My days are spent enjoying, instructing, guiding, cuddling, disciplining, reassuring, speaking to, and loving a toddler. With God’s glory and her good as my aim, I’m passionate about intentionally training, growing, and bringing up my daughter.
It wasn’t until I had a child that I realized just how much work God puts into training His children. A day doesn’t go by but I am being gently – or not so gently! – corrected, lovingly comforted, tenderly controlled, and sweetly calmed.
I’ve noticed, though, that while each day brings new light, He chooses to do His most intimate, in-depth work the moment I sit down to write this blog.
This week, as usual, I sat down to read through a few other blogs before I got to work. I quickly skimmed the latest post on Road to 31, a blog written by a wife and homeschooling mother on a journey to become the Proverbs 31 woman. As I continued to read, my face burned and my heart quickened.
She wrote that she – and many of us – had become Homemaking Pharisees, living a “godly” life with an ungodly spirit. She zeroed in on mothers who judge other moms on their medical choices. Specifically, she wrote about birth, and those who have made an idol out of their love of natural birth, allowing their zeal to turn into a standard for Christian living.
I never wanted to have an unmedicated birth, and after an agonizingly painful miscarriage that nearly took my life as well, my interest in home birth went from minuscule to non-existent. But my decision was not well met by some. I began to wish I could elbow a few people and murmur, “Mmm-hmm! See there? Home birth is not the message of the Gospel.”
I noticed that this post was the fifth installment in the Homemaking Pharisee series. Excited, I turned to the others. Then I felt the hand of the Lord pressing in. What have I turned into an idol? What technically good, and perhaps even important, yet non-Gospel issues have I treated as doctrine? Homeschooling?* Methods of discipline?* Disdain for cry-it-out infant training? Mmm-hhhmm.
While our passions may be driven by what we believe God is calling us to individually, we must not allow them to become idols, distracting from the Gospel of Christ.
There may even be compelling biblical evidence that what we believe is correct or necessary for the best outcome. And we are certainly allowed to become ardent advocates for that which God has made us passionate. Perhaps what we have to share is exactly what others may be seeking in their quest for God’s best.
But we must not let our passions become standards for others, or judgments that keep us from our call to lift others up and allow freedom in the non-essentials.*
Once again, and increasingly, I unwrap the gift of His loving discipline: “Cast off your idols, and embrace grace.” And as I ask for forgiveness, I ask for His scalpel to cut the very root of idolatry from my heart, and thank Him for His faithful training. All’s grace.
Unwrapping the Gifts
686. His transforming power
879. Bright, raw, crunchy, sweet baby peppers
899. Reading Undaunted by Christine Caine in its entirety in 24 hours
901. A friend over for coffee while our girls played
893. A strong hair dryer
880. Back yard fire bowl fun
898. Italian Nachos at Old Chicago
859. Consistently creating a more selfless marriage
921. A new bathroom faucet that doesn’t leak
920. Homemade Cook’s Country spicy fried chicken
What gifts have you unwrapped this week?
*Please read Road to 31 blog on homeschooling
*Please read Road to 31 blog on methods of discipline
*I’m not discussing biblical mandates in this post. “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” St. Augsuine
*First five photos by Ann Voskamp