The Pre-Raphaelite movement was reflected through the ideals of some English artists who wanted to reclaim the beauty, the detail of drawing well, the chivalry that art and artists had depicted from a time in history that embraced these lofty ideals. Many of this movement wanted to reclaim the nobility and beauty of a time gone by, when other art movements in France and Europe were moving towards less defined techniques of impressionism and when the philosophy of men was becoming more relative. The movement was not based only on Biblical spirituality and eventually lost influence when modern philosophies took over in the early 20th century. But the art produced during the time of these ideals was beautiful and reflected the soul of their philosophy.
In like manner, I hope that the philosophy I embrace in my soul, will reflect its reality in through the moments of my daily life, a divine beauty. I hope it is recapturing the heart of God, in a time when family and relationships are not being honored as holy, but are being profaned by their brokenness and destruction, and lack of care. When seeking to establish my home as a place of beauty, redemption, a restoring of God's design, I had to picture in my soul what I perceived as whole, healthy, full of the light of God's design. Though surrounded by a movement of sexual revolution, immorality, divorce, feminism, and leaving Christian values, I had to cultivate an imagination which sought to restore all that was good.
Much like lighting a candle in the darkness--or cultivating beauty and life in a garden that is filled with thorns and weeds, I understood that I was going against the force of darkness and evil--Satan--who wanted to destroy family and children so that he could own the soul of the next generation.The knowledge and understanding that it is a fierce battle, fortified me for temptations of compromise and giving up, that accompanied my ideals in the midst of the obstacles of living in a fallen world.
But I also understood that this was my service of worship to God--to seek to emulate and live out the light of His call and design.
When I read the comments of the past few days and see into the deep cries of the hearts of the beautiful women who have posted their desires of what they would like for me to write, I also feel their struggles, challenges, battles. As one who has been immersed in the battle for family, motherhood and raising godly children, I closely identify with your battles and personal struggles.
Raising my family was fraught with weariness, frustration, darkness, hurt feelings, criticism, difficult children, stress in marriage,--you name it, I experienced it. And so in that light, you are my wonderful heroes--you who would take on this enormous task of subduing and civilizing your home, your family and your lives in a culture and time in which families are being torn apart and children's souls are being filled with darkness and despair. No easy task. I feel so honored to be in the presence of women who would seek to overcome.
He who overcomes is mentioned eight times in Revelation and each time it is accompanied with a promise of reward. God particularly wants us to understand that when we prevail, by faith and obedience, in the power of His Spirit, over darkness, we live out the reality of His power and presence in the same way that Christ did when he was alive. It is a striving against sin and darkness to make His beauty and His light a reality. It is a work of love for Him, not works to earn salvation, for that we could never do.
"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good," we are admonished in Romans 12:21
This labor of faith, and the diligence and effort required to overcome evil, reflects glory to God and indeed a great work of faith, in the same vein of those who lived courageously and faithfully in the Hebrews hall of faith.
There is no rational reason why one would give up her life, her body, her time, her rights, for the well-being and building up of someone else. And yet, I believe that the sacrifice of Christ--the giving up of His life so that others might be redeemed and restored to the beauty of His character is portrayed by servant mothers through out all of history.
So, today, I wish you courage, a sense of victory, affirmation, that you are those who are making the reality of His great heart and soul by each tiny act of faith when you choose to love your little ones in your home, when you choose to serve by making your homes a lighthouse of righteousness and when you bring the grace of forgiveness and peace to those who have fallen short.
May He give you the spirit of overcoming and the eyes to see that ever invisible act of faith is a grace and glory to His kingdom purposes.
Be blessed today in His pleasure and love and grace, and in the knowledge that you, as one who overcomes,will find favor and blessing from Him, in this, your service of worship.