Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Child Training Tuesday: Purity~Their heart & Mine

"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded." James 4:8

Compromise. Contamination. Defilement. Sin. Worldly influence.

What causes our lives to become slowly eroded? What is causing our heart to be divided? Here are a few just to get us thinking.

Television. Toxic relationships. Ungodly habits. Self-interests. Materialism.

God's word tells us to cleanse our hands and purify our hearts. He tells us that we are double-minded sinners. We divide our affection for Christ, therefore we cannot live a sold out life. We are unable to be pure in heart. What exactly does purity look like?

Blameless. Uncompromised. Uncontaminated. Above reproach. Morally upright.
We live out this kind of pure devotion to Christ in our heart, our mind, our words and our actions. We know that out of the mouth flows that which is in the heart. This makes me cringe sometimes at what I see displayed in my life sometimes. I know that the heart of my Savior is grieved as He walks with me, and watches as I display foolishness. There is falsehood all around me and I need to gear up for the battle. I cling to the verse 1 John 4:4 which says, "You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world."

God's character is without stain. I am unable to reflect God's heart of purity apart from knowing and obeying Him. Not just when I am feeling like it, but in all aspects of my life. I must be active in cultivating my heart. This is the hard work. This is where my hands get dirty.

Will I keep watching the same shows? Will I keep responding the same way? Will I go to the same activites and keep the same friends? Will I keep practicing the same habits? All of these are decisions we must be intentional about making. Our lives should be reflection of Christ. Christ is always with us, so what do we have going on in our lives that would bring Him shame?

Little eyes are watching me all the time. Watching to see how I handle conflict, how I respond to the world and how I make decisions. I have one who is always asking me "why." My response must line up with the word of God if I am going to train them to discern God's will and then follow. "Well sweetheart, we need to go because so-and-so will be happy if we go." Am I seeking to please man or please God? You can be doing one or the other, just stop and check your motive.

There are so many decisions that need to be made for my litttle ones, so I must be seeking the wisest counsel I know, which is God's word. Here are some guidelines for how we make decisions in our household.

1. Is this the best that God has for us? Good is not always best.
2. What will my children be learning from this experience?
3. How will we be able to be a witness for Christ in this situation?
4. Will this be showing my children what it looks like to live for Christ alone?
5. What kind of influence will this have on my children?
6. What is our motivaton for taking part?
7. What does God's word say concerning this subject?
8. How can I best set them up for success?

The heart behind what and why we do things is most important. My best advice is this: If you have aligned your heart with God, then follow what it tells you to do. Do not be swayed by friends asking, why don't you do this? why aren't you letting them go there? You alone are responsible before God for your life and the lives of your children when they are young. Set the goal to be found faithful. Use the questions and doubts as an opportunity to be a witness for the things that matter most to God.

Purity is the hard to acquire in this world of junk and contamination. Consider turning off the television. Consider one less play group. Stay home one full day if that is possible. Then use that time instead to teach your children about what living a life of purity really means. Find ways to be intentional with your life in the area of purity. And, remember to operate in grace towards your friends who are making the hard decisions for their family. Encourage them and learn from one another. We are vulnerable when we are teachable, but we all have much we can learn from how one we do life. Are you walking a road where you are the only one making decisions that are above reproach? I applaud you for taking the hard road and encourage you to be steadfast. God will use your life in ways you may never know and you will honor God by being faithful in what He has asked of you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you. You have no idea how much God used your words to reach my heart today. I have been really stuggling with "being a mom" these past few weeks, and my heart and mind set has been the battlefield for several wars recently, and this has helped my heart today. Thank you for being willing to speak and say things that God wants you to...they are an encouragement. Kirsti

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