22. Investing in what will Never Fade

My husband and I lead a community group with five other couples from our church every week. The topic of our study last night was creating and maintaining a personal worship habit. As a group of highly active leaders in our church, this is a subject that we return to quite often as we believe this to be a valuable way to make us more effective in our specific ministries. A temptation we fall into, however, is to think that we’ve heard all the information before, know all the right answers, and brush it off as an obvious necessity. We know in our minds the importance of establishing a daily time to pray, read, and worship, yet few of us can say with any consistency that we practice what we believe to be so important. I think most of us can agree that setting aside a time specifically devoted to God is invaluable, yet establishing this time in our already busy and hectic routines is easier said than done.

By God’s grace, I have been able to maintain a relatively consistent quiet time, but I can’t take any credit for this. God blessed me with a 1950’s house that does not have a dishwasher as well as a thirty-minute drive to work, and these two specific blessings have enabled me to find regular and predictable chunks of time which have in many ways forced me to see the benefit of spending time with the Lord. At this stage in my life, it’s as easy as downloading a playlist of sermons from my favorite church leaders and hitting the play button before sudsing up or hitting the road. I admittedly have no idea what my routine will look like when I bring Desi home, and you can bet there will be a dishwasher installed before I bring a toddler into this house! So I’m doing my best to enjoy quiet times (in the literal sense of it) while I can, because all bets will be off on that amazing day when he joins our family.

I remember listening to a Proverbs sermon series on my iPhone while washing dishes last summer. One sermon in particular stood out to me and became the inspiration for today’s devotion, and really the motivation behind this entire devotion series. The speaker was Mark Driscoll, who I’m aware has been the center of some controversy this year, however this particular message series was from several years ago and remains a powerful message for parents who are planning to or are in the process of raising kids. The message spoke directly to the mothers, but is still so applicable to fathers out there as well, so dads, this is for you too! In the sermon, Driscoll says, “The most influential person in a child’s life—the person who will spend countless hours with him and train him up in the way he should go is the mother. Therefore, mothers cannot afford to be anything less than theologians.”

Let me give you some context here. As I’m sure you are aware, this day and age, the role of a mother is so watered down and undervalued. Women are often seen as lazy or antiquated if they choose to invest in the raising of their kids over their pursuit of a competitive career. We often give mothers so little credit for the enormous responsibilities they are called to in raising up leaders who will be a mighty force in the kingdom of God. But that’s the end goal for us, isn’t it? We are called to love on, invest time, money, and energy in, prioritize, heal, council, teach, train, hold, clean, nurture, feed, embolden, and provide for one of God’s children. Do we think this is a role God is giving us lightly?

At times I feel honored that God would choose me to be the mother of this sweet boy I’m so excited to meet, and at other times the weight of this enormous responsibility gives me a healthy degree of nervousness. You should feel honored too! God is not a god of coincidences. He chose that child specifically when he chose you to be the mother or father of one of his little ones. And I’m sure you’ve experienced or are soon to experience the weight of God’s calling as well. So how do we steward this child to our best abilities?

This is where it all comes together. Remember the quiet time we discussed? It is the key to keeping our role as parents in a clear, biblical perspective. It is the means to which we are able to refuel for the long days ahead. It is the answer to all of the hundreds of unknowns and blurry areas that come along with the job of parenting. Setting aside a time to read God’s word, ask for his help, and request the spirit to empower you is the difference between raising young men and women, and raising warriors.  1 Timothy 3:16-17 says that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” This is just as true for us as it is for our kids. If we allow ourselves to be immersed in God’s word, we won’t be the only ones who will be competent and equipped. Scripture has a way of seeping out of our pores and exposing itself to those we choose to invest in, and Proverbs 22:6 promises that if we “train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old he will not depart from it.”

So yes, setting aside a time to dedicate to the Lord can be tricky, especially if you have kids waiting on you at home already. Your time is not your own, and you may need to get creative. But if what God’s scripture says is true, then we cannot afford not to make our development and growth in wisdom and knowledge a priority in our lives.

If you have discovered any creative ways to integrate a “quiet” time into your daily routine that may help others with their routine, I encourage you to share your ideas in the comment section below. “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens another friend” (Proverbs 17:27). We have been called to an amazing journey, friends. Let’s empower ourselves to glorify God through every step of it!

 

Verses to Consider:

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. –JOSHUA 1:8

With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. –PSALM 119:10-11

Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation. -1 PETER 2:2

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. –ISAIAH 55:10-11

 

A Prayer for Your Day:

God, thank you for choosing me, of all people in all creation, to be the [mother/father] of [child’s name]. I’ve taken that miracle for granted and have allowed myself to diminish the role you have called me to in [his/her] life. Lord, I know that I cannot ultimately choose whether [he/she] decides to accept you as [his/her] personal savior, but I am called to provide every opportunity to expose [him/her] to your truth, your existence, and your love for [him/her]. God the best thing I can do for [him/her] is to learn as much of your word as I can to instill into [child’s name]. Help me to share your word, which is eternal and will never fade, regardless of what challenges come in [his/her] life (Isaiah 40:8). I know this is not going to be an easy journey, but it will be filled with so many blessings! And I thank you for blessing me with this child today.

In Jesus’s name,

Amen.

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