One of my early childhood memories is of the tv gameshow, “Let’s Make a Deal”, hosted by Monty Hall. The general idea was that people, dressed up in outlandish costumes, would try and attract attention to be chosen to play some sort of game that involved trading things and making a blind choice of what was between door number one, door number two, or door number three.
In other words, make yourself look goofy, roll the dice and take your chances on the outcome.
Psalm 45 offers another deal…one that seems costly but pays out at a crazy rate. Verse 10 says “Hear, oh daughter, and consider, and incline your year, forget your people and your fathers’ house, and the king will desire your beauty.”
In a patriarchal society like the Old Testament, the cost of this is clear. Forget your people. Forget your father’s house. Walk away from all that spells security to you. Take a chance on the unknown when the known is where you draw your sustenance…where you glean your identity. An unmarried woman may grow old and lonely, but she’d always be taken care of…at least as long as her father was alive.
In our world, where fatherlessness is rampant, many people walk away from their father’s house prematurely. Those with a healthy father/child relationship to point to are far and few in between, and even in those cases, the child does not look to the father for security and identity once they reach adulthood. In many ways, our own culture has taken place of the patriarchal leader. We are not told what to do or believe or manage our lives by an earthly father – we learn those things from a television, a movie screen, or the latest music group. We take our value cues from actors and musicians. They preach a fatherly message of self worth and self inflation that is the support structure of all sorts of our social mores, including the second house, the third car, and the fourth wife. We believe in these things more than we believe in ourselves, and we’ll pay any price to get them. We’re made to believe that these things make us who we are.
To walk away from your fathers house in 2010 certainly means to walk away from all that makes us comfortable and feels normal – to live abnormally, even uncomfortably. I’m wrestling this one out myself right now. What do I do, how do I spend my money, where does my time go based on what the culture tells me is important, is a must-have gadget or a must-see tv show.
If we can learn to escape that house, there is a promise – a better deal. It’s called an audience with the King – but that’s not all.
Verse 16 promises us “In place of your fathers shall be your sons; you will make them princes in all the earth.” In other words, it may cost us our comfort, but the payoff comes in the form of sons. One translation of the word used there for ‘sons’ is ‘children of unrighteous men’.
Which of course, leads me to adoption. Adoption in not cheap, not easy, and not without risks (although we’re working on all three of those…). However, even at it’s most expensive, it’s most difficult, it’s most risky moments, if we step beyond the ‘take care of ourselves, feed the machine mentality’, we get an amazing payback.
In adopting, we collect the sons of unrighteous men and place them in the house of prayer. We make princes in the kingdom of God out of paupers. Beyond changing destiny, we change their current reality. Everything becomes different for them – and everything becomes different for us.
My favorite line from the recent movie, “The Blind Side” came during one of the lunch scenes. The adoptive mother is having lunch with her friends, who remark “You’re changing that boys’ life!”. Quietly, Sandra Bullock responds “No. He’s changing mine.”
It’s true. And all it costs is everything. Let’s make a deal.
What expense, gadget or indulgence do you have in your life that you could do without. Maybe it’s a purchase you were about to make or a Christmas gift you were going to return for exchange. As a first step, pray about doing without it – for a while, or maybe forever. Is it really a must-have, or did you just buy what you were sold by your father’s house?
If you can find it within yourself, do without it and seed it adoption by giving to an adoptive family or setting it aside as the beginning of your own adoption fund – then retweet a link to this or post it on your own blog. It gets easier to leave your fathers’ house when there are others going with you.
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