Wow, what a contrast! The previously covered area still had the original glow and sheen of the polyurethane. It was a rich honey colored oak, and beautiful as ever. The area outside of the boundaries where the runner had been was dulled and not so shiny. The glow had been worn away by the traffic of humans and animals over the years. I never would have noticed this if I hadn't removed the rug.
This visual opportunity presented a contrasting life lesson to me. When we bring our children into this world through the miracle of birth, we are so awed and amazed at the wonder of it all. Everything about the experience is fresh and new. We are energized and committed to bringing each child up the right way. Providing for them...loving them... teaching them...disciplining them.
We pursue the words we have read in Deuteronomy 6:
"Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates."(5-9)
We choose to cover them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, the words we hear so often at infant christenings and baptisms. This is a lofty goal, and if we are wise, we will intentionally heed the charge of Scripture.
In moving the rug, this morning I was given a word picture reminder. Covering our children in the home, providing that safe and spiritual haven from the world and all of its pull on our children is our greatest charge as parents. They need to be protected in their formative years.
They need to be coated with the love and security of mom and dad. They need to be prepared with the upbringing of God's Holy words. They need a covering in the home that does not allow the evils and pull of the outside world to creep in and invade their "haven of goodness."
Though I speak of the duties of a mom and dad in this vital calling for the sake of our kids, I address my sisters especially.
To the right you may have read the following Scripture verse and quote from Elizabeth George:
"...admonish the young women to love their...children" (Titus 2:4)
"The world is tugging at our children's hearts, pulling them down and away from God. Loving our children means we are willing to get down in the trenches and fight to turn our children's hearts toward God -toward His Word and His ways."
In a society today that is literally overrun with those who would seek to draw our children away from the truth of Creation, away from the faith that there is a God who is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, away from the very foundations that you have so carefully and prayerfully laid day after day, Be On The Alert! While they are ours, under our charge, we have got to be willing to get down, and get dirty, and fight with all that is in us to protect what we know is the Truth. It is the strength of your Lord that will enable you to battle and WIN! But you can NOT be less than fully committed every single day.
And for the sake of your kids and of Jesus Christ your Lord, be discerning!! Inspect your "haven walls" of protection. Search to make sure there are NO leaks or breaches where the influence of the outside world is creeping into your home, sullying and weakening the very work of your hands and hearts. Do NOT be about excusing things the Lord may bring to your attention; certain habits or routines that have slowly and subtly penetrated into your family life. If they are causing a prick in your conscience, if you feel a conviction rising up, don't ignore it!! This is what the enemy would call his most victorious moment. He works his best in a slow and deliberate drifting into your life, when you are not watching.. if you are not daily on the alert.
It's a slow fade.
What you once did NOT do, what you once did NOT condone, what you once did NOT allow, has all too soon become doable, condoned and allowed. And sisters in the Lord, all of a sudden that spiritual coating and protecting you chose to pursue for your infant children is being threatened. The very covering you are placing over your home and your family is being invaded, and you are caught unaware.
Look to your ways. Look at your daily habits. LOOK and SEARCH OUT and SEEK. Is there anything occurring in your home, entering your doors, that the little eyes and ears you have determined to protect and preserve are possibly seeing and hearing, and you have become dulled to it by the new "traffic" now walking across the spiritual thresholds of your borders?
Maybe the "little eyes and ears" are not so little anymore. Maybe your youth themselves are the ones carrying in some of the attitudes and habits that would attempt to undermine the very lessons you have fought to put in place.
It's a slow fade.
When the values that were once black and white in the fresh beginnings of your zeal to raise those precious new infants, have started to become gray over the wear and tear of time and by unattended breaches in your walls, rise up. !! Renew your commitment and your strength and your discipline to attack the enemy. Get in the trenches and engage in the battle of your life for your kids. Keep that covering and protection IN PLACE. It will make all the difference when you have to step back and let them go.
It is then that you will see the striking contrast in their lives. They will be beautiful and prepared. The parental covering you dedicated yourself to provide under the guiding hand of the Lord is now able to be removed. It is the changing of the guard. Your charges must now pick up the watch, and protect the beauty of their "glowing finish."
Check out the walls, the guiding principles of your home. Check out the habits of your daily routines. Do you see a dullness where once there used to be a beautiful glow? Let the words of God provide the necessary tools you need to sand, cover and polish your home life back into the "once upon a time" glory of fresh commitment and zeal. Stick to your guns! Be strong. RECOMMIT your goals to your God! Do not allow your home to be in the spirals of a slow fade....