Lately, God has been bringing light to something in my heart that I want to share with you, the ladies God has kindly called me to ‘do life’ with. A few weeks ago, I began to see that I am often operating more out of fear than out of faith in many areas in my life. Specifically it shows itself for me in the way I interact with Kurt and with my children. Perhaps you are wondering what this looks like?
Well, here’s a picture: Let’s say Kurt thinks it’s ok for our children to watch a certain show, but I disagree with his decision. (This is just a ‘for instance’; hasn’t happened just like this, but could!) I have two options: Option #1(fear): I walk up to him and say, “Are you kidding? Do you know what you would be doing to our children? Their young minds are at stake here! That is NOT a good show for our children to see, and I think you are making a really big mistake letting them see it!” Option #2(faith): I walk up to him and say, “Oh, Kurt, I really don’t think that is the best idea. I am concerned about what it would put into their minds, but I know that I can trust God to help you lead our family in a way that honors Him, and if you decide that it is ok, I will trust God.” Do you hear the difference here?
This is how it looks with my children: Let’s say one of them does something sinful. (No, not my children, right?!) Here are the two options: Option #1 (fear): I yell at them, or speak disapprovingly, such as, “Why would you do that? How many times must I tell you not to do that? How can you say you love God, and hate your brother?!” Option #2 (faith): I go to them and say, “Oh, my. We need God’s help here. What you’ve done is sin against God, and we both just keep on sinning, don’t we?! Isn’t it a powerful mystery that despite the fact that we keep sinning, God is willing to keep forgiving us because his son’s death covered every single time we sin this way? God will help us. I know He will!”
Regrettably, I commonly respond out of fear: fear that Kurt’s decisions will ruin our children, will make my life harder, will reflect poorly on me; fear that God will not take care of us, that He can’t work the outcome for good in my life. With the children my driving fears are that they will not be saved, that they will never love their brother or sister, that they will become someone or something I don’t want them to be, that they won’t get into a good college if they don’t learn diligence now, that they’ll become hardened criminals if this is left unchecked…
But at the bottom of it, what it really reveals is what I believe about God. I don’t trust that God can take care of me, my children, our finances, our future, etc… I don’t trust that God can work even in other people’s sin for my good and for His perfect purpose. I forget that if “He…did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him, graciously give [me] all things?” (Rom. 8:32)
Do you find yourself in this camp with me?
Here are my points of encouragement: #1: When we respond in faith it brings freedom to the ones we’re addressing. Our husbands are confident in our trust in God, and they are free to lead as they feel God leading them. And, they will feel more free to listen to us, and not to be immediately on the defense! Our children also, will see that we really believe what we are teaching them, and they are then free to see the miracle of the gospel at work in us. #2: (the most important) We please God! Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
Let’s seek God, believing that He exists, and that He is a rewarder! He loves us. We are His. We have been bought with a great price, and we can have confidence that “…he who began a good work in [us] will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 1:6)
I do want to make a clear statement that walking in faith and not fear does not mean ‘just not speaking’! As our husband’s helper, our children’s mother, our parent’s daughter, our brother’s sister, etc… we are called by God to speak, and to address sin. But, let’s keep in mind Galatians 6:1-3: “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual (it doesn’t say ‘perfect’) should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” When we are “bearing one another’s burdens” we feel the weight they are feeling and it will affect the way we bring the ‘restoration’!
~Oh, Lord, help me to be more faith-filled in my responses to those around me, that I may be an example of your glorious gospel. And when I fail, which I know I will, help me look to the cross and know your forgiveness and strength to try again with faith.~