Hans’ note: As a basketball player I love Erins blog! On her blog she details the life of a young Christian mum who is married to a pro baller Joe Crispin (who can flat out shoot!). Please check out her great blog www.marriedtoaballer.com and follow her on Twitter
I remember being a young 24-year-old preparing to have our first child. I had read countless books, visited various websites and was a plethora of information on how to best raise a Christian child. What none of these resources ever told me was that in the process of “raising a child” it was me who would do the most changing.
I have now been a mother for 7 years and have four children ages 7, 5, 3 and 13 months. Every day is a reminder that although I need to preach the gospel to them, often that preaching is just as much for my own heart as it is for theirs. Whereas I used to think of our teaching and discipline times as opportunities to plant the seed of gospel into their young hearts. Now I see that it serves as a reminder to me of what God has done and is doing for me through the work of Jesus.
We use a little saying in our family whenever we are speaking of obedience. It is from the definition of obedience in “Shepherding a Child’s Heart” and it goes like this:
The happy way is to obey without challenge, without excuse and without delay.
The reasons we added the “happy” part in their is because Jesus did not call us to obey out of duty, but out of finding our delight in His perfect plan for our lives. The obedience comes with a reward. Instead of “happy”, our Bibles often have Jesus using the similar word blessed. The Beatitudes (here quoted from Matthew 5) are usually the most recognizable of Jesus’ sayings where He promises that good will come from obedience to Him:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
As we read these words, we see that we are motivated to obedience through finding greater delight in God that we do in sin. So when I share the gospel with our children throughout the day, the message is:
Jesus died so that you can be forgiven of your sin and live in victory over it because you have been given a new heart to now find God as your treasure instead of sin.
And this is the message I need to be reminded of every moment of the day. Because like the old hymn says:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for thy courts above.
“Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”
When we believe the truth that God’s way is the happy way, we all obey without challenge, without excuse and without delay. The gospel is the reminder we need consistently to trust that moment by moment.