Friday, July 24, 2009


I was reading in Matthew chapter 18 this morning. I came to verse 6.

"But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and [that] he were drowned in the depth of the sea."

This is very heavy stuff! How many children from Christian homes go astray? MOST. That is the said truth. How many times have I angered my children and not shown them love and grace? How many times have I disciplined in anger instead of love?

As a parent, it is my job to show my children what God's attributes are like. The main way that they form an opinion about God is through the parents. We are the gatekeepers, a filter, if you will. We should reflect the character of our God to our children. They, in turn, will have a healthy view of God. We have the power to speak blessing or cursing into the life of our child by our attitudes, words, and actions.

The word "offend" in this verse means:

1) to put a stumbling block or impediment in the way, upon which another may trip and fall, metaphor. to offend

a) to entice to sin

b) to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey

1) to cause to fall away

2) to be offended in one, i.e. to see in another what I disapprove of and what hinders me from acknowledging his authority

3) to cause one to judge unfavorably or unjustly of another

c) since one who stumbles or whose foot gets entangled feels annoyed

1) to cause one displeasure at a thing

2) to make indignant

3) to be displeased, indignant

So, how do we do this? Is this another "work" that "I" have to do? Do I just stop sinning in this area? NO!! It's just like any other area of my life. The only way to overcome is to lay down my life and cling to the Vine. The closer I stay to Jesus, the more clearly His light will be reflected. Which brings me to another verse. Matthew 16:25 says, "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." The key is to lay our life down and to cling to him. Then, our children will see Jesus in us.

Remember, the world's way is to "try harder" and "do better". The way of the cross is surrender.....

Faith or Fear?

In my new walk of faith, God is continually challenging me to stop living in fear. The smallest things are becoming magnified, along with the big things, and showing me just how much fear is in my daily life. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of financial failure, etc.......

The latest fear that I am facing is the fear of sending my kids to a public school. The fear of public education has been instilled in me since birth. At the church I grew up in, public school was seen as the absolute worst thing you could possibly do to your kids. They ignored the fact that at least 95% of the kids who graduated from our Christian school are no longer activily attending church, or are living lives that would be considered Godly from outside appearances.

I have had to go back to work part-time. My husband is jobless until spring, and our savings is all but depleted. I have to go to the food pantry next week, just to supplement groceries for our family. Not working isn't an option at this point. I had thought to continue homeschooling our nine year old in the afternoons. As you can guess, it's not working very well. She's cranky and tired by the afternoon (not to mention me). Daddy is depressed and bored because he isn't working, so he has become drill sargent daddy and the kids are stressed out by it all. We have cabin fever in epic proportions, as anyone who lives in the Colorado Rockies can tell you.

This week, I mentioned to my husband that I'd rather have the kids at school, than to have them and him fighting and arguing all week. That started a war inside my heart. My feelings against sending my 9 yr. old to public school were so intense that I started asking God "Okay, WHY do I feel so strongly about this?" His answer, "FEAR". WHAT? It sounds like such a Godly thing to want to homeschool your children. How could it be FEAR? Well, I do not trust the public school, but in the deepest part of my heart, I know that the reason I haven't sent her is fear. My biggest fear is that my children will grow up and not choose to follow the Lord.

The truth is, I have seen many examples of children who did just fine in public school. Many children have come out very Godly people. I think the key is the parents having a true relationship with God based on faith, NOT fear. If I am walking in fear, even my homeschooling them will not produce the fruit of righteousness. If I am walking in fear, my children will reject the God that I am trying to serve. Does that mean I shouldn't be diligent if I have to send my children to public school? No, I should be as involved as they are, even more so. But, my decisions should not be based upon fear. Otherwise, I am ultimately saying that I don't trust God enough to be GOD to my children. They are HIS kids, not mine. He has his own plan for their salvation.

So, the answer goes back to any area of fear that I have.....FAITH!