As for me AND MY HOUSEwe will serve the Lord – Jeremiah 24:15
We moved our son into his dorm a couple of weeks ago. His university is about a four-hour drive (with no traffic), which means he is effectively on his own. It is up to him to do his laundry, budget his time so he completes all his homework (for 17 units worth of classes), develop and maintain a network of social relationships that will support him while he is away from home. It’s a lot, but I know he can do it. More importantly, he is now the primary voice of morality and self-regulation in his life. His dad and I aren’t there to remind him of what he’s been taught or to help enforce boundaries. We aren’t there to keep him accountable to the things he knows he should and should not do. The example has been set for the last eighteen years. Now, he will decide what activities he participates in and which he chooses to abstain from. He will choose whether to nurture or ignore his relationship with God. He now has to choose for himself to serve the Lord.
In the second part of this verse, my declaration of devotion to God expands. It started with me. Serving God always starts with a personal decision. However, this verse takes me a step further into my commitment. It has implications for my marriage and my parenting.
In marriage ~ My husband and I, according to Genesis 2:24, are one flesh. Besides the physical connotations, there are spiritual implications as well. The way a husband and wife love and respond to one another should honor God. The way they manage their time and resources should honor God. The apostle Paul tells us that our marriage helps the world around us understand Christ’s love for the church (or at least they should). It’s not automatic, though. It’s daily and it can be tough. Making this choice for myself is one thing, but choosing together to do this every day is something very different. Honoring God through our marriages means honoring our husband’s leadership in our homes. Honoring God through our marriages means that decisions about what we do, where we go, what we spend our money on, what entertainments we enjoy, how we treat each other… all our choices should be made with the express purpose of honoring God. I say should be made not are made because let’s be honest… we definitely don’t get this right all the time. Sometimes we (speaking for myself) get it so wrong it’s not even apparent that that was our goal in the first place. But, we keep working at it. It is our heart’s desire and the goal we consistently come back to. With all that we are, we want to serve the Lord.
In parenting ~ The Bible is very clear that it is our responsibility to teach our children about the Lord, to teach them His Word and to live lives that honor Him as an example for them to follow. It is a sacred assignment and one that I take very seriously. I also recognize the truth in the old maxim – actions speak louder than words. Or, in the words of my pastor, “parenting is caught, not taught.” The point? My words (and my husband’s words) if not supported by actions, will be rendered impotent. Together, we bear the incredible responsibility of shepherding our children’s hearts – teaching them about the Lord and demonstrating what it looks like to live lives devoted to Him. Whether our children will grow into adults who choose to serve the Lord is not something we can control. However, while they are in our care, pointing them to Jesus and living our lives as examples for them to follow is our highest calling and greatest privilege.
Is this challenging? Yes. Does it require courage and daily surrender? Yes. With God’s help, is it possible? Absolutely. I invite you to join me in declaring, WE will serve the Lord.
to see the previous posts in this series click here:
Choosing to Serve the Lord in Our World Today