Every time I am stretched out on the couch reading an inspiring book on motherhood, family, or home making, I underline many sentences, imagine how bright the light of Christ could shine in and from our home, and I get excited!
Then I put the book down.
Within minutes someone needs me and I don't want to be needed, again. Someone starts whining about a terrible injustice, like she's sitting in my space on the couch, and I don't want to train gently, again. Or I suddenly remember a to-do that has to be done to-day, and I sigh and groan, again.
Often the connection between ideals and reality is fishing-line thin and about-to-snap taut. My desires for order, peace, joy, and life in our home are often thwarted by the very people I am trying. so. hard. to. serve. with. love. She says, through clinched teeth!
Two weekends ago, while I was sitting at the Broadmoor taking in this view
and processing what the Lord was teaching me at the Mom Heart Intensive, He had something to say to me.
Your home is not only a training ground for your children,
it's your training camp, too!
What does that mean? Let me flesh it out for us.
As I shared in this post, the toughest thing about being a mom is me, how selfish I am. But God sees fit in His plan to place people in families where a grown-up sinner is in charge of training up small sinners! The mistake I make is thinking that I have to have it all together to train up these little
hooligans ones, burdening myself with guilt every time I fail to "get it right" and burdening them with guilt for the same. We're all - the kids, my husband, and me - in training for righteousness and none of us will ever "arrive." So rather than guilt, we need showers of grace.
The beauty of Christ and His cross will be magnified in our homes, as we come alongside our children to train them, while daily acknowledging before them our need for a Savior, too. And also daily reminding them of the sufficiency of our Savior to forgive all our sin and lead us in the way everlasting!
Our weekend in Colorado included many wise words about our call as wives and mothers. But primarily, Sally reminded of our first and foremost call to be Christ's disciples because He has made us members of a new Kingdom! A disciple listens to her Teacher and responds, watches His ways and imitates, knows the Master's voice and follows. Then she can invite others along like, say, her children, to learn from and love the Lord.
The point of reading books that encourage us to pursue righteousness in our homes and to instruct and train our children is not to arrive, but to be transformed and be instruments of transformation. We are learning right along with our kids how to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. So be inspired by those books! Try new things that will orient all of your hearts toward Christ! Give thanks for the ways rearing your kids is stretching and growing you to look more like Him! And worship the Lord with gladness that the Gospel has the power to make all things new!
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
*****This summer, Sally is working her way through their book, The 24 Family Ways in a weekly series on her blog, click here. I bought it years ago, but we completed the devotionals for the first time this school year and it was very helpful. If you are looking for practical, Biblical guidance for training your children, jump in on reading these posts this summer. As an aside: I would recommend going through the book for children first grade and up. *****