Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Seek Ye First

As I have reflected on the blossoming (bursting!) personalities and character of these little people in my home, I have found myself overwhelmed at the task before me as a Mother. They are sponges, semi-blank slates. How do I address all the things that need development? Every single moment presents an opportunity to teach them something. Where do I start?

Because I am a former business person, I tend to think strategically. What is our end goal? This has led me to some basic questions about family: What is the call of a family? Particularly, a family that professes to love and serve God? Likewise, what is the chief role of a mother? I could list 100 roles of mother from Household Manager to Laundress, Counselor and Teacher to Referee. We know the duties, but what is our higher call? To love and to serve, to protect and to nurture...but what is our end goal?

I believe I am called to do all those things so that God is glorified. I want to raise children whose basic needs are met so they can concentrate on the higher things, the reasons we profess God created us in the first place: to glorify Him with our lives.

It is a lofty aspiration. One that certainly cannot be accomplished without the leadership of the One who called us to that in the first place.

This morning I had a few stolen minutes to begin reading another book by Mark Buchanan, The Holy Wild. (I promise I am not getting a kickback from his publisher. I just really enjoy his writing.) I loved this quote:

"I will have failed if God is named, but not praised, analyzed but not glorified, seen but not sought."

As God-fearing Moms, it is not enough to name, analyze and point our little people to God. We must do so out of our own love for Him. We must model praise of His Name to our children and help them seek His Face amidst all the other competing voices in the world. Do you know what that demands? A real relationship with Him, not just going through the motions or relying on our memories of the relationship we once had. Ouch.

If I am not starting my day receiving instruction, guidance and strength from Him, this task will be infinitely more difficult. I know this, yet I can make a hundred small concessions to my time and not include 10 minutes in the Word.

The best thing we can do for our children is praise, glorify and seek God ourselves.


Room for Grace said...

"As God-fearing Moms, it is not enough to name, analyze and point our little people to God. We must do so out of our own love for Him."
It all comes down to this, doesn't it? Great words to start the day with.
Your thoughts remind me of a quote by my favorite author, John Piper,
"God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him."
As moms, our kids need to see us finding our joy in God and treasuring Him above all else.

A Place For Ministry Wives said...

You seem like someone who would really enjoy having a "family mission statement" drawn up and posted in your house. Several of my friends have done that. It's such a great, visible daily reminder of what your purpose is as a family each day, what you stand for, WHO you stand for, etc.

Keri Ann said...

Great thought-provoking stuff here, as usual! I, too, am able to think of dozens of reasons to postpone time in the Word. For my children and for myself, I need to commit myself to deepening my relationship with the Lord TODAY, rather than sticking with the "status quo," to be deepened later in a less hectic season of life. Thank you for the reminder!

Ironic, though, that when we need daily relationship-building time with the Lord the most, it's the hardest to come by. Must be some part of the Master's plan, but I sure can't figure it out! :)

Peach said...

We have picked life verses for each of our children that reflect their character and our goals for each of them. My husband and I also have life verses to cling to throughout our journeys here on earth.

We are in the process of choosing a family life verse to go along with a mission statement for our family. I think it is valuable for our children to see our commitment to live out God's Word daily, as well as to find a strong identity in the family in which God has placed them.

I loved this post, JXXX Scott : )

Mindy said...

I love reading your thoughts!
You ar so insightful and encourage me to think like you do!
In HIM -

ShaggaBear said...

"ouch" indeed. Well said. My little one needs to see my love for God and not just hear me talk about Him

the good, the bad & the ugly said...

I do not have a former career in the business arena, but I also have to keep an end goal in mind. I agree with you, the end goal is to live a life of worship, even in the nitty gritty. All of life from the dishes to the devotions is an opportunity to love out of the bounty of love He has shown us! What a fun way to parent! If you get a chance, I love Sally Clarkson's books, particularly The Ministry of Motherhood. Here's a quote, "The Author of grace will himself draw my children to I rest in his ability to work through the life of my family. Perfection is not a standard he requires of me as a mother, for his grace extends to me as well as to my children. My heartfelt trust in him will be the fuel that energizes my days as I see him draw my children through this gift (grace) that will serve them their whole lives."
Thanks for the wonderful thoughts!

Sarah said...

"Father, thank you so much for speaking to my heart through JMom today. Thank you for the fact, that when we seek you first, all else comes into place. Help me to seek you first, each and every day, each and every moment. Let me live my faith IN FRONT OF my children, not just when they are napping. Let me praise you when little eyes are watching and little ears are listening, let me pray alowd so they can understand what a genuine relationship with you looks like. And thank you for the encouragement we can be to one another on this journey of life. I praise you for this precious blog circle of Godly women I've found. In your name, Amen."

Jessica said...

Amen sister!!! God used you, once again, to speak to my heart tonight! I have to REALLY love God and serve Him myself before I can get my girls to do it! Thank you for your openness!