I am always the one who benefits the most when I have to teach or speak or have devotions with my children or be accountable to anyone in any way. It forces me to grow when I have to be responsible for truth and the word of God. Many people have asked me over the years, "How did you raise your children to love the Lord, to stay morally pure, to love you and to want to serve His kingdom? What exactly did you do--tell me exact principles; show me the books you read and followed; what curriculum did you use?"
I also have sought answers to my mysteries and responsibilities over the years. I think that wise women always seek wisdom from other wise women.
But I learned so much from writing my book, Dancing With My Father. I studied David's life and pondered it and learned so many spiritual secrets. Yes, David did a lot of foolish things and yet, God says, "He was a man after my heart," and this pleased God.
David, of course, first learned to love and write songs about God and trust Him when no one was looking, out in the fields. And by God's power, in this hidden place, he practiced faithfulness and stepped out in faith and strength and killed a lion and a bear.
Then, after having developed a faithful heart, came against Goliath, "in the name of the Lord of Hosts" and by faith, slung his stone and downed a super enemy.
But then, after being anointed as king, he was on the run and in battle for over 20 years. And yet still, in this, kept a humble heart and trusted God. But, finally when he was king over both kingdoms, we find His secret.
He did not want to rule unless the ark of the covenant was present in the land--because David did not want to be the authority over the kingdoms--He wanted God, His presence, His voice, His blessing, His companionship. He wanted the Lord God be be on His throne in their midst.
And herein lies the secret, God in the center, God as the source, God as the Truth and message of our lives, God as the guide, God as the provider, God as the one who will accomplish His will. Our heart engaging in loving Him, seeking Him, bowing our knee to His will, not matter what, honoring Him in front of our children, family, friends, every day, in spite of our blunders and vulnerability--a life of faith and love and obedience--centered on Him.
David led the Levites to sing and share in this message as he called the ark of the Lord, forward before all the Israelites.
"Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples, Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
Speak of all His wonders. Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad. Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek HIs Face continually." I Chronicles 16: 8-11
In the midst of our intensive, purposeful time together the past few weeks, Joy asked me, "Mom, what do you really want from us as children when you say you want us to be godly? What, in your heart, is what you really mean when you think about your goal for us as your children?"
I thought a few seconds and then said, "Joy, I want you to know God in all of His love, beauty and glory and truth. To know His love for you, to know His direction for you, and in truly knowing Him, to learn to love Him with all of your heart, to walk with Him, to seek Him. If you find God and love Him and engage your heart you will find all that you need for every other area of your life--strength, wisdom, love, comfort, guidance, peace--He is the source of all that you will ever need."
Our goal for our children is not for them to be good--they and we will never be good enough--only He is good. But if we know and understand Him and serve Him, "all these things will be added to us," and we will have all that we need. God desires above all, that we have a cherished relationship with Him and that we love and serve Him from our heart.
And so we seek to know, love and serve God with our whole hearts in front of everyone in our lives, depending on His strength, His grace, His love. Anything less than this is not worthy of our life's work.
What do your children think is your goal for them? By what goals are you living? What is the world's measure of success in life? What is God's measure of success--"Do do justice, to love kindness, to walk humbly with our God."
May He give us the grace to remain faithful to the important priorities of His heart.
In light of our understanding that God is the source of our strength, wisdom, messages and blessing, we at Whole Heart and Mom Heart, are spending the month of June to praise God, seek His face and His blessing and guidance for us as a ministry. Our goal is to help women all over the world know and understand God, and then in understanding the Biblical design of family, to understand how to pass on this knowledge and love of God to their children in building a godly heritage. We are partners with families all over the world who are seeking to make this message known.
We are asking God to raise up 100 people who are willing to pray with us for His favor and guidance during the month of June. If you are willing to be a part of our prayer 100, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know you are joining with us. The next post I send on this blog will be our prayer letter.
We are so grateful to all of you who have given financially, prayed for us, attended a conference, given a book, helped by teaching groups, or served in any way. What a privilege to be a part of such an amazing team of families. May He bless you today. Much love and appreciation.