Some might say taking a retreat in a remote area with your Bible. There’s nothing like being able to sit in peace and quiet hearing the gentle breezes of the wind flowing through the trees and if the location has a lake view it’s as though we’ve hit the jackpot with the perfect location for God to speak to us.
Yet, it’s the trip across country in our car with the kids where we truly grow from.
Because during tough situations, who we truly are comes forth.
In this situation, our patience may be tested so we find ourselves praying and asking God for more patience not realizing that He gave us all the patience we need.
We have to understand that God uses the process of parenting to shape us.
[quote]2 Corinthians 7:1 – Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God[/quote]
Part of the shaping comes out of this one word:
We pray to purify our spouse, the driver that just cut us off, others around us, but we are to purify ourselves.
To perfect Holiness out of reverence for God.
For God…not to God.
To explain the preposition of To vs. For - when we say the word TO it is used when something is moved or transferred. When we say the word FOR it is when we refer to a purpose or when something is to the benefit of.
What’s the benefit? His promises
We must begin or continue to purify, the Bible says, everything that contaminates body and spirit. Now everyone has their own convictions of how they treat their body or what they put into their body. I get that. We also need to purify things like resentment. Maybe we wish we had a better childhood or better parents only leaving us with the reasons as to why we are the way we are with all the excess baggage of guilt and shame; feeling of inadequacy or doubt.
So that we can perfect holiness. We need to strive for this so that our children begin to see what holiness looks like.
Our kids are watching us. What it means to be a mother or a father. What it means to be a husband or a wife.
With marriage we get to choose who we spend life with; when we parent, we don’t get to choose.
So when I deal with things like resentment or shame, I can choose to let sin tear apart my family or I can use my family or experiences to tear apart my sin. - Tweet that!
What about negativity? I hate what this does. I was raised in a home where it seems that all I heard was negative things. As I got older I realized my grandparents from both sides were the same way. It was a learned trait that my parents learned and were teaching me and my siblings. I had to make a conscious effort, and still do today, to speak positive things in my life, over my kids, over my home and over my situations to purify the future.
Our kids will pick up on negativity. It’s time to get serious or our kids will adopt these things.
What about relationships with God?
Moms and Dad’s we have to let them see it. Our kids today need to see us reading our Bibles, praying with our spouses, trusting in our Provider. Posting the best status on Facebook or retweeting the best scripture has the least long-term effect to the foundation in Christ we give our children.
[quote]1 Timothy 4:16 – Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and hearers.[/quote]
Who listens more to us than our children.
We need to change our attitudes of bitterness or selfishness into grace and love. We need to change our attitudes of regret or shame into forgiveness and mercy.
Acknowledging that we learn more from God in those everyday spills or missed curfews to change and purify us than in the moments on the lake.