I rarely vent my feelings. And so I have pondered and prayed about what was eating me in the past few days and why I wrote the last blog article I wrote. I apologize if I offended anyone. I do not like to disparage anyone and certainly the short video I saw was not worthy of the strong feelings that poured forth. Yet, there is something in all of this. My life is filled with literally thousands of letters, emails, meetings, with moms over the years. It has become one of the main focuses of my ministry. So many feel lost, discouraged, inadequate, isolated, alone.
When I had Sarah, I had been in a somewhat high profile sort of ministry. I was speaking to executives, traveling and speaking to college students, involved in missions. Yet, when I held little Sarah in my arms those first few months, God began to do a work in my heart. I started studying scripture to see what God's opinion was about children.
The first blessing out of His mouth was, "Be fruitful and multiply."---that before the fall. Children are a blessing from God's hands. Their souls will last for all of eternity. The fruit of the womb is a reward. Jesus took them into His arms and blessed them and said, "Of such is the kingdom of God." He also said, "Woe to the one who causes the least of these to stumble."
Seemed that the family was the place through which righteousness was to be passed down from generation to generation. Of course the Proverbs 8, and 9 passage, and 14:1--the wise woman builds her house, the foolish one tears is down with her own hands. (The house here being her heritage, family, family name--generations of her home.) And then the Titus 2 passage, for the older, wiser, more experienced women to train the younger women to love their children, love their husbands and to be workers at home.
I didn't have a vendetta--just a simple desire to try to follow scripture. To please God with all of my heart, to seek first His kingdom, by including a Biblical design of family as central to His heart. In seeking Him and His word, I found this.
But as a young mom making this choice, I faced so much loneliness and isolation. I will tell more of my story in the next article. But, first I want to address what I think is on the heart of Christ.
When He looked out on the multitudes, he felt compassion. When I look out a young moms today, I feel compassion, and I also feel that they are like sheep without a shepherd. Many long for direction and input and wisdom, help and support, but don't know where to go to find it. Most ministry messages and leaders don't really touch the subject very much as it creates so much friction in the Christian arena with so many having made different decisions, and yet with such sad results. The Barna polls--the constant descending morality, spirituality and faith of teens and 20 somethings plummeting every decade to an all time low.
I have rarely met a mom who did not love and cherish their children. Yet, so many felt lost in a sea of contemporary philosophies. I see so many moms with pressures, especially in this current economy. Many have to work just to feed their families. Many sweet moms are single and bear so much pressure alone. Many young moms have just never heard of the Biblical call to motherhood. Many come from broken families and don't know how to love their children. Many moms have not been given the permission from their culture to stay home with their children. Many moms have just never considered or been taught the truth about their role in children's lives.
And yet, we know both from statistics and from Biblical wisdom, that no family becomes righteous without the devoted teaching and intentional training of their parents. We also know that when the next generation of adults, the children in our homes, are neglected, then the future adults will have no godly character, no purpose or direction and will cultivate the demise of culture.
I think that scripture teaches us to live by faith. There can be many ways of working out a family life in which righteousness is passed on to children. We must trust the Holy Spirit to direct and accomplish His will in each family according to His direction. I do see God doing miracles in so many families and that in all sorts of situations, righteousness can abound when parents or a mom is focussed on this as a central goal for her life. And none of our families will look exactly alike.
Yet, high Biblical standards must be embraced when Satan is at war with the souls, minds and consciences of this generation of youth.
But no matter your educational choice, or if you must work, building a godly legacy will require hard work, giving up of your self, sacrificing your time--as all great tasks require great sacrifice. What we sow we will reap.
So when I see a group of young moms, who don't seem to have anyone building into their lives, or giving them encouragement, wisdom or help, my heart breaks. Cultural voices are available to give moms all sorts of input that will in many cases lead their children astray, and to this, I react in my heart.
I feel a bigger stewardship to do whatever I can to get the messages out, training in more places, the sweet grace of the influence of a godly woman, into as many minds and hearts of moms as I can. And of course, I especially I long for churches, and Christian leaders, to step up to the bat to be brave and forthright in holding forth the truth of scripture in these areas.
Malachi says of the priests who followed after God's heart, "True instruction was in his mouth, and unrighteousness was not found on his lips; he walked with me in peace and uprightness and he turned many back from iniquity. For the lips of the priest should preserve knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth; for He is a messenger of the Lord of Hosts." (2: 6-7)
Our leaders, our older women, should be holding up God's standards--their lips should preserve knowledge, including in this area of the Biblical call of family.
The church at large and Christian leaders should be the biggest champion of the Biblical, historical role of mothers and of the design of the family to be responsible for the values of their family.
So, I picked on one little video, which was perhaps out of proportion. It just happened to hit me at a time of building up convictions for many years that often, in the Christian arena, we are straightening the picture on a wall of a house that is burning down--all sorts of Biblical books and instruction, but without this component--the call of building a righteous legacy as central through the home.
Perhaps it was not wise to do so. I did not have anything against the Christian leader, who will still be unnamed--her name is not the point--and I am quite sure she is following God and serving many--I just long for more--more help, more support, more input, more inspiring conviction, more wisdom to be valiantly, passionately taught about the role of "mothers" in the lives of their children.
As we would never expect to throw seeds out into the wind and expect it to become a beautiful garden, so we cannot throw our children out into the winds of culture and expect them to become people of great character and faith. Especially when media, values, television, movies, magazines, cultural values at large, take marriage, purity, godly character lightly--and in the opposite direction, promote adulation of actors, athletes, musicians whose lifestyles are immoral and vain.
And yet, when God places a child into our arms, it is one of the most significant treasures we will ever be given--because what we do to invest in our children's lives will influence the course of history and the history of our children's lives and future generations. God will hold us responsible, us as parents--not church, school, society--but us, responsible to pass on God's truth and design, and righteousness into the next generation.
And so, my heart is to help all moms, whatever their puzzle, to encourage them to do the hard thing--to take the time, whatever is costs to be that person in their children's lives, who gives them an appetite for God and the things of God, to do the work of making their home a place of real life and beauty and truth and celebrated relationships, so that when they enter the gates of heaven, they can say to Jesus, "I did all that I could to whisper into the ears of my children the truths and secrets of the kingdom of heaven and to pass on a love for you." (what does it profit a mom to gain the whole world and lose the soul of her child.)
And so I long for the Christian arena, not to be a place of conflict in supporting this calling, but a place where the significance of this calling is being upheld and taught. And of course there are many places where this is happening. But I would love to know what you feel about this and what you have experienced. I want to encourage moms to take up their place in this battle for the souls.
So, forgive me for my misguided, momentary passion. But let me know what you think and if any of this is on your heart, and what your experience has been.
Grace and peace. on to speak in Grand Rapids this afternoon, with an ear infection, a small cold, but so blessed to be here with precious people.