What a horrifying thought…the devil with my kids! Don’t think for one moment that the devil doesn’t watch your kids. He does and he finds way to get at them…and maybe through you!
If the devil can convince you that stepping up to parent is too hard…then he will take over your job. He loves inconsistent parents. And he loves parents who are afraid of making their children mad. Inconsistency and fear will produce children who have little respect for you and God. It will create children who learn how to “behave” when someone is watching.
I am concerned about this time of year when vacations come about and little preparation is made for worship. Better yet some view vacation as literally a “time out” from “having to do” anything related to being a Christian. Wear what you want to wear…go where you want to go…say what you want to say. God surely isn’t everywhere is he? And He doesn’t expect us to make vacation plans around HIM does He? You see this is when the Devil has won. The thinking is more about self and less about God. Your plans are not His plans. Your ways are not His ways.
Parents…the greatest gift you can give your child is not a sense of entitlement. It’s not a fine wardrobe or a trip to an exotic place. The greatest gift you can give is a foundation that is firmly planted in His word. When your kids are grounded…they will respect you because they respect Him. They will be 24/7 believers who understands that Christianity is a lifestyle…not a clock-in/clock-out job.
They will be genuine in their faith and grasp the realness of the devil.
Cover your children with the Word so they may be protected from wrong thinking. Give them tools to fight the clever ways of Satan and help them learn the power of prayer with their Savior who loves them more than you do.
I am sharing this post written to young women about finding the right man in their life. It is written by a young man and is written beautifully.
This is the time of year for many weddings. I got married in June. Most young women plan their “weddings” long before they plan their “marriage.” In fact, it is rare that young men and women really look at what their marriage will be all about. As has been written…when you get married, you will learn more about being Christ-like than ever before.
I can’t emphasize enough for young men and women to search for godliness when they are thinking about serious dating. Too many times guys and girls excuse behavior that is ungodly or poor in choice because infatuation has gotten in the way. If you are serious about your life as a Christian, then be serious about the other person you bring into your walk.
To the young men…it cannot be emphasized enough that the woman you marry will influence your children more than you. So…you had better be on the same page about values, priorities and discipline. Too many times have I seen men stand back and be quiet when the Moms are pushing activities that are questionable. Most men don’t want the battle.
For the young women…if you want godly leadership in your home for you and your children…then look for those qualities in a man. If he doesn’t lead…you will and that is role reversal which is not God-designed. Look for the man who seeks God first. If he loves God more than you…than your home will be a treasure.
Find love in the right place…and that place is where God is first and His word is loved more than anything or anyone else.
Grit…it’s a lost word or associated with more than one…as in Grits. 🙂 In those pioneer days and in the days of the Greatest Generation, there were many with Grit. It’s a personality trait. People with Grit have passion and they will persevere under all types of circumstances for that passion. It’s standing firm with integrity and not letting anyone or anything stand in your way.
In our lives as Christians we have succumb to the world of which having Grit is a negative thing. You see in our world today there is more value in someone who has no values. In other words…you are most received when nothing matters. I guess passion matters most if it’s directed toward a free spirit of “I’m okay….you’re okay.”
Satan is really wining this war in our lives. If he can get you to become apathetic about integrity, accountability, perseverance, truth and a passion for Christ…then he has you just where he wants you. Grit comes with a price. You don’t it get by osmosis. It comes with hard work and tough shoulders. It’s a love for people, but a hate for sin. It’s doesn’t hide. It has no secrets. It is not hypocritical. And because Grit is hard to come by, those pursuing will usually do so with few followers.
When it comes to parenting…you gotta have Grit. It’s seeing past those moments when it’s easier to give in. It’s not excusing bad behavior (sometimes I get so weary with “tired” children who are really little terrors!). It’s stepping up to parent when it’s the hardest because you know your child won’t “like” you. It’s loving them enough to discipline…and that may include a spatula!
How about when it comes to marriage? It takes Grit to love when someone may be unloveable. It takes Grit to put your marriage first when all the “girlfriends” are going out night after night. It takes Grit to admit the mistake.
Do you have Grit as a Christian? Are you willing to be vocal about what God says about homosexuality or adultery? Is it easier to keep quiet about the lack of clothes your sister in Christ is wearing? How hard is it to stop gossip? There’s little to no Grit when it keeps getting passed on and on. And how about those lost moments when you could have denied self and taken up His cross to follow Him? Now there’s “True Grit!”
Make a change in your life and “GET ON YOUR GRIT!” You may lose some friends…but if you do…those aren’t really friends because your goals are different and they will drag you down if you keep hangin’ on to them. LET THEM GO. Christ is wanting followers who KNOW HIM…not just “proclaim” Him. Where will HE find you and your “Grit?”
Do you ever get in a slump? I know I do and find my mind wandering…trying to figure out why I am discouraged, not motivated and lacking energy. Then I find myself around others who are spiritually on fire and it hits me….”There’s your answer…your spiritual talk is missing.”
As women we tend to circle ourselves with those who think like we do, like what we like and exclude what needs excluding. Unfortunately we can almost have a “social club” mindset which rarely gives us the spiritual nourishment we need. I’ve noticed on Facebook that many women are all about posting the word….”praying”, but when it comes time to use it in front of others or incorporate more of it on a personal level with God…it goes lacking. I don’t know exactly what some of us are afraid of, but prayer should be our number one tool on a daily basis to fight the devil.
