I have recently begun a friendship with a younger mom on Facebook. She is just beginning the homeschooling journey and is eager to learn all she can from any of us more experienced moms. Bless her for that. Two days ago, she messaged me this question:
So if you met yourself when your kids were as young as mine (4 and 1), what would you tell her?
Wow! What a question! What do I wish that I’d heard (heard = heard & listened to, believed, obeyed) from a more experienced mom 15 years ago? What would I like to go back in time and tell myself? Wow! I can’t get the question off my mind, and thus begins this series that I pray will be a blessing to my dear, humble friend.
First off, I must confess that some of these statements will be things that I believe I have done well. But others, probably most of them, I fear I have not. I include both for the benefit of my younger self, that I may learn both from my successes and my failures. And I share this counsel, both to my younger self, and the younger moms out there, as well as to my now older self.
In Titus 2:4-5, older women are instructed to teach what is good and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind and submissive to their own husbands, with the ultimate goal that God’s word would not be reviled (or in other translations: blasphemed, slandered, or dishonored). Whether I’m an older woman yet or not, my goal in training the younger women to live an honorable life before God and man, is that God would be honored rather than dishonored. That, indeed, is my desire as I write these for Ashley, myself and anyone else who might stumble upon them. May God, my Father, Jesus Christ, my Savior, and the Holy Spirit, my Counselor, be glorified in all I say and do.
So, here we go. My first nugget of wisdom is this:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
In the original Hebrew of Proverbs 3:6, that word translated “acknowledge” is yada, to know. According to dictionary.com, “acknowledge” means (1) to admit to be real or true; recognize the existence, truth, or fact of: (2) to show or express recognition or realization of: (3) to recognize the authority, validity, or claims of.
As I meditate on this most important verse, I say, Kim (that’s me), trust in the Lord. Trust Him. Believe in Him. Don’t trust your emotions, your human understandings of this. Know the Lord. Seek Him. Moment by moment and step by step and day by day, seek Him first, and He will make your way straight and right. He will direct your steps as you know and trust Him as Lord with your whole heart.
It is good to seek counsel from other people. Keep listening to those talks and reading those books, but your trust has to be in God alone. He alone is God. He is the creator of all things and He is the author of all wisdom. Beware of thinking that if you follow somebody’s “Ten Steps to a Perfect Child who Loves God,” that you’re guaranteed something. This is a lie. It is as you TRUST the Lord, Kim, as you follow Him fully, that your path will be made straight.
This word “straight,” in the Hebrew is yashar which according to Blue Letter Bible means to be right, straight, level, upright, just, lawful, smooth. This is not the same as painless, carefree or easy. Beware. God is interested in refining you and your children into His vessels, directing you as you live out the purposes for which He has created you, whatever it takes. Trust Him, when your path is hard, and trust Him when your path is easy. Trust Him with all your heart.
Meditate on that today.