"Does not wisdom call,
And understanding lift up her voice?
On top of the heights beside the way,
Where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
Beside the gates, at the opening to the city,
At the entrance of the doors, she cries out:
'To you, O men, I call,
And my voice is to the sons of men.
O naive ones, understand prudence;
And, O fools, understand wisdom.
Listen, for I will speak noble things;
And the opening of my lips will reveal right things.'"
What a week this has been, as we have continued to see a world in tumult and grief. I have been heartbroken and so very surprised--is all this really happening? I can't believe the tragedies, and I feel heart broken for my friends of every color, my police friends and all their families, and most importantly, the children involved.
As usual, though, after praying and spending time with the Lord, I feel inspired to do something to help to change hearts and to help build up a broken culture.
Often, people are tempted with hopelessness and fear. Yet, I am reminded this is why mothers were created by God to teach and to call others to wisdom--because it is only when people learn to think rightly, to honor human beings made in the image of God, to weep over the fallen behavior of lost man, that they can move in the direction of redemption.
When I read the above verses, I am reminded once again that women are God's special teachers of wisdom, of perspective, of God's ways. There is something we can do. When a mother is filled with vision, comfort, wisdom, and truth; when God is the strong foundation of security of her life, she will shape the very soul and faith of those in her household. The world has hope when souls are alive with faith and a valiant, devoted spirit, and when people's behavior is dictated by righteous thinking.
It’s always an adventure when all my children find their way back to the nest, and we are enjoying some of that happiness now as many are home. Seems we have had a constant stream of meals eaten, dishes washed, and then repeating the routines again and again.
Many rousing discussions took place this weekend in our home with many friends who have different opinions about all the issues we see in the news, as well as opinions about movies, politics, church, books, actors, all the disasters that have happened this week, and life in general. More serious discussions have stimulated our ideas as we talked about how to reach a post-modern culture, about what is really important to the Lord, and what is the balance between ideals and grace, passion and redemption.
It has been good as always for me to enter the world of the insightful thoughts and wisdom of my thinking-and-reading children who are now full-hearted adults, and see how they process and ponder these issues, and to ask what my part is in offering truth in a way that can be understood. I see all of the input I receive from differing points of view as ways that God prepares me to be a better thinker and more insightful into the souls and ways of people and ultimately as a steward of His messages.
I have spent much time pondering what the role of motherhood has played in the issues that rage in our country today.
We are all busy and live in a hectic, fast-paced culture. Yet, we must take seriously our role in bringing truth and light in the darkness that threatens to overcome our lives. For every “advance” it seems there is a price that must be paid, a cost to battling in spiritual realms, whether we are aware of it or not.
The vision I see is this: If mothers rise to be the gatekeepers, making their homes places of excellence, cultivating love for each other as well as reverence and worship of God, the future generations will have hope. If we are teaching respect and honor for all people crafted by God's hands, then our children will become protectors and advocates for all people, especially those who are unfairly found victims of a broken, fallen world.
If we are spending personal time teaching and discipling their children by reading the Word of God every day and praying to Him with our children for wisdom and guidance every day, then we will raise a generation of children who will become adults who will depend on God's wisdom, not the wisdom espoused by the internet or the world.
If we take the time to read to our children, to challenge them with great ideas from the most profound writers in history, if we give them the muscle to discuss and discern world views, then we will raise thinking children who can become message makers to give hope to their world.
If we are keeping them from worshiping the idol of television, materialism, the internet, political power or prestige and instead teaching and modeling a servant lifestyle, then our children will engage in visions of life that include their responsibility to serve God and others with their lives.
If we lead them into the ministry of real live people, in our homes as well as in the city gates, and teach them how to engage in culture, then they will perceive themselves as those who will become leaders of ideals in their generation.
If they observe us serving them through this training and nurture and giving up of her own time, there will be hope, that they, too, will become heroes in their own generation who will give up their lives to serve others.
All of these values will become a part of their psyche, their self-image, their self-actualization: "I was made for a special purpose, my life has imbued meaning, I will serve God with my heart, soul, mind and strength."
The shaping of a whole culture happens within the walls where we all live, the space called home--a daily living with ideals, true messages and character building.
Then a civilization will be born where the whole culture will be populated with adults who have great souls, a call to the Kingdom of God, a passion to do what is right, a desire to protect the weak, and an honest moral character that is the foundation of right decisions made in politics, medicine, government, media and the arts.
Yes, it requires great personal sacrifice. But in the battle between evil and good, the allegiance between our commitment to our God or our bowing to Satan has always required sacrifice. Evil is never passive and never takes a break–and neither can God’s chosen ones cease to work tirelessly to be about His business.
And yet, to invest in such a way, a woman must invest in the word of God, in pondering Him, knowing Him, walking with Him her personal life that she may pass on her legacy out of integrity lived day by day.
When mothers abandon this great and important responsibility, there is a greater tendency for children to become the kind of adults who can be self-centered and self-serving; under-developed and ineffective without intentional training, --those who can overlook unrighteousness without any pang of conscience—because that conscience has never been developed. They become the kind of adults who can passively let others take responsibility for our government and country--to accept and validate those who would promise the moon even though the moon isn’t available in reality. When a person has no convictions, he cannot operate his life in God’s strength. It is moms who help to develop foundations of righteousness in their children’s souls.
For this gatekeeping to occur there must be hundreds—thousands—of dinners made, laundry loads run, backs scratched and cookies baked. There must be watercolor projects and messes, hikes and games of hide and seek, money spent on wonderful life-giving books and concerts and the theatre. It will not happen in the absence of a cost.
Listen, for I will speak noble things.
Time spent ministering to our children is time well spent because that investment grants us the door to their hearts. When they are soft to us because we have ministered to their needs, their minds and hearts will be soft to hear our values, our convictions, and our guidance. Moms, the way you invest your life today will indeed have a great impact on history. We need to buck up, strengthen the areas that are weak, and decide to accept the work load of small children with joy, as would please our heavenly Father. The cultivating and raising of great souls is of the utmost importance. Your life is making a difference. Take time in the word, take time to read those books which call you to excellence, spend time praying with friends of like mind–and don’t give up!
“For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.” Hebrews 10:36
But live into the role, calling out to those who are walking on a path of our world, inviting them to a place we have prepared for them where they can experience LIFE.
Think about a special time you could have with your children that would soften their hearts toward you. What would you want to share with them during that time? Make it a habit to build deeply into the foundations of their mind's ability to think truly, and express their values in a real world.
Your home is a place of transformation, a place where future generations will be shaped in the ways they will live and respond to the world in their lifetime. Spiritual disciplines are not frivolous but essential to every generation--that they can draw from those who have invested in wisdom.Be inspired to build your Own Life Giving Home and raise a strong, confident generation right where you are.
Hope you enjoy the podcast today with Kristen and Me!
SEE MANY OF YOU IN NASHVILLE/BRENTWOOD, TN THIS THURSDAY NIGHT.
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