"As a man thinks, so is he." Proverbs 23:7
Jesus tells us to worship him with our minds--to love Him with our minds. The ability to think Biblically is no small matter in a world that shouts to us with values that are worldly, lies about life, family, morality, in thousands of ways every day.
And yet, I find that very few people, and especially young adults, know how to think Biblically. Followers abound--those who find it easier to just do what others tell them to do, without really thinking through scripture or pondering it for themselves. So often, I talk with people of all ages, in conferences, through email, and everywhere I go and yet, most people I know follow some philosophy because someone else told them to do so.
Most people live in the boxes made by other men--even Christian men.
But God desires us to seek Him, to ponder Him, to listen to His voice, to read His word, and to be so familiar with scripture that He has a vocabulary to use in our lives that comes straight from the Bible.
Children who learn from an early age to read the Word, to digest its truth, to ponder its meaning, to pray over it to God, become those who have the ability to discern God's ways and to live in the freedom of worshipping a God who will direct their ways.
Psalm 19 tells us,
The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward."
A person who owns and cherishes the word of God has advantages in His life. Wherever he goes, the Holy Spirit will counsel him, lead him, guide him and give comfort and perspective. The Bible is the vocabulary that the Holy Spirit uses to lead us in his ways.
If you do not teach your children to think Biblically and to love the word, no moralizing, no lecturing, no influence will work well, because it is not grounded in truth.
Many people have asked me, "How did you have the confidence to send your children to New York City, Boston, Hollywood, Oxford, and not worry that they would fall away from Christianity?"
Of course, all mamas should be concerned when they allow their children to venture far from home. Yet, I knew that each of them had been grounded in God's word. But even more, we had passed on to our children the ability to think Biblically, to defend their decisions, to filter their choices through the truth that had been laid up, as a foundation for thousands and thousands of days and moments in their lives.
One of my greatest pleasures and best memories and comforts from this summer has been having my children home with me, again, and seeing them talk of life, issues, convictions and to see them owning their own Biblical convictions in a world, where sadly, many Christians do not know how to think.
"For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart." Hebrews 4:12
It starts with a habit--before you do anything else, begin each day with the Word of God. Read the stories, memorize verses, psalms, Jesus' parables, Genesis as a foundation, the prophets as a picture of our world's issues today, Paul's admonitions, Proverbs' wisdom. Immerse your life, your moments, your home in the word of God. Your children will cherish what you cherish, and if you value the word, it will become a part of their whole being.
There is a new book that a sweet friend of mine, Ruth Schwenk, and her husband have produced to help parents with their own desire to pass on scripture. It does what it says, helps parents to dig into scripture with their children. Clay and I highly recommend this book and know it will be a useful tool to many families who want to teach their own children how to cherish the Bible and how to think.
To find out more about this great tool, go to the website for information and how to order.
And meanwhile, spend some time today just reading and listening to His voice.