Devoted: Great Men and Their Godly Moms

While I was nursing my third baby I started reading a blog series by Tim Challies called Christian Men and their Godly Moms. I would be so excited when he posted in this series and would sit in my baby’s room feeding and rocking him while I would read. Sometimes I would sob while reading about these amazing mother’s and how devoted they were to the Lord.

I am so thankful for Tim taking the time to research and share about these women. His blog posts were instrumental in encouraging me to continue reading the bible myself as well as to my 4 and 2 year old at the time. I am happy to say that our family devotions have continued over the years and while they aren’t perfect they have been fruitful.

I recently discovered that this blog series was expanded upon and turned into a book, Devoted: Great Men and Their Godly Moms, and I just finished reading it. It was so good and I highly recommend it to any mother regardless of how old her children are. I still sobbed at certain portions even though I knew the story. There were great takeaways and a helpful section at the end of each chapter with reflection questions.

If you are pregnant, a mom to a newborn, or a mom of adult children this is a great book to add to your reading list! Seriously all mama’s could benefit from reading this book. And if you have daughters read this as well! So many things inside that will encourage you as you strive to raise Godly children who love the Lord.

Praying For Your Children

Here are just a few takeaways from what I read that you could begin implementing today in your prayer life.

Pray for the ability to teach his truths to your children. Ask him to store these truths in their memory and use them as a foundation for their commitment to Christ.

Pray for your children to remain faithful. Ask him to stregthen their faith when their beliefs are under attack.

Pray for your own life to be an example to your children. Ask that you be willing to surrender your children to his plan for them, no matter the cost to you—or to them.

Pray for the strength to continue to meet your obligations. Ask for for fruits of the spirit to overflow out of you so that you do not become bitter about your workload.

Name a personality trait for each of your children that is a cause for concern unless it is brought under the lordship of Christ. Pray that God will use these traits for his glory.

This book will inspire you as you read examples of women from the past and present who have succeeded in raising their children to honor and glorify the Lord.

Challies, Tim. Devoted: Great Men and Their Godly Moms

Share

Parenting with Loving Correction: Practical Help for Raising Young Children

Parenting while joyful can sometimes be painful. How you respond to the the little people God has given you can shine light on your innermost thoughts. I have leaned that how I react and respond to my children when they are disobeying can directly reflect at times my idolatrous thinking. It has and will continue to be an opportunity for me to grow in sanctification and self control.

I am thankful for books like Parenting with Loving Correction: Practical Help for Raising Young Children by Sam Crabtree that point me back towards the gospel and away from my own sinful nature. In doing this I am a more effective parent because I realize that God gave me the four children I have for their good and for mine as well as to glorify God.

Below are just a few highlights from this book. I highly recommend it if you are in need of encouragement or new strategies to deal with disciplining your child. It is a short read and will be well worth your time and money!

I received a copy of this book from Crossway to review. All opinions are my own. 

What is Corrective Discipline?

Corrective discipline means:

  1. Identifying actions or attitudes of your child that are unacceptable when weighted against clear and explicit standards, then
  2. acting promptly and decisively to move your child in the direction of compliance with those standards.

The Heart of The Matter

Discipline aims at fostering a specified pattern of character, in the strength God supplies. If you just address outward behaviors without getting to the heart the risk greatly increases for a child to gravitate to external conformity, moralism, and legalism.

While it is great if your child obeys when it comes to discipline the goal should be to impact the heart. Heart transformation will lead to sincere cooperation because that is change that God fully creates and sustains. Proverbs 20:11 tells us that “Even a child makes himself known by his acts, weather his conduct is pure and upright”. A child’s true character will be known by his behavior.

Young children are spiritually unregenerate. Using wise discipline that requires obedience from children can cause them to become aware of their own sin and their need for Christ.

The most important point here is to note that when correction is done well it honors God. As parents we can’t change or stop our children from sinning but we can create a clear association between a rebellious action so that our child understands the consequences to disobedience. If we can’t and don’t expect our children to yield to our authority how can we ever expect them to yield to God.

3 Core Imperatives for Wise Correction

Discipline does not destroy the child but attacks the things that would destroy him. Failing to discipline invites your child to a regrettable future. Wise correction is regret management for all concerned. There are 3 core things to keep in mind for wise correction.

  1. Keep it God centered.
  2. Speak truth – always mean what you say.
  3. Reward obedience, not disobedience.

These several chapters were filled with amazing insight! God is loving and holy and good. I appreciated the example of aiming our children to be good and not “normal” (conforming to everyone else). Parents need to aim for their children’s goodness. When the author’s children became older he would say to them as they were leaving the house “Don’t be normal. Be good”.

Being normal in our culture is an unwise goal because our culture is broken and corrupt. If we tell our kids to “act normal” we are inviting them to look around to their peers to set the standard.

