Way #2 We read the Bible every day and pray to God with an open heart.
"All scripture is inspired by God, and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."
II Tim 3: 16-17
When Sarah was giving a talk several years ago, she said something that heartened me. She remembered waking up early in the mornings to find me sitting in my favorite chair in the living room or another in my bedroom, reading my Bible.
"I knew her diligence and devotion was what shaped her life, and it always made me expect that I could learn and hear from God in my own life," Sarah shared as she talked of what personal integrity looked like in reality.
The habit of coming to God every day, taking time specifically to seek Him, to listen to Him, to ponder His ways and engage in His truth is the most profound action that will shape your life.
I hardly need to say I was not perfect, and some stressful, crisis seasons found this habit not happening every single day. Yet I found that reading God's word and praying was essential to my ability to continue taking one more step in the direction of my own ideals--the fuel for my strength when life was exhausting. It is a habit I want to help others learn how to develop.
If I am serious about God, I must be serious about investing in Him. Others need the truth He teaches me. More voices and messages invade the sound waves of our brains today than ever before. Living in a melting pot of cultures, where all religions and values and morals drift together and are said to be equal; where all varieties of moral behavior are validated and find acceptance; where television and film and the internet smudge the clear borders of truth every day, promoting violent behavior and dark themes; means the call to teach children has never been more important or profoundly necessary.
We must not underestimate the draw these voices have in our lives and those of our children as they become young adults and begin to make decisions that will determine the outcome of their lives. They must know the voice of the real, true, loving, living God; not just platitudes of moral rules. Only real wisdom and scripture will do.
Building Foundations that Cannot be Moved
We build the foundational belief system and understanding of truth and God's nature and ways, in our children's minds, one day at a time, one brick at a time. For our children to have a strong standard of truth invading and speaking to their invisible thoughts, their minds must be filled with thousands of teachings of scripture so their brains will have a "go to" place when they are making decisions about their lives.
As so many women have heard from me over the years, "In the absence of Biblical conviction, people will go the way of culture.”
In other words, if a child has not been taught and trained and instructed in the wisdom of God's word and learned to pray to become familiar with His voice, then the child will grow up to listen to the voices he has invested in the most.
If a woman has not invested her mind to engage in true biblical principles, she will not have the ammunition in her soul to fight the values and voices of culture.
A heart that is filled with and informed by Biblical convictions does not just happen. It is shaped intentionally over many years, day by day, circumstance by circumstance, repeated literally thousands of times.
It all starts with a mom who is willing to train and disciple her children and to pay the price of commitment, time, and winsomeness and preparation over many years of time.
So we read the Bible every day in our home and pray with an open heart, and now our children do the same, because that habit was the very life and inspiration they breathed into their hearts day in and day out.
Do not be hard on yourself, mama. Just start out with 5-10 minutes, and build a habit worth following!
“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 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. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."