After a long break due to the early arrival of Baby Emily, I am finally finishing out the Deeper Homemaking Series!
I’d image we have some similar goals in our homemaking.
More than likely, both you and I long to create a home that is full of joy and exudes a sense of well-being and confidence –one that is characterized by fun, laughter and rest of heart.
What a life-giving home that would be!
In her book, Disciplines of the Home, Ann Ortlund suggests that it all comes down to whether or not we believe God.
Not just that we believe in Him, but that we believe He is in control, that He loves us, that He will meet our needs and protect us, and that there is an eternal reality that will give meaning to any hardship we may face.
Believing God means laying fear aside and living instead out of a serene trust in God.
Without this fundamental (but sometimes elusive) belief, a home will suffer from an overtone of anxiety, suspicion, insecurity and fear. Each of these things does their own work to suck the joy, fun and rest right out of it.
Yet as Christian moms and homemakers, despite our expressed intentions, we often do not live a life characterized by deep and total belief in God’s promises for our lives and those of our children.
So how do we get there? How do we learn to live this life of trust and belief?
Step 1. We Identify Our Fears
In Disciplines of the Home, Ann identifies three areas in which Christian parents may have unhealthy fears.
3 Common Fears of Christian Parents
1. Public Schools
This fear is real for me.
Next year I have to decide whether or not I’ll send my oldest daughter to public school. It’s a difficult decision. A big part of me wants to home school, but separating fear out of the equation changes it greatly.
I need to be guided by the Holy Spirit, not motivated by fear. Distinguishing between the two is difficult.
The parents I know who home school from a place a joy, purpose and trust have beautiful, life-giving home school experiences for their children. I can imagine that those who do this out of fear have less positive results.
Do you fear public schools?
I want to get to a place of trust, not fear of the unknowns –to pray and seek God, then follow through on what He puts on my heart to do.
If God would have me put my kids in public school, I want to send them out empowered, as a confident minority and heads up –to talk to them openly about what it means to be a part of, yet separate from the world. Teach them how to love well and pray for them.
And if He would have me home school, to do that with a sense of privilege, joy, conviction and fun.
The dangers of foods seems to be hot topic lately, and one that causes undue anxiety in parents.
There are many variables that we don’t understand, and many random possibilities that we ultimately cannot control.
Do you fear foods?
Yes, we must be responsible for the food we give our children, but also, be responsible to God in our attitude of “restful faith in Him.”
God says that He created foods,
‘to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.”
I Timothy 4:3-5
Why not replace fear with thankfulness?
For more on this read Is Your Natural Living Anxiety-Filled or Grace-Driven?
3. The world and the devil
Any exposure to the news quickly reveals how evil and uncertain this world can truly be.
Whether it’s ISIS in the Middle East or militant Muslim extremists in Nigeria, the stories of anti-Christian forces at play around the world are alarming. Evil is advancing. And the same is true in our own neighborhoods and streets. Killings, abductions and rapes, along with rioting and civil unrest are the news of the day.
If I’m not careful, I let this fear grow and becoming overwhelming.
Do you fear the world and the devil?
When I catch myself fearing the world, something over which I have no control, I must make a conscious effort to turn my thoughts to prayer and thanksgiving. This fear is not beneficial. It’s not a sign of a trusting heart.
Because ultimately, even death holds no fear for a Christ-follower, so why not live today in joy?
Do any of these fears sound familiar to you? Do you feel the panicky need to control variables that are ultimately beyond your control as I sometimes do?
If so, we need to work on that if we want our homes to be beautiful, joyful and life-giving environments.
Ann Ortlund puts it like this,
“Let me say it strongly: A doubting, worrying mother is a bad mother. She’s modeling fear, not faith; and she’ll produce worrying, anxious kids who have no idea that ‘God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble’ (Psalm 46:1). This is of top importance, because ‘without faith it is impossible to please God’ (Hebrews 11:6). Your kids must get firmly planted in lives of trust.”
Disciplines of the Home
So, now that we’ve identified some fears, what do we do about them?
Step 2: Find God’s Promises and Believe them
Trust Him with your life and those of your children. Here are some promises I’m claiming as a mother….
Promises for Moms
Expose your children to God’s word and TRUST Him to do the work.
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth, and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to me empty without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11 (NASB)
Train your children in godliness and TRUST Him with the rest.
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Cast your cares upon Him and TRUST that He will not let you fall.
Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.
BELIEVE that nothing is too hard for God. Pray and rest in that truth.
For nothing is impossible with God. Luke 1:37
BELIEVE and CELEBRATE that while troubles are a guarantee, Jesus has overcome this world!
“…Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
TRUST that there’s a bigger picture, an eternal reward for every trouble in your life, godly intention and choice.
“For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever!” 2 Corinthians 4:18
BELIEVE that God’s got this. It’s all under control. And He has wonderful things in sore for those who love Him.
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9
If you need to be reminded of God’s promises today, download and print them here.
What does it mean for you to believe God in your homemaking?
The ideas in this post are adapted from Disciplines of the Home by Anne Ortlund.
This is Part 8 of 10 in a Series on
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