Search This Blog

Sunday, September 30, 2012

See No Evil....

September 30, 2012

So a funny thing happened on the way to Sunday school (okay, it was actually in Sunday school) today. Our normal teacher has been away these past several months raising money for a Christian school our church is affiliated with and the substitute has been leading us through the book of James. For the past several weeks we have been studying Chapter 3; the part about the tongue being a little member but full evil and able to kindle a great fire. Today we discussed correlating verses from the teachings of Jesus that state that whatever goes into a man does not defile him (speaking of food) but what comes out does (speaking of the state of a man’s heart) and he asked the question “How do we keep our tongue?” The answer was “Have a change of heart.”

This led to a conversation about being careful what we see and what we hear so that we can be take care of what we say and he related a story wherein his child used the argument “But I hear worse in school.” I unashamedly put in a plug for homeschooling stating that we do not have to subject our children to those worldly influence but have the freedom to teach them truth and discernment from God’s point of view. Sadly, I regret my comment was acknowledged but swiftly dismissed.

Today did reaffirm why we homeschool/disciple. And though I know we cannot protect our children from the world forever, neither do we have to throw them to the wolves and hope they don’t get devoured.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. – Philippians 4:8

PU'RITY, n. [L. puritas, form purus.]
     1. Freedom from foreign admixture or heterogeneous matter; as the purity of water, of wine, of spirit; the purity of drugs; the purity of metals.
     2. Cleanness; freedom from foulness or dirt; as the purity of a garment.
     3. Freedom from guilt or the defilement of sin; innocence; as purity of heart or life.
   4. Chastity; freedom from contamination by illicit sexual connection.
     5. Freedom from any sinister or improper views; as the purity of motives or designs.
    6. Freedom from foreign idioms, from barbarous or improper words or phrases; as purity of style or language.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Baby Steps

September 24, 2012

I think I just realized what my problem is. I have been expecting too much from myself, my kids and my God. I had the silly notion that I would just have lots of Bible time with my children, do some character training and everything would just fall into place. Surely God would reward my efforts with instant gratification.

Then today we were studying the fear of the Lord in our Keys for Kids devotional. And I was explaining that we are not to be afraid of God but respect Him for the power that He alone has and that that respect should manifest itself in obedience. So I asked them “If you say you love God and do not obey Him or show Him respect, do you truly love Him?” The answer was easy for them, “No.” Next question, “If I say I love Daddy and then show him no respect and don’t listen to anything he tells me, do I love him?” Again the answer was easy for them. Next question, “If you say you love me and then show me no respect and don’t listen to anything I say, do you love me?” You could almost hear the sound of little motors turning and tiny little light bulbs flickering on as the dots were being connected. After a brief pause the answer… “No.” We ended the moment with James’ reminder that he could show his faith through his works; and, that you can say ‘I believe’ or ‘I love you’ but if you don’t have the actions to back it up your words are meaningless.

We breezed through our morning routine without incident (or at least none worth remembering). Getting the whole house cleaned so we can enjoy the rest of our week.

For our character training studies I read Deuteronomy 6 with my son (we’re still working on the qualities of a good leader). We all know the passage, we like to quote it as a homeschool mantra. I’ve even used it a couple of times myself. But as I was relating the events of our day to my husband I said something along the lines of “Every once in a while I see a glimmer of growth in him.”
That is when it hit me. This is going to take time. It has to be all day, every day. And I have to live it. God isn’t using all this Bible time to change just my children; He’s using it to change me too. Not all at once lest we break under the pressure; but in baby steps.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Love is a Battlefield

September 12, 2012

I’ve been hiding out. Mostly from myself since I can’t seem to hide from anyone else. Tonight as I sat in a quiet house catching up on my blog reading and just generally musing about the month that has just passed me by, the chorus of Pat Benatar’s Love is a Battlefield are running through my head (I can’t remember the rest of the lyrics). Why? Because my life feels like a battle ground and I’m on the losing side. The stress was so great the other night I sat on the stairs and cried as my husband and children slept.

Our morning devotion time has been taking place like clockwork. We read our Bible passage and the shot devotional that goes along with it. We talk about how it applies to our own lives and we pray. With school starting at the beginning of the month we dove right in to our Plants Grown Up studies. And have been learning about what God requires for a man to be a good leader. And I have ear marked an hour each afternoon for personal Bible study (a new venture for me).

With all this “God time” you would think things would be flowing smoothly. Ha! Wait that wasn’t emphatic enough… HA!! HA!!

My son has become angry and bitter. He lashes out at any one and everyone around him spewing accusations of wrongdoing to justify his own wrongdoing. He has become physically and verbally aggressive toward his sisters. And has simply become unpleasant to be around. My husband and I used to feel that we had a budding young Revivalist in our midst, but I fear that if he continues on this path we will lose his soul. I pray almost nightly for God to get a hold on him. And prayer is all I have left. I have tried everything else I could think of to get through and it all seems to fall on deaf ears.

My eldest daughter has developed a habit of laziness and willful deafness, preferring to spend her time laying about with her blanket in one hand and her thumb in her mouth. If it is not something she wants to do it simply does not get done. When correction and/or discipline results she gets a scowl on her face and says the meanest thing she can think of at the time.

And my youngest has entered the “terrible twos” phase. A stubborn streak a mile wide has shown up to go with the “I don’t want to” and “You’re mean” phrases. At least she is still willing to help out wherever she can and she likes to tell you “You’re my best friend – I love you”.

None of them will stay in bed, preferring to fight Mom, Dad and sleep until, from sheer exhaustion, they finally nod off minutes before we do.

They have developed the nasty habit of turning their nose up at the food placed before them at meal time. Which creates another battle ground.

Chores have been neglected. And my reminders that they need to get done are met with “Yeah, yeah, yeah” or a mumbled “You just like to give orders”.

And my rebukes of their behavior are met with steely glares and a face meant to communicate utter disdain.

My life has become a battle. All day, every day, and I am tired.
I try to console myself with thoughts that this is just a phase and it too shall pass. But I wondered? Is my family under attack?

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.Ephesians 6:12

WARFARE, n. [war and fare.]
1. Military service; military life; war.
    The Philistines gathered their armies for warfare. 1 Samuel 28.
2. Contest; struggle with spiritual enemies.
    The weapons of our warfare are not carnal. 2 Corinthians 10.
WARFARE, v.i. To lead a military life; to carry on continual wars.
    In that credulous warfaring age.