Independence and Rebellion, are they twins?

I have been thinking about the above statement recently due to recognizing this not only within myself, but also within my own children.

When my kids were little I basically got to control their lives, I told them when they had to sleep, eat, get up, change their clothing and everything else in between. At that age it was acceptable for me to do that, in order to teach them boundaries and proper skills to navigate in the world around them.

I felt a sense of wellbeing when my kids behaved appropriately, and when I did not have to apologize for them being on this earth, or that I had given birth to them!

As they got older, I let out the “leash” a bit, and allowed them more and more freedom to explore the world around them, but not too much freedom as I did not believe that it would be too good for them. They thrived under that system and slowly grew up into wonderful teenagers who knew the boundaries, and comfortably lived within them.

I have noticed though, that within each of us is this underlying rebellion and desire to do things our own way, in our own time, and no matter the good advice that is given we continue to do it our way, regardless of the consequences.

That is where the theory of Independence and Rebellion comes in.

My children are reaching the age where they will soon be leaving the nest, and so I have seen more and more of the “independence” starting to rise up within them.

Please do not get me wrong, I want them to grow up and leave the nest and start their own lives, but I want them to do it wisely.

That is why I think that the lines may have gotten a bit crossed for them, as I see them wanting to sprout their own wings, but it has come with an element of rebellion attached to it. I am convinced that at this time, they are unclear that what they believe is their “independence” is actually rebellion rising up within them.

It has come with a, “I am old enough now, and you cannot tell me what to do anymore, and even if you do tell me what to do, I won’t listen as I want to forge my own way.” Even if the advice given is for their good it does not matter, they will choose to do it their own way.

This is a bit disconcerting for me as a mother, as I have tried to teach them to be wise, and to choose wisdom, over “I know what I am doing thank you very much!”

Independence is a good thing, and I want my children to be independent and be good citizens but I think sometimes the line between wanting that independence so badly causes a shift towards the rebellion.

I have come to realize though, that my desire for them is that they will not choose rebellion over wisdom. Thinking that their rebellion will make them free, when all it really does is sets them up for further rebellion and the hardening of their hearts.

I realize that as adults we are no different, we think that our independent streak “Doing things my way, by myself and you cannot tell me any different”  is actually working to our benefit, when in fact it is detrimental to us as it leads to bondage and a hard heart.

God desires that we find our independence in him, and that independence actually takes on a whole new look, it is a look of dependence. Surrendering to God and allowing him to teach us the best way to live our lives while we are on this earth.

Job 22:21

 “Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you.”

Proverbs 1:7

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. 

Dependence on God teaches us, that choosing righteousness is far better than evil and rebellion, because it leads to a life of peaceable living.

Choosing dependence on God will teach us his wisdom, and it does not include us sticking out our tongues saying that we can do it better, but it does show us, that hardening of our hearts will have long term consequences. It does reveal that if we want to live well, then we need to ask God for help and direction.

Wisdom says that drinking too much alcohol will bring you to ruin and if you lie and cheat and steal you will not only face the wrath of people here on this earth, but that God will have to discipline you. Wisdom says it is wiser to not fight and quarrel than it is to go into a situation with both fists swinging; wisdom says that in order for you to maintain a good standard of living, you should work hard and not be lazy.

So I have come to the conclusion that it is easy to mistake being rebellious with independence, as we all have that desire to be free and to live our lives the way we see fit, but I have to admit that I have found more freedom in living my life being dependent on God, than I ever did when I was trying to sail my own boat.

I believe that the way out of this rebellion and into a place of true freedom and dependence upon God, is for us, as believers in Christ Jesus, to first of all repent for the rebellion, then take definitive steps of guarding your heart. The bible teaches us that it is very important to do this as it teaches us that the heart is the center of all that you do, and choose.

Proverbs 4:23

 Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. 

My prayer for my children is that they will learn that true freedom comes from dependence on God and does not lie in rebellion.

My prayer for you is that if you have found yourself in a place where rebellion comes more natural to you than dependence does, that you will take a moment and ask the Lord to forgive you.

Remember always, God who has made us and knows our future, knows what is the very best for us; he has plans for our lives that will bring about great satisfaction for us, and glory for Him.

Why not try today to lay aside the rebellion of self, and ask the lord to help you walk into the freedom of dependence on him.



Filed under: Having a heart that hears when God speaks