One of the reasons I love God’s Word is because He knows how to say so much in so few words. Just one verse can have you thinking for days and can offer correction, insight, joy, peace, love and understanding. If you do not take time to read your Bible daily, start today. You will begin to look at it more and more for direction in every area of your life. I can never spend enough time in this book of truth.
This morning one of the places I spent sometime reading was Proverbs 31. I remember this particular chapter being a bit overwhelming and thinking this was a high standard for a woman that I could never be. It was yet another way I measured my worthiness to God and man. Satan whispers lies of defeat so often. We just need to be made aware of the truth so those lies can be thrown out immediately. For a girl who thought I had to earn love, worth and acceptance, satan did not have to try very hard to convince me of my defeat. However, I still tried to check these boxes of the perfect Proverbs 31 woman.
When behavior or actions is your worth measure and the heart is disregarded, you end up exhausted or wanting to just give up and rebel. Wonder why so many kids go that road? I might ask a few questions as to how they were raised, not casting blame, but in order to unravel their broken heart. Usually there is someone significant in their lives that created, intentionally or unintentionally, a deep heart wound. Having more of a dictatorship style of parenting would probably be great in military situations, but I have never met a child that this has lasting results. However, obedience comes easy when you love and trust the One asking you to follow.
It always goes back to the heart doesn’t it? Who does your heart listen too? Does it listen to the God of the Bible or do you have kind of a mask of sorts on the face of God? Friend, if you see anything other than the One, true God, ask Him to take that disguise off of your eyes so you can see Him. People, even ones who are doing their best, are not God. We need to see God as God. When you see Him for who He truly is, love, trust and obedience become incredibly easier. A child who knows their worth, acceptance and that they are unconditionally loved, is completely free from the chains of the “are you good enough prison” satan loves to hold people captive.
Because it is the hearts of our children, their freedom that is at stake here, this verse today really got my attention. The Message translation of the Bible phrases it this way, “She senses the worth of her work.” (Proverbs 31:18). With that before us, do you see your role as a mom as worthy work? I have said this before, I know I have been entrusted with much, not because of the number of children we have, but because a heart was placed in my hands. Meeting their physical needs is not that hard, tiring yes, but doable. Shaping their heart required me to deal with my own heart matters first. At times I kinda limped along, but I never gave up. I have no desire to distort the image of God in my children’s eyes because of my sin.
One of the best books on parenting that I have ever read, outside of the Bible, is Parenting, by Paul David Tripp. I have mentioned this before, but want to offer you help if this concept is new. One day I think writing a book about this heart shaping, worthy work that I have been entrusted with would be so much fun. It is one of my many dreams. I do not have all the answers and have failed much, but I do know the One who has never failed and has every answer because parenting was His idea.
Another verse I came across today reminded me again of my Heavenly Father’s invitation to me, His daughter. “Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:19). Because I know, not just believe, that I am the daughter of the Most High King, it is very natural for me to ask with boldness. I trust Him in the answer because it comes with a loving guarantee that it is for my good and His glory. Being a wife and mom gives me so many opportunities to be in need and I know where to go.
So, no matter where you are today, no matter how far you have run in the opposite direction and how far down you think you have fallen, there is a gift waiting just for you. This gift cost God His only Son. He died a death so violent and painful that we see clearly how horrendous our sin is. But the debt of our sin has been cancelled with the blood shed of Jesus and His resurrection. All you have to do is believe, accept and have faith that what He says is true. It is like taking the best gift you can ever receive, unwrapping it and what you find inside is eternal life, love, forgiveness and help for today.
I will wrap this up with words from a beautiful song we sang in church today called Bigger Than I Thought by Passion. As we sang it, I glanced up at the cross in the stained glass window and knew how deeply loved I am. I was also reminded of the power of God and His ability to do the impossible. He is more than you can ever imagine. He is just waiting to be your Heavenly Father!
“You understand me
So I throw all my cares before you
my doubts and fears don’t scare you
You’re bigger than I thought you were
You’re bigger than I thought
So I stop all negotiations
With the God of all creation
You are bigger than I thought you were
I will rest in the Father’s hands
Leave the rest in the Father’s hands….”