adult doing things to please other people. Or earn their favor. Or manipulate them into giving me what I need.

This behavior is a result of my misunderstanding of my relationship with God and with other people.

It's called codependency.

I held the mistaken belief that if I just did the right things, in the right order, at the right time and with the right people...if I could just get all of that right God would love and save me.

But guess what?! It doesn't work that way. I'm never going to do all the right things in the right order at the right time and with the right people all the time. And I might not even pray for every single specific thing that I do wrong and God still loves me. And His grace still saves me.

My salvation is not based on how many prayers I say or how often I read my Bible or doing the right things and not doing the wrong things. It's based on my faith and God's grace.

It doesn't matter who approves of me or not. I'm living for God, not other people.

This shift in my belief system has changed the way I parent. I base my decisions as a parent on how they will affect my childrens relationship with God and how they "see" Him.

I love them based on our relationship. On who they are. Not how they perform. I want my kids to do the right things because they are right. Because it glorifies God. Not so other people will notice and compliment them. If they get compliments...awesome. If not...awesome. It's not about performing.

My feelings for them don't change based on how clean their room is or how many compliments or complaints I get on their behavior.

What other people tell me about my kids might affect future teaching but it doesn't affect how I feel about them. Because God's opinion of me doesn't change based on how others feel about me. He knows my heart. So when someone complains to Him about me, they are not giving Him new information. And since He knows my heart, I don't have to worry about Him believing something that isn't true about me.

And that's how I interact with my kids. Except I can't actually know their heart. But I weigh what I know about them against any new information I receive and proceed accordingly. I want them to live their life thinking about what God wants, not what other people want. I want them to live courageous lives for God because they depend on Him and His approval and aren't always performing to receive compliments or approval from other people.

I just want them to give the appropriate weight to the opinions of other people. Even mine. If my opinion or what I want them to do ever contradicts what they believe God wants them to do...then I hope they go with what God wants and ignore mine.

The bottom line is, I want my kids to depend on God, not other people for the things they need. And I want them to be secure in God's love and live for Him and His glory. I want them to be like Paul and run the race that God has set before them for God and God alone.

Can you imagine all the things that Paul would have done differently if He were overly concerned about what other people thought of him? I daresay his ministry would have looked a lot different than it did. And not in a God glorifying way.

The thing is, I'm still struggling with my own issues with codependency. I still find myself looking to other people for the things that only God can supply. And feeling hopeless and wondering whether I matter to God at times because I fail so constantly.

So I read God's word and I am reminded of the truth. God loves me. He forgives me. And He accepts me. Regardless of whether other people do.


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