Charles de Bruyères
When you are taxed by your children, your friends, your husband, what flows out from the depths of your heart? Whatever you have cherished inside is what will flow out. When you are squeezed you will spill out what is in your heart. So it is essential to understand, what you are pouring in will surely spill out in your words, your eyes, your attitudes, your actions. Filling the inside of our souls with beauty, goodness, humility, faith and love of Christ must be intentional so that there will be substance of his life to spill over to others.
Proverbs warns us to guard our heart. "Above all else, guard your heart, for from it flow the well spring of life." Proverbs 4: 23
Jesus said that it is not the outside--the performance for others, the attempt to do righteous works, that determines what a man or woman is like. It is possible to fool others because of our behavior. But it is never possible to fool God. He sees what we are like on the inside,
"Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
Heart cleaning leaves us empty for heart-filling. Pouring in is something I must do on a regular basis, so that my heart is light, pure, filled with joy and love. This does not just happen accidentally. And of course, eventually, all of our children sniff hypocrisy pretty quickly--and by the time they are teens, they are fully aware of what our heart is revealing through time.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness." Matt. 23: 27
I have had a number of sweet women in my home the past 7 weeks. Usually, the questions flow, "What did you do to cultivate godliness in your children? Exactly what did your daily schedule look like? What books did you read to them? How did you deal with their bad attitudes?"
But the beginning point of a mama spreading inspiration and faith starts with her cultivating her own heart. If she is reading scripture, pondering the heart of Christ, worshipping him and following His ways, then her children will draw the love and sweetness of Christ from her every day.
If a mama is engaging her mind in great books and growing and learning new ideas and stretching her own intellect, then her children will also be drawing from the interesting thoughts in which she has invested her mind.
If a mama is developing her character and taking small steps to become more self-disciplined, more of a servant leader, more patient, more generous with life-giving words, because of her obedience to Christ, then her children's souls will be sprinkled with the strength of her obedience.
If she engages herself in meeting the needs of others and reaches out with the redeeming message of Christ, her children will learn not just to hear words of the gospel, but to learn what it looks like to live the gospel.
A mom is a mentor--a coach in all things excellent in life. If she is not growing in excellence, she cannot pass on to her children what she herself has.
Don't worry so much about the right rules, the best formula, what are the right books to buy. Be concerned instead, for your soul--what are you planting there? What are you watering in the depths of your heart attitudes? Whatever you water will grow. Nothing in your heart will be long hidden--as all things hidden eventually will come to the fore.
So the starting point of your influence is the state of your own heart, mind and soul. If there is purity, wisdom, strength, faith, love and righteousness there, then when you pour out your life, those around you will be blessed indeed.
No money, things, training and activities can replace the importance of Children finding the very essence of Christ spilling out in our lives, from what we have carefully taken the time to place there inside.
I am leaving off of the 24 Family Ways right now, as I have taken so long to complete this series due to life and busyness and commitments. If you still want me to keep teaching these, let me know, as it seems interest has wained. I will keep making Mondays a mentoring time.
I would love to hear what you think! Be blessed and fill your heart this week with the eternal, the personal, the sweet and the strong!