My daughter AND my husband attended church with me yesterday. As the pastor stepped up to begin his message, he picked up a rope. He then asked one of the guys seated up front to take the other end of the rope and start walking out of the sanctuary.
This yellow rope began to stretch out across the entire room. The guy holding the rope left the room, started walking down the long hallway, and proceeded to walk to exit the front door. All the while the pastor hung on to the other end of the rope. The rope finally tightened. The pastor then pointed out a small piece of blue tape, no bigger than an inch, wrapped around the end of the rope he held in his hand.
This demonstration was an analogy of time and eternity. The long rope represented eternity. The piece of tape, our lifetime, 80 or 90 years for some.
Then pastor then asked, “Are you living for the dot or are you living for the line?”
At that moment my daughter nudged me, looked into my eyes, and whispered, “Mom, you are living for the line.”
“You are too Sweetie.” I smiled back at her.
This exchange further confirmed my thoughts of Spiritual Leadership which I posted about on Friday.
Most of us living in an unequally yoked marriage deeply desire our spouse to be a spiritual leader of our kids. However, our unbelieving spouse abdicates this part of parenting to us, the believer. Listen to me now. It is okay and right and good for you to accept the spiritual leadership for the family.
I think I struggled over this for a long time. I would hear messages from church and other sources telling me not to overstep my husband’s leadership in the home. It was confusing. What should I do? What shouldn't I do.
What I know for sure is this. If you are the only believer in the home, then God has commissioned you to lead your kids. In fact, He is desperate for you to train your children.
Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Don’t wait for your husband to come to Christ. Don’t wait for your husband to be motivated. Don’t worry that you may usurp your husband’s authority in this area. When and if your husband is ready to handle prayer and teaching, he will tell you.
When it comes to training up our children, the best thing you can do is live our faith out in front of them. I have said this before but I share it again. Let your children find you reading your Bible. Let your children stumble into the kitchen one morning and see you kneeling in prayer.
Seize every opportunity given to you. When a teaching moment arrives, use it. Don’t let it slip away.
These teaching moments occur in the most unexpected ways with my daughter. I find myself imparting scripture in a way she understands and that applies to the issues in her life. Often we talk about self-esteem. That is a common issue for middle schoolers. I am ready to share scriptures and to reassure her about who she is in Jesus. I remind her that her identity is in Christ.
My daughter feels safe to ask me about faith matters and she really listens even if it appears she doesn’t. I often get the middle school “eye-roll’ or on occasion or she will say to me, “Mom, you’re on another rant.” Which means I’m preachin’ it and she has heard it before. But, I know the truth sinks in. I pray like crazy the opportunities I have to share truth will protect her from the Prodigal years in which I traveled.
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. — Deuteronomy 11:18–19
This scripture is all about seizing the day and taking every opportunity to share wisdom with our kids. Then we must cling to the passage in Proverbs … when they are OLD….. he/she will not turn from it.
As I smiled at my daughter in church yesterday, I realized she "gets it." She is living for the line. How cool is that?
Let your leadership be authentic, gentle, and founded in the love of Jesus and you can’t go wrong. In fact, it could be your son or your daughter who will ultimately influence your spouse toward Jesus.
Have a blessed week. Lynn