I failed as a mother.
I bent down with the dust buster (a staple in our home) to suck up all the bread crumbs left beneath the baby’s chair at the table, all the while lamenting the regular mess I call my house and wondering if the rodent who visits from time to time would return.
All the while, a son – in no hurry to eat his dinner – spotted a Lego.
“I’ll get the Lego!” he declared as he bolted from his seat to rescue the tiny block before it became food for the dust buster.
I raised my head and took a step just in time to hit head-to-head with him. We both recoiled in pain, but our next instincts varied greatly:
“I’m sorry, Mom,” he whispered as he grabbed his head.
Oh, how I wish I’d been as gracious.
Instead, I – the older, wiser, so very much more spiritually mature one – snapped back in a not-so-gentle tone for him to sit down. Tears welled up in his eyes as I added heartache to his already aching head.
He needed reassurance and understanding and grace. I gave him none of those.
BUT GOD TURNED MY FAILURE INTO OPPORTUNITY.
I humbled myself before God and my son and sought forgiveness from both. Then I sought out my son, held him close and with a sincere heart said, “I’m sorry. I was wrong.”
I praised him for his kind and loving heart and asked, “Will you forgive me?” With open arms and a smile, he received my apology and we reconciled. We learned, hands on, about sin and forgiveness. About love and bearing with one another.
Training our children starts with personal preparation.
In the same way that a boss, pastor, or teacher sets the tone for the space he or she manages, we are responsible for the tone of our homes. That tone can be positive or negative, hopeful or discouraging, confident or concerned, relatable or unrealistic.
AS PARENTS, THE TONE WE SET DIRECTS THE MOOD AND THE MOVEMENT OF THE PRECIOUS HEARTS WHO HEAR US.
Let the word of the Anointed One richly inhabit your lives. With all wisdom teach, counsel, and instruct one another. Sing the psalms, compose hymns and songs inspired by the Spirit, and keep on singing—sing to God from hearts full and spilling over with thankfulness.” Colossians 3:16 (VOICE)
Who doesn’t want to live in that house?! But how do we get that picture off this page and into our daily head-to-head collisions?
God says it in the first line: “Let the word richly inhabit your life.”
“Richly inhabit” means let God’s Word get all up in your business. All up in it. Your home business and family business. Work business and dream business. Hurt business and anger business. Love business and bitterness business.
Richly inhabit means let it stay there. Not pop in for the good days and pack up when the stuff hits the fan. Or vice versa, show up for the storm preps only to high tail it out of town when the weather turns nice again.
Every day. In the good times and bad. The Word of God in your life.
THAT MEANS WE HAVE TO MAKE A PLAN.
Because we all know that without a plan, the day just gets away from us. Spills and deadlines. Fevers or broken dishwashers. A new crisis or old war still waging. Life. Demands. Then the end of the day when your eyelids refuse to stay open.
And the Word of God sits closed on the nightstand for another day.
So I want to offer a few suggestions of ways I’ve shaped God’s Word in my life through the years and maybe one will fit nicely for your place in life.
- Keep the Bible out and open all day. Read one verse at a time each time you pass by then chew on that Scripture and ask God to help you apply it.
- Read the Bible when you have mental discretionary time. You may not always find physical time to stop, but I find my mind available when I do things like fold laundry or take a shower. These times are great for me to memorize Scripture and pray.
- Pause before each meal. We often throw up a “blessing” just before we eat, but let those prayers be more than routine words. Take an intentional pause before you eat. Feed your soul with a few intimate minutes with God through prayer or reading a verse.
- Set the alarm clock 30 minutes earlier. I know for us exhausted mamas this one seems absurd. But maybe it’s what God’s asking you to do. I fought it for years, but spending that time with God first thing has changed me and blessed me in new ways. I love this time with my Jesus.
- Include your kids. In our house we take a few minutes at dinner or just before bed to read the Bible with our kids. Certainly we do it on their level, but God doesn’t reserve revelation for kid-free worship time. There have been many times when God speaks straight to this mama’s heart while we’re pouring God’s Word into our children’s hearts.
PERSONAL PREPARATION DOESN’T GUARANTEE PERFECTION.
For proof of that lack of perfection, go back and read my sad story at the beginning of this post. But it can produce purpose.
We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.” Romans 8:28 (VOICE)
My eyes cloud up a little when I read this, because even in our major parental flops, God works. He orchestrates everything to work toward something beautiful.