In the past, when I told people the Lord crafted my life in a special, senstive way to desire to help women know, love, and honor the Lord Jesus so well that they intentionally raised children to choose Christ over culture, not many understood my words.
"What do you mean?" I was asked often.
Times have changed.
Now when I mention the way God has continued to allow me to notice and encourage women to see the need for Jesus in their life and homes, the drive He has instilled in me to show them the way to Him and to help them see the ways to naturally bring Jesus into daily life so that He will be known to their children or grandchildren, they are beginning to understand.
Culture is changing at a rapid pace. Look around, listen, and let God speak to your heart. What do you think he feels when He sees the condition of our world? Can you see how our children and grandchildren are being pushed away from what is vitally important and are being filled with momentary distractions? Flesh and the god of this world are luring and deceiving more and more children and adults. Schools are infiltrated with deception and lies, as are music, books, magazines, and entertainment. Even churches.
Driven by Love
Do you ever ponder just how God can stand to look upon us? How does God continue to love us with a depth that we cannot fully describe or understood? As parents, we get a glimpse of how He might feel, yet our Heavenly Father's love is holy, sovereign, and purposeful, so high above what we are capable of. Yet, as loving as God is, He cannot tolerate sin. Through His great love for us, God has provided a way to be reconciled to Him.
Through the sacrifice of Jesus, we are cleansed. Made new. God is able to shine His face upon us and rejoice at His children. Yet, we are not holy and we never will be.
Despite our sinful nature, God offered us a bridge to Him. John 14:6 says, "Jesus told him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.'"
If we don't know Jesus through a personal relationship, those words mean nothing to us. When we do trust Jesus as Savior, we are obligated to intentionally deepen and mature our walk with Him moment by moment.
Driven by Faith
Just as Jesus chose to offer Himself as a sinless sacrifice in attonement for our sins, we must choose whether to offer ourselves in return. What does His sacrifice mean to you? Do you expect a magic genie? An easy life? No problems? Or do you understand that relationships take committment? They take work? Only through a purposed life can we begin to mature and understand the gift we have been offered.
Just as Jesus was driven by obedience to the Father, we must decide whether we are driven by faith, trust, and obedience. Or are we influenced and directed by the demands of this world?
As we mature our walk through trust, faith, love, and obedience, we see the importance of allowing Jesus access to every area of our life, personal, private, and secret moments no one else sees or knows about. That is where we must begin. Until He truly cleanses our heart and mindset, we will never realize the validity of His sacrifice and what our response should be. We will never understand the gift we are obligated to pass to our children and grandchildren.
Driven by Obedience
If you are not intentionally mentoring and leading your precious children or grandchildren to Jesus, the world is leading them away from Him.
Living with eternal perspective allows us to set the purpose and product we desire for the end of our life, then work backwards to accomplish that goal.
As we cling to Jesus, our objectives should be in alignment with what He is calling for us. If you haven't already intentionally done so, I urge you to prayerfully spend time with the Lord, asking for His holy direction and guidance, for His wisdom and calling to be made known to you. Then ask Him to do the work needed inside you to reach the purpose He has set for and before you.
Nothing that happens in our life is wasted when we lift it all to Him to be used for His glory. Whether it is the loss of a loved one, dissolved dreams, financial failures, betrayal, or any emotion, heartache, or suffering this world brings, God can completely transform the bitterness or deepest hurt in your heart and use what you are experiencing for good in His kingdom, (even though it feels like nothing but scary, meaningless words). Through it, He invites you to live cradled in His arms with a new peace, trust, and joy that surpasses what this world offers. Through lifting what we suffer to Jesus, we are invited to rest our burdens on His shoulders and be carried through what ails us so that we can be remade or renewed.
Driven by Christ, Not Culture
What we see around us is not the world God desires for us.
Following the culture, trends, and ideals preached by a society that does not know Him leads us farther from the grace, love, hope, peace, joy, and trust we desire so deeply. It is leading our children and grandchildren farther from Him (and the commands He has lovingly set for our lives) moment by moment. What is He laying upon your heart? Where do you need to allow Him to change you? What is He calling you to do for Him?
Life is meant to honor the Lord. The precious gift of life here was not created simply for our good pleasures. You were intentionally crafted for relationship with God through Jesus and for a specific purpose. Have you found it? Are you seeking it? Life is not about self or finding self-love as this world preaches, but must center around Him. We are only made complete when we honor the gift of relationship with Jesus and purposely mature it daily.
What do you desire to change in your relationship with the Lord? What can you release to Jesus today? He is waiting to take your burdens so that you will live in fullness with Him and live in the world without being a part of it.
Driven by Eternity
When we adopted a baby after raising two children, my husband and I decided to analyze past parenting skills and choose what we would like to change. Facing where we could better honor the Lord in the future was our biggest goal. As we had matured in our faith over the years we knew God was calling us to bless the life of our future daughter by drawing her near to Him from the beginning in very intentional ways.
Deuteronomy 6:5-9 instructs us, "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These words I am commanding you today are to be upon your hearts. And you shall teach them diligently to your children and speak of them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as reminders on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates."
God calls every part of us to be engaged in loving Him including our affection, thoughts, emotions, desires, resources, and stamina, not through thoughtless or rote worship. Created in His image, we are filled with various ways to creatively and purposely seek a deeper, meaningful walk with our Heavenly Father. We are obligated to mentor that love and purposed relationship to our children, and it is one of the highest gifts we can offer them.
The greatest commandment Jesus teaches is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our strength. Is that what our culture teaches us? Does culture influence our children to do this? Quite the opposite. Parents must claim a firmer stand on the holy foundation of a strong and dedicated relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Seeking eternity through our mind, words, attitude, and actions can only be done when we strive to mature our walk with Jesus by engaging in His word, prayer time to speak to and listen for Him, and seeking Him through all daily events and activities. The Lord is present. Always. Imagine the spiritual world around us that we cannot see. Just as we never see the air we breathe, we live oblivious to what surrounds us. WIthout a relationship that captivates and propels us to seek Him more closely, to please and honor Him with all that we are and are becoming, life is truly meaningless. Ecclesiastes 1:14a says, "I have seen all the things that are done under the sun, and have found them all to be futile, a pursuit of the wind."
The pursuit of Christ over culture is a choice.
What can you do right now to strengthen your walk with Him? How can He shine more clearly through you to influence the lives of children or grandchildren, family, friends, and strangers today? Do you belong to our beloved, Jesus. His desire is for you to fellowship with Him in complete trust and surrender.
We must each evaluate our life, lifestyle, and choices against the truth of God's word and the Holy Spirit living within us.
Is your desire for Him or the culture of this world?