For me, I need to surround myself with women who are spiritually on fire for the Lord…and not necessarily each other. I need more talk about about how I can grow as a Christian…where can I find more opportunities and when can I have a Bible study with someone. I can’t remember the last time I had a personal Bible study with a searching soul…you know that kind where you sit at a table and discuss God’s word and apply it? That’s not a good thing. It says I am too comfortable in my “little” world and not going out into the world and sharing the Good News!
So what can I do? First of all…I can stop the “club” mindset and start the “soul-search” mindset. If all my energies go inward in my church family…then how can I ever have the courage and strength to look outside of myself? I can’t because I’m too focused on the comfort of my secure world. Secondly, I can surround myself with those who are spiritually on fire. Now that’s not so easy to find because most women are still focusing inward. I know because I’ve done that. Those women use spiritual talk. They aren’t afraid to pray. They seek out those who are hurting or lost. They have no time for trivial because they lived in the valley and climbed the mountain. They “know” their Redeemer.
Third…and most importantly…I can find the courage to be like HIM and not be afraid to establish right from wrong. I was talking with someone yesterday who acknowledged that we are living in a world where defining lines of truth and error has become taboo. Dare we say or imply that a behavior or attitude is wrong. To do that…your tagged as judgmental. I’ve learned over the years that when someone is quick to tag another as judgmental…it is usually to avoid accountability. Matthew 7:15….”Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.” In other words…be on guard for those who are not teaching as Christ has taught and you will know by their behavior. I John 4:1…”Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” The word “test” means to judge. In other words…I must judge in order to decide…based on scripture…as to whether behavior is from God or not. Where we get into scuffles over this can be the attitude with which it is done…whether in love or with words to create hurt and doubt.
Spiritual Talk…it’s what’s good for the soul. It will get you out of a slump and put you back on track for the race….you know the one where sin can easily entangle us. Throw off all the “junk” that keeps you from fixing your eyes on Jesus. And when you do…the joy will come back in your heart and fire will flame your soul!
This morning I was glancing through some Facebook posts. This particular one got my attention. There is a group of women who encourage one another through prayer. While there have been some “requests” that seemed inappropriate…like “pray that my bedbugs will go away” …this one today put perspective in my world.
She writes…” On Wednesday I went in for my 32 weeks check up with my OB and found out our sweet baby girl no longer had a heartbeat. I will be going to the hospital to deliver her today.” My mind was numb. While as a nurse working in Labor and Delivery, I helped to deliver some babies who had died in utero. Words seem useless. Hugs seem useless. In fact the verse that initially comes to mind is “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:10).
Things like this that happen in life bring..or should bring…your world into focus as to what really matters in our everyday lives. God matters. Family matters. Doing HIS will matters. In fact it made me reflect again on my purpose here on earth. I’m here. God has blessed me abundantly and what am I doing to share HIS word, bring others to HIM to reveal His glory and wondrous works? I fail so miserably.
One thing I know about this Momma and her precious baby. God will comfort her like no other. This precious soul has been returned to HIM and is forever saved…without a doubt. It would be hard…very hard to grasp the solace of that, but it would be the only way to breathe.
Surround yourself with what matters. It’s not stuff. It’s not fame. It’s not how you look. It’s about being real with your Creator and owning your mission. Get your prayer life going and ask for wisdom, opportunities and a heart for HIM. And while you’re there…mention the hearts of this Mom and Dad who grieve. I’m confident it will help.
How are you doing with your talents? Are you using them or still trying to figure out what they are? (smile). We all have them and God expects us to use them to His glory. But how do we find them, accept them and direct our energies toward them?
When I began nursing school I lacked a lot of confidence about how I would and could be the best nurse. I wanted to be my best, but I tended to be intimidated by those who had much more skill and finesse with their talent. In the healthcare field you can get yelled at a lot either by a patient, doctor, family member or supervisor. I don’t know about you, but I never enjoyed getting chewed out. It would send me on a spiral and I would doubt myself and my abilities to be a nurse. Time in the profession has helped to heal that. You can yell at me all day in that arena and I will take from it what I should and let the rest fly away! I am secure in the talents I have in my profession and have learned that some of that goes with the territory.
But what about our God-given talents as a Christians? Do we tend to hide them for fear of being seen as pretentious? In my opinion one of the most frustrating things I see about women is that we tend to hold back from what we can do…share…become. While it may be easy to “let your hair down” with those closest to you, the tug-of-war comes with asked to get outside our comfort zone.
God never asked us to be comfortable. He has asked us to be workers…servants…cross-bearers and encouragers. Getting down to the nitty-gritty of our true selves will sometimes reveal our “hiding” place. “I will work for you Lord, but please don’t ask me to step out of my hometown.” I will serve you Lord, but only when I have matching plates and a bigger house.” I will bear my cross Lord, but when the “heat” of service becomes too much…please don’t ask me to take another step.” I can encourage Lord…but it’s easier with people I know.” Find yourself in any of those? I know I can.
BE YOUR BEST SELF. That’s the bottom line. Don’t look for excuses because you will always find them. Find the person in your life to help you be your best. Find the person in your life who will take you from where you are to where you can shine as a Christian. Don’t settle for what “feels” comfy and self-satisfying. Look for the better you because when you do…you will find the God-given talents that are waiting for you…and we can’t wait to see them!