- I am a perfectionist.
- I like to organize.
- I like to make lists and check things off of them.
- I plan.
- I like to know how things are going to turn out.
God has recently been showing me how I have been trusting in PLANS and ACTIVITIES and STRUCTURES when it comes to my kids. I was believing that I had the ability to change my children's hearts by a carefully planned activity, a well-timed Bible lesson, or a perfectly worded and delivered analogy (I do so love a good analogy). Now, I did not start off my journey of motherhood, holding a newborn baby Eli, saying to myself, "I, the mother of this child, will turn his heart to the Lord because of the things I will plan and do with him." I mean, that's crazy. In the past four years, however, some small seed of that crazy idea wormed its way into my heart and grew. I am thankful that God has shown me this attitude of my heart and by His Grace is teaching me that He alone can turn the hearts of my children to Him.
Now, this does get a little tricky. As a mom, I have been commanded by God to teach my children about Him.
"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise."
"Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but
bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."
So, it is good and right to teach my kids about God, to plan winsome activities that point them to Him. It is such a fine line, however, one that I crossed so subtly, without even noticing, from when the planning is good to when the planning is an idol. Do I stop planning and organizing? Absolutely not. But, I do stop, by God's grace, thinking that the planning and organizing is what brings my kids to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Only God can do that. It comes down to the true attitude of my heart: am I desiring to be used by God in the lives of my children or thinking that I am God in the lives of my children? I pray for the first.
"Some trust in chariots (or craft projects)
and some in horses (or planned activities)
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God."
This is my prayer...that God would use me in the lives of my children, that He would give me wisdom and creativity in teaching them, and above all else, that God would...
Put a new spirit in my children, removing their hearts of stone and giving them a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 11:9)
I can't quite do that.
I am freed, however, by the re-realization (is that a word?) that I can give that responsibility to God, where it rightfully belongs.
you could add "long-winded" to the bulleted list above.
Thanks to those who persisted through to the end!