Thursday, May 28, 2015
Softening the Stony Heart
“They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.” Ephesians 4:18
Darkened to the work of motherhood and the value of children in God’s eyes, our culture is alienated from the life of God because of ignorance and hard hearts. Self sacrifice, the pouring out of one life for another is not what the culture wants to hear or participate in. Many women are taught
from a young age to pursue a path that does not include children or serving others, one that is mostly working towards their own goals. We don’t stop to think about God’s plan from the perspective of living out biblical truths. Children are seen as a roadblock to our goals, to life’s accomplishments and materialism. We’d rather have a life full of vacations, material goods, and a life of relative ease than have to lay ourselves down for the family life, which is the building of God’s kingdom.
“Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.” 1 Timothy 2:15
We are saved---sealed for eternal life by accepting Jesus as our Savior. We are also saved by God from this world’s shallowness when we follow His plan and walk in His ways. After we have a child, (if we continue walking closely with God) God wants to grow us in our faith, love, holiness, and self control. In this way we are kept safe and set apart for God. God keeps us from the dangers of materialism, putting a career above our family, and from many temptations that would be thrown at us by refining us in motherhood, and giving us a “kingdom” of our own to build for God, our home and family.
“All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.” Isaiah 54:13
As mothers, there can be many corners of our hearts that are ‘stony.’ Whether from past hurts, wrong beliefs and ideas that are deeply entrenched in our ways of thought, or simply selfish desires and a stubborn heart that fights giving so much of ourselves. For all our children to be taught by the Lord and have great peace, we also must be taught by the Lord and carry His peace in our hearts, into our mothering. We must walk the way ourselves, if our children are to witness the peace of walking in God’s ways. If we allow God to soften our hearts towards our children and towards His heart for us, we are no longer alienated from the life of God by our own ignorance. The life of God begins to fill us, to steady us and give us peace. A peace that, had we followed the path of the world, we would have never known. We would have known ‘false’ happiness that is filled with the fleeting things of the world, satan’s “imitation peace.”
Many times moving away from false peace and towards God’s peace means leaving behind things that hinder us from the freedom of walking with Christ. Being overly concerned with possessions, money, entertainment, shopping and generally keeping up with the world’s ways can be a yolk of bondage for a mother trying to learn the abundance of the life God has for her in her new vocation. To God, motherhood is a holy calling. We must be willing to leave behind that which will hold us back from the importance of the work God has called us to.
The softening of the heart, away from the hard, cutting edges of the world, and towards God and His love is the best gift we can give our children. Surrendering to God’s plan for us, allowing Him to heal our hearts and teach us His ways is a blessing of safety and protection. He brings us into the full life He has for us as give up the false ways we once walked in. We must be committed to having a soft heart and learning God’s commandments for us as mothers.
Prayer: “Lord, teach me your ways. Show me how to throw off all that entangles me from doing the work you have called me to do. Don’t let me be influenced by the enemies promises of a false peace and happiness if I follow the world’s way of motherhood. Show me how to focus on your truths for me and the holy way you want me to walk. Amen”
“Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion! For he strengthens the bars of your gates; he blesses your children within you.” Psalm 147:12
"The best academy, a mother's knee."
- James Russell Lowell
"Since Jesus highly values children, mothers are His servants when they bless their children for Him."
- Art Birch