While driving through town the other day, our family saw a dead baby deer in the roadway. We were all immediately saddened. It was such a strange sight to see a very young deer hit by a car. My husband said it best during our discussion afterwards. He said something like this, ” You know, that deer was just following his momma. The momma deer lead her baby directly into danger. She made it, but he didn’t. That happens all the time with people too. Some parents follow the world, and their children follow their example. Even if the parent’s make it, that doesn’t mean their children will.”
How are we leading our children? Are we searching for God’s truth with our every breath?
Our children are watching us…
When our oldest children were younger, I didn’t always lead the way I should. I honestly didn’t quite grasp the enormity of raising children. I guess I kind of figured that my kids would listen to what I said, and not do as I did. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Do as I say, not as I do.”
During this time frame, I might,
Spout of feminist garbage about how women have it so badly
Disconnect myself from housework because of the unfairness of it all
Watch a PG-13 or R rated movie
Occasionally drink an alcoholic beverage
Listen to music with questionable lyrics from time to time
But this was okay, because I was an adult. All the while, little eyes were watching me, wondering why this was fine for me and not them. They couldn’t wait until they were older so they could become just like momma.
Then my children grew. I began noticing character traits develop in them that I deemed undesirable. When I took a look at myself however, the same character traits were staring me right in the face. Please understand that during this time frame I was devoted to my children. I was a great mother in the eyes of my friends and family. I homeschooled my children, was their protector, and loved them immensely. But I knew something was missing.
I began to really examine the direction I was leading my children. Unfortunately most church folk acted exactly the way I did, if not worse! I had no truly Godly families in real life to look up to, so I read, then read some more. I desperately wanted to do all that I could for my family. My greatest hope was (and is) for my children to not fall away from the faith. I praise God that He planted that desire firmly in my heart, and this was the catapult for me to make some changes in my life.
For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
Philippians 2:13 (NLT)
God is no respecter of persons. He doesn’t say, “Adults, you do these things, while children, you do something else.” He wants us ALL to follow Him! He wants us all to walk in truth and purity.
I knew that changes needed to be made. Some painful. Isn’t it funny how the flesh wants to cling onto ungodly things? Basically, if it’s something that I wouldn’t allow my children to do, I don’t do it either. The exception might be something along the lines of a marriage retreat, but that is all. Everything that we do I try to line up with the word of God. Do I fail sometimes? Absolutely! Do most people think I’m nuts? You bet! No matter what I hear, I keep pressing on towards Jesus.
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
The Holy Spirit’s sanctifying work on soft hearts can be absolutely amazing. For example, while I used to wince at outright swearing on television and movies, now the “beep” that covers these words stir my spirit as well. If there is a “beep,” we change the channel. Commercials that didn’t used to bother me now do. Clothing that used to not bother me now does. I could go on and on. Praise God that He is changing my heart to look more like His.
We might think, “My mother wasn’t the most godly woman, and I turned out just fine.” This might be true sometimes, but not always. Think back to the young deer in the road. He was just following his momma’s example. For example, mothers who drink casually very well might end up with alcoholic children, or worse. These children were only following their mother’s example to begin with.
If this is a struggle for you, please know that you are not alone. Thankfully when we ask our gracious God to forgive us and change our hearts to turn towards His, He is faithful.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9
If we keep our eyes on Jesus, leading our children in truth will become second nature. Our God loves us, and will help us as mothers if we ask Him. Please remember that our children are watching our every step, let’s point them towards Jesus!
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