IT ALL STARTS WITH ME
“First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.” ~ Matthew 23:26
I don’t know how many times I have read this verse and nodded my head saying, “Yes, this is so true…my heart must be right before God and then everything else will fall into place.” Then I fall back into seeking out the answers to my mothering problems in the many Godly parenting and women’s books I have…seeking “the thing” for me to do that will solve all my problems…that will make my children obey me…that will make my home run in an orderly fashion…that will bring peace and contentment to my heart. Oh how many times I have failed to go back to what His Word has told me over and and over again…and that is that IT ALL STARTS WITH ME!
So, how does this apply to my everyday life?
This is probably the area that is the most noticeable if it is not under control. Home management includes everything from meal planning, to cleaning, to laundry, and everything in between. While I don’t believe that a “picture perfect” home is necessary here, I do believe that the state of your “home” is somewhat a reflection of the state of your “heart.” I know when I have gotten off track with my devotions then it seems that my home starts getting out of control as well. I must go back and “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness”, then all these other things will fall into place. Are my priorities right? Am I seeking Him first?
I recently read something that has really been impressed on my heart: In order to have the hearts of my children, they must have mine first. Wow! This is what Christ talks about when He says we must lay down our lives for our friends. It is only in giving that we receive.
How many times have I placed demands on my children that I don’t live up to myself.
- How can I expect them to stay on task when I don’t myself?
- How can I expect them to be disciplined when I am not?
- How can I expect them to truly love the Lord and desire to serve Him, unless they see that hunger and love for Him in my life first?
- How can I expect them to have a love for His Word if I do not myself?
I know that it is the Lord that works in our children’s hearts, but I need to be setting an example before them. I need to deal with my own heart first, then let the Lord work in my children’s hearts.
Here is another area that needs discipline and organization. I can get all our homeschool organized…the books, the schedules, the high school credits, etc., but if my heart is not right before God it is all in vain. If I am not seeking Him in all my “planning” then all that planning is useless. It also takes discipline to carry out the plans the Lord gives me too. I may seek Him for direction, but if I am not following through and being obedient, then (again) it is all useless. Here again it all starts with me…where is my heart? Is my heart fully devoted to Him?
As I sit back and reflect again on this verse – the fact that no matter how clean the outside of a cup is, if the inside is dirty no one will drink out of it (it is useless) – I realize that that is exactly how life is. No matter how “good” I try to be on the outside, God cannot “fill me up” and “use” me if my inside is dirty. You know…I think I will find one of my prettiest tea cup and saucer sets and place it where I can see it daily as a reminder. I want the Lord to clean me up on the inside so He can use me to minister daily to my husband, children, and others. How about you?
I look forward to continuing this series over the next few weeks. There is so much to glean from His Word regarding being a Godly mother! Have a great weekend!