So this morning I’m looking out at the blanket of fresh snow over the fields. I think of the beauty of it all and think how amazing it is that it covers all the flaws… the dirt and weeds, the uneven spots… And then I think of character… the character training in children. The pointing to Jesus… the Author and Finisher of our faith. The only One who can show the way on the path, the only One who can cover our dirt… our weeds… and wash us white as snow.
Train up a child in the way he should go:
and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
And what does this training do?
and forsake not the law of thy mother:
Bind them continually upon thine heart,
and tie them about thy neck.
When thou goest, it shall lead thee;
when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee;
and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.
For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light;
and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:”
Reproof and instruction are the way of life… I mull that over and over as I recall how impressed I was last night regarding the training of children. The nurturing, protecting, raising, training, guiding, instructing, correcting, persuading, and praying for and over children. Then I mull over… pray over the children. Pray. Pray over. Pray over and over and over. And over again. nurture, protect, train, guide, instruct, correct, persuade and pray over and over and over. It seems a drudgery, doesn’t it? It seems wearying, doesn’t it? Or can it be seen as the greatest and most noble calling.
As we talked with parents of a younger family last night, we were encouraged and inspired by their zeal and enthusiasm to walk and stay the course. I thought of how I was once in their place not too long ago. I thought of how things were before some trials of life wearied my way. I thought of how things looked before some of the more recent bends in the road. I thought of how things used to be. And then I thought of how they must remain.
It’s taken some real effort to press on and stay the course sometimes. Effort bcz I’ve given in or fought against the lethargy of the enemy, the weariness in well-doing, and the daily-doubters. And then I read the Psalms…
I think the practice of regularly reading the Psalms is one of the greatest blessings of our homelife. I often wonder where we’d be if we didn’t stay the course and continually seek to apply the truths of God’s Word-namely (but not exclusively) the Psalms.
We talked last night about the particular influences on our parenting – those things which inspired and those things which hindered. We talked about vigilance and determination to stay the course. We also talked pretty candidly about those points of failure or wrong turns in the road. This family is currently at the same point on the path we were 10 or 15 years ago. I see them avoiding the snares on that part of the road and am so encouraged to take stock or “know the state of the flock” and seek to avoid those clear and present dangers on the path. The LORD continually reminds me over the years to stay the course… that though a few are older and no longer home, there are many lives yet to shape and guide… that I cannot afford to waste time or to think for a moment that then end of the course is near. It’s today… it’s just begun!
Every once in awhile I think that we’d all do well to now and then reassess our situations and do a little housekeeping in our families – in our parenting… remove clutter, repair the floors or walls, go through the reading materials, check the daily schedules to see where the holes are. You know, the little holes in the day where great siphons creep in and drain the life and resolve right out of a home.
I think it’s a marvelous thing to take a good long look in the mirror… a good honest look and ask: am I where I meant to be and am I where God wants me to be today? Am I on the right path or have I wandered from the way and actually have no real idea where I’m heading?
I am so grateful for the fellowship with brothers and sisters in the LORD – for the iron sharpening iron. How blessed we are and how often we miss this tremendous gift of the LORD bcz we’re looking for something else.
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering;
(for he is faithful that promised;)
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Hebrews 10.23 – 25