Good correcting must also be preceded by lots and lots of good affirmation. By saying yes often you establish many affirmations with your children and they are more likely to accept your no when they make an unwise request.

There is an entire section devoted to practical strategies to help with before you correct, in the moment, plus questions from parents.

Parenting with Loving Correction: Practical Help for Raising Young Children by Sam Crabtree is available on Amazon.

Share

Thinking More About the Third Commandment

The third commandment reads:

You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

Several years ago our pastor preached a sermon about using the phrases “Oh my God!” or “OMG” while speaking. And while I personally had made it a point not to say  “Oh my God!” saying “OMG” or even “Oh my gosh!” was not something that I censored coming out my mouth. I figured if I wasn’t actually saying God’s name in this manner I was doing ok. When someone is yelling in frustration “Jesus Christ!” I knew that they weren’t honoring the Lord but didn’t really think about the bigger message of the third commandment until this sermon.

The third commandment has been discussed numerous times over the last few months in our home. And then I recently read the book Christian Ethics by Dr. Wayne Grudem and felt even more convicted by this verse.

I received a copy of this book from Crossway to review. All opinions are my own. Source: Crossway

WHAT IS CHRISTIAN ETHICS?

It is vitally important for Christians to apply Bible passages wisely and study ethics. The main reason to study ethics from this perspective is that we can know God’s will for us. Jesus taught his followers to keep his commandments (Matt. 28:19-20, John 14:15, John 15:10) and in order to understand how these commandments apply to us today we have to know what they are, including their Old Testament background and further explanation in the New Testament.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work….”. God gave us the Bible in order for us to know what he views as morally right and wrong . When studying the Bible from an ethical viewpoint it is necessary to understand and study all relevant scripture related to the topic. It is also important to remember that because the Bible is God’s word it is the highest authority over all other authorities for ethics.

THE MEANING OF THE THIRD COMMANDMENT

Names are super important in the Bible. So important that God would sometimes designate the name of a person. This might have been a name change to account for their new role or to more accurately describe them. We see this happen in Genesis 17 when Abram becomes Abraham and also Sarai becomes Sarah. Taking all this in to account I have begun to see that the “name” of God not only refers to his actual name (like the Lord) but also to everything that is said about God in terms of his character and reputation. The third commandment goes far beyond foolishly using God’s name and has much greater implications then I ever realized.

“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.” Proverbs 22:1

On the basis that names are important to God, and that a name can also refer to the entire reputation of a person, then the third commandment also prohibits any false and unworthy speech about God. Christian you should be challenged by this. I know I have been. We need to consider how we speak about God and how we worship God. God’s name should be spoken with reverence and his character accurately honored by what we say.

“but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.” James 3:8-10

Earlier this year I heard a new worship song on the radio that I really liked. The music, the beat, and the overall feeling the song gave was great….but then I started focusing on the lyrics and now have a difficult time listening to this song. I know there are much bigger issues to be concerned about, yet at the same time I am thankful to have become aware of just how flippant, or dare I use the word reckless 😉 , I have been even with how I was worshipping God with song. I want to make sure that the lyrics I am singing match with the theology I believe and also speak about God’s nature and character Biblically. In no way do I see how it is honoring to God or his character to describe him as something that is not Biblically accurate.

Being made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) means that my life and yours proclaims something about the Creator. God made us to be like him and represent him on the earth. When we as God’s creation sin we violate the third commandment. As an image bearer of God we reflect him with our words, thoughts, and actions, our sin portrays him in an evil and sinful way.

“Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.” Ephesians 5:4

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8

In his book Chrisitan Ethics, Wayne Grudem says “In practical terms, this understanding of the commandment means that if I act in a fair or just way, I proclaim that God, my creator and Lord is fair and just. If I act with kindness and mercy, I proclaim that God is kind and merciful. But if I tell lies, I proclaim that my God is a liar and cannot be trusted. If I am cruel and vindictive, I proclaim that God is also cruel and vindictive. This perspective helps us understand why God takes sin so seriously and why it must be punished. All sin dishonors God.”

I highly recommend, Christian Ethics: An Introduction to Biblical and Moral Reasoning, this extremely well written and thought provoking book from Wayne Grudem.  At the end of each chapter there are questions for reflection, a memory verse, additional reading references, and a hymn, because Christian ethics should result in praise because God’s law flows from his character and his character is just that good.

“Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.” Psalm 119:97

“My lips will pour forth praise, for you teach me your statutes.” Psalm 119:171

If you are looking to apply a biblical worldview to difficult ethical issues, including wealth and poverty, marriage and divorce, birth control, abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, business practices, environmental stewardship, telling the truth, knowing God’s will, and understanding Old Testament laws like the third commandment be sure to check out Christian Ethics: An Introduction to Biblical and Moral Reasoning. 

Share