Last weekend a group of ladies and I went to the Gospel Coalition in Orlando. I can't even begin to explain how that weekend and being immersed in Gods word non stop affected me in a good painful way.
I had the pleasure of hearing so many wonderful speakers. One of whom was Elyse Fitzpatrick. I have read her book "Give them Grace" which is amazing and I agreed with so much of what it said, but after putting down the book nothing changed.
Don't you hate that!?! When you read an incredible book by someone who loves the Lord more then you can comprehend and you tell people how it "wrecked you" and how it "changed you." Really?? How did it change you? Did it change you just until you picked up another book or maybe it changed you just long enough to write a cool FB status. I'm not bashing anyone, in fact I am talking about myself. Change has to come from within. We Christians know that right?? Or do we?
Elyse posed this question at the beginning of her talk.... "Is there any difference by the way you parent verses those that don't have the Gospel? and would your own children even be able to see the difference?"
That question wrecked me.. I had to truly ask myself if my kids think that outwardly obedience means that God loves them. Am I parenting that way? The question would be yes, I am.
Everyone raises their kids to be moral and good.(well, most people) The problem with that is we can't do anything good. Not one thing. I know that, I even disciple adults and tell them that and point to how Jesus says that and yet, I don't tell my kids that. I tell them to use manners and share your toys and don't fight with your brother. We should give things and money away, we need to help those that can't help themselves...........
Let me just stop there because WE can't help ourselves.
That is why Jesus had to die. We need Him!!!
I want my kids hearts to change! I pray for it daily. I pray that the Lord would grab a hold of them and truly break them. Let them see Him, let them taste Him and know that He is good. But my prayers are not matching up to how I am parenting. I am not taking what they are throwing at me or taking what I am seeing them do and bring it back to the cross.
God spoke to me so clearly about this issue. I can't bring them back to the cross... But He can! Am I diving into His word? Am I allowing it to change me to overflow to those around me?, because you can't spend time with Jesus and not be changed. Not books about Jesus, but His word! His living powerful word!
When I came home and had time to allow some of the many things I wrote down to sink in, I began to share with my hubby and then I had a talk with my kids. All of them, even Caleb (though he was playing with his car) I apologized to them for teaching them to think that if you are good (or at least look like you are good) on the outside that Jesus would love you. Or "That makes Jesus happy." I explained all that I was feeling. I didn't care if they only understood half. I wanted to not water down the Gospel because they are kids. (We don't give them enough credit.) We all had a great talk and my oldest said they knew that apart from Jesus nothing mattered. I believe that was the Lord reminding me that He has this! I just get in the way;)
I can't dish out what I don't do myself. So many times I think "If I just do this" "if I can just keep my mouth shut" If..... I am His daughter, whom He chose before the creation of the world. He has redeemed me and sees me as if I all ready obeyed..... How encouraging is that? If you are His, HE SEES YOU AS IF YOU ALL READY OBEYED! Thank you Jesus.
"Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" Hebrews4:16
Draw from the living waters, drink and never thirst again. He died so we could!!
Thankful for Grace, upon Grace, Upon Grace,