Friday, November 4, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011: My Children and My Bible

Day 3: My Children

I often joke that we should have had children much earlier.  I say this because I think they have seriously mellowed me out, and I like myself better as a mom than before they came along.  However I know that God's timing is perfect, and He gave us children in His time, so that is why I say I joke about that.

I am daily amazed by and thankful for my children.  They are more than precious to me.  I love looking into their beautiful eyes and wondering who they will be and what they are really thinking and just beholding the beauty of God's creation in them.  I want to be a better mommy everyday and be honest and real with them.

I want them to know that they can trust their mommy and daddy, and even more importantly I want them to know that they can trust the LORD with every little and big thing in life because He will never let them down like we will from time to time.  I want to make sure, by God's grace, that my priorities are set up and maintained so that I can teach them by example what is good and right.  I also want to honor my husband in front of them, so they will learn to do the same and feel secure in our love for each other.

I have written about these little blessings before and also the one that is already in Heaven and the one we are expecting in April.  Their wit and their smarts always amaze me.  I love the funny things they do and say.  Their hugs and kisses are so sweet, and I generally really love being with them.  I am thankful that I get to stay home with them and teach them and take care of them full time.  That is a blessing that I do not take for granted.  My husband is wonderful with them, too, so I do get mommy-time, as well.

These children need constant care, constant love, boundaries, discipline, instruction, food, fun, books read to them, games to play, imaginative times, crafts, crayons, music, dance, prayer and much more.  And I love it!  I love fulfilling the God-given role of taking care of them and providing for their needs and wants as the LORD equips me and provides for me to do so.  It is a blessing! 

"Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward." (Psalm 127:3 NASB)

Do you believe this?

There are many people who see children as only a bother and another mouth to feed.  They look at children and see the need to provide for a college education, little league sports, a wedding...  When we focus on all of that we miss out on right now.  Yeah, I know it can be exhausting when children don't obey and need discipline so often, and it just seems hard to enjoy them at all.  There will be days like that.  However, there will be many other days that are filled with joy and delight when you take the time needed to show your children how important they are - to you and to God.

I have this twitch that happens when someone says something like, "Well, you sure have your hands full don't you?"  Yes.  Why, yes, my hands are full.  What are they full of though?  They are full of love and blessing because the LORD God who created the heavens and the earth entrusted us with these children for how ever long we have with them.  That is indeed fullness, but I am pretty sure it's not what the person meant by their comment.

Let's decide to encourage and show our children how valued they are instead of see them as a burden to endure for eighteen years or so.  Don't let the bad days get you down.  Tomorrow is a new day.

I praise the LORD for all four of my children - the two we know, the one we will meet in Heaven, and the one we hope to meet in April.  Words fail to express the genuine love and thankfulness I have for them.

They know I am not perfect, and they know that we don't expect them to be.  They also know that they are not the ones who run the household.  We remind them of that often.  Those sweet smiles and giggles are delightful!  Thank you, my Lord!

Day 4: My Bible

It's perfect that I am writing about my children and my Bible in the same post.  How would I know the truth about myself, my husband, my children, or anything at all without the Bible?  The Bible is the LORD's manual to us.  It is filled with wisdom, insight, instruction, directions, hope, and the truth I need each day! 

Without the Bible I wouldn't realize that my children don't have to learn to disobey.  It is in their nature, just like it is in mine.  They have to learn to obey instead by setting aside their own will and learning to follow the LORD's instead.  This is a daily (and often moment-by-moment) decision that will become more a part of their lives as they grow and mature.  Our job is to help them learn this when they are little and continue to teach them as they get older.  It is much easier to learn to do this with little kid problems than it is with big kid and even teenager or adult problems.  As a parent, I must realize it starts early.  I learned this from the Bible.

"As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God." (Romans 3:11)

"This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." (Romans 3:22-24)

My little precious ones are still born into sinful human nature and will not know how to obey God and walk in truth unless they are taught.  The good news is that they can be taught and that righteousness comes through faith in Jesus Christ.

Without the Bible I would not know the truth about Jesus.  I would not be able to better understand His sacrifice to save me from the wages of sin and death (Romans 6:23).  I would not be able to better understand the everlasting covenant I have with Him because of who He is and what He has done for me (Hebrews 13:20,21).

Without the Bible I would not know how to resist the devil and flee from temptation (James 4:7).  I would not understand that the battle is not between flesh and blood but in the spiritual realm (Ephesians 6:12).  I would not know that I need armor on everyday to be prepared to fight the battle and enjoy the victory I have in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 6:11).

There are so many more verses I could pack in here, but those are just a few for which I am very thankful.

I not only love the Bible and am thankful for it, but also I am thankful for the freedom to carry it and own a Bible where I live.  Some places in the world the people there cannot own a Bible legally.  Some places in the world do not have a Bible in their own language, yet. 

I have a study Bible in the New American Standard version, a thin line Bible to take with me in the English Standard Version, and a New Testament in the New International Version.  My husband has a study Bible in the New King James Version, and a smaller travel sized one in the English Standard Version.  Our oldest has a copy in the New International Version, and we have two children's Bibles here, too.  We have the freedom to have these, to study these, to read these, to bring them with us whenever we want wherever we go, and to go to church where hundreds of others are opening their Bibles up, as well, without any hindrance from government officials.  I am very thankful for this freedom.

I have been to illegal churches in other countries, and I realized more than ever after those experiences that we are blessed with the freedom to openly worship God and carry a Bible.  I don't want to take that for granted!

I thank the LORD for His gift of the Bible.  I also pray that more people will not only have one, but that they will learn to study it and read it daily in their own language trusting God to teach them through it and help them live in truth and freedom as a result!  Help me do this more and more, as well, my Lord!  Thank you, LORD!


Brandy @ Afterthoughts said...

One of the gals at our Reformation Day Party said that she wanted all of the guests next year to bring ALL of the Bibles in their house. Then she wants to stack all of them up, and show the children why they ought to thank God for Martin Luther. :)

Kristen @ Dem Golden Apples said...

I love it!