All of us are usually happy that our members have been empowered with choices.  For years, they have been told by the professional community what they will and will not do.  Finally, there has been a true awakening as to the importance of their learning by failure. 

However, as it often happens, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction.  Now, CHOICE has almost become a god within the mentally challenged community.  Let me say, that I believe in choice.  Nevertheless, I am conflicted when our members are first told again and again by the professionals and representatives of the State what it means to be an adult and then encouraged to make a Choice based on what other adults are doing.

More than once your members have been told that adults go to nightclubs and drink.  And it’s okay to get drunk.  They are told that adults have sexual relationships before marriage so “we’ll get you a motel room anytime you are ready.”  Visiting an adult book/dvd store is what adult men do so we will go there on our outing.  Adults go on the day cruises and gamble.  So that is an outing that you would enjoy.

Therefore, I don’t mind telling our members that not every adult chooses to get drunk, have out-of-wedlock sex, visit porn shops or gamble away their money.  However, we must provide them with other choices.

When my children were small, I quickly learned that taking away a light cord had much less of a sting, if I replaced it with something else they could play with, like a toy.  I learned to give them a choice between an apple and an orange, rather than a cookie or a piece of candy.  I even had the nerve to tell them that they could choose to eat all the celery they wanted, but the cookies were off-limits. 

They are being told how much fun living a life of sin is.  And that is enforced by the fact that “this is what other adults choose to do.”  We must let them know that the choices they make to live godly lives will be of greater benefit to them. 

Before I even met my friends, Wylene and Woody, I wanted whatever it was they had.  I wanted to be like them.  I want my life to shine with enough joy and positive enthusiasm that our members will desire to have what I have in their lives. 

Choices was wonderful but wonderful choices are even better.  My question as I look in mirror, “Is my life shining in such a way that people see Jesus?  Will they desire what I have and want to be like the Jesus they see in my life?”

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