“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Proverbs 29:18
“The home is the fountain of civilization. The value and character and appetites of a people are greatly determined by the reading, training and cultivating of moral and spiritual appetites in the home. Mothers, you are the divinely-appointed teachers and guides of your children; and any attempt to free yourselves of this duty is in direct opposition to the will of God. If you neglect them, the consequences are swift and sure … Spend most of your time with your children. Sleep near them, attend and dress and wash them; let them eat with their mother and father; be their companion and friend in all things and at all times.” From Golden Thoughts on Mother, Home and Heaven
These words, written over a hundred years ago, are still very powerful today. Perhaps more powerful, in a culture where understanding of the importance of mothers to the overall well-being of soul of the next generation has been lost. How affirming it is to see that truth of past generations still applies to us today.
civ•i•lize 1. to create a high level of culture 2. to teach somebody to behave in a more socially, morally and culturally acceptable way 3. to enlighten, cultivate, improve, advance, subdue in terms of a people or nation.
Often, I find that in the absence of a clear enough vision for their children and homes, mothers replace conviction and vision with lots of activities and distractions for their children. This hyper-activity and rushing around to an endless list of lessons and experiences and the buying of the newest expensive curriculum and technological options make moms feel like they are accomplishing something. However, when the home-life of children is rich with excellent, classic literature, passionate Biblical devotions, rousing dinner-table discussions around sumptuous, tasty meals, lots of love and affection given and household chores attended to, then a child will become committed to all that is good and excellent and develop a moral and compassionate soul for all the divinely important values—even in the absence of all that flurry of activity.
A focus on home life is the key to civilizing our children, and thereby our nation. From the beginning of time, God created the home to be a place sufficient to nurture genius, excellence, graciousness and grand civility. But the key factor is nothing that can be purchased or owned. The accomplishment of this grand life is found only in the soul of a mother, through the power of the Holy Spirit, personally mentoring her children.
It is in a personal relationship with a real person whose soul is alive in which the deepest imprints of life are given. The secrets and deep emotions shared during the goodnight hours in which the soul of a child is tender and open; the comfort of warm, home-made food shared in the early evening as ideas are shared and discussed and prayers and devotions given; the laughter, stories, advice given in the midst of washing dishes together or sharing of a meal; the heroic and riveting stories read aloud and shared together that establish common patterns of morality, values and dreams in the comfort of the blazing hearth; mugs of steaming hot chocolate and squishing against each other on a den couch—these are the heavenly things which are food to the soul and nourishment to the mind and conscience of a child fully awake to all that is important in life.
There is no computer, television, software or text book that can pass on such passion, love and motivation.
Indeed, it is the personal touch of a mother’s heart that creates grand civility, deep affection, care and commitment to the foundations of a family. When the invisible strings of a mother’s heart are tied to the heart of her children through loving sacrifice and nurture, the stability and foundations of a nation become secure and stable. A mother, living well in her God-ordained role, is of great beauty and inestimable value to the future history of any generation. Her impact is irreplaceable and necessary to the spiritual formation of children who will be the future adults of the next generation. Fun, comfort, humor, graciousness, spiritual passion, compassion for the lost, hospitality, chores, meals, training, life-giving words, hours and hours of listening and playing and praying and reading—all are parts of the mosaic which go into the process of soul development.
If you have the desire to go deeper today, set aside a few moments with a hot cup of tea and complete the reflection and application below:
• “Without a vision, the people perish.” -Proverbs 29:18 The New American Standard Bible translates this verse, “Without a vision, the people are unrestrained.” Do you have a vision for your family? Think about taking some time to write down your dreams and goals in order to have a true focus for all you do with them.
• “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” -Deuteronomy 6:6-7 Are the words of God on your heart? They must be there before they can be given to your children, so how will you make sure they are there?
• What are some ways you might share the beauty and love of God with your family, today?
As I prepare for the mom's conferences, write a new book due this spring and prepare for Nathan's wedding amidst life, my moments to write and encourage are fewer. So, I do plan on beginning a series on wisdom, soon, but it may have to be between the conferences. I do love this topic--the idea of bringing honor, graciousness, decorum, leadership, influence, aiming words that inspire, inform and lift a person's vision to the excellence of what God created us to be--so stay tuned and I will be focussing on it as I can.
Meanwhile, as I prepare for the conferences, I so wish I want women to understand that there must be a plan in place or life will take over. For those of you who cannot come to the conferences, I have been pondering how much knowing how to cast a vision for what you want your children to become is so very important to the ways you will invest your days. Praying for those of you who read my blog, that you will be encouraged! Blessings of grace today! Off I go to keep preparing! Sally
Hoping 10 Gifts will help some of you strengthen your plan or help you to begin making one!