Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Parenting - Help me Jesus

For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices. 
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure (undefiled); then it is peace-loving, courteous (considerate, gentle). [It is willing to] yield to reason, full of compassion and good fruits; it is wholehearted and straightforward, impartial and unfeigned (free from doubts, wavering, and insincerity). James 3:16-17 AMP

This morning, after an interesting evening last night, I felt to re-declare this scripture over our family. What challenging moments we can have as parents. Sometimes it is definitely not as picturesque as the image above - all gliding down the river in peaceful unity.

I am always so thankful for God's word, for the truth and hope it brings. What a beautiful vision verse 17 gives (as opposed to verse 16!) - a home filled with purity, peace-loving, courteousy, gentleness, always yielding to reason, full of compassion, overflowing with good fruits, free from doubts, wavering and insincerity.

That vision may sound like pure fantasy to some people. But I know we have a God who is able to turn situations around, bringing love, healing and restoration. 

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20 NKJV

I am under no illusion that this type of change comes instantly. And while we have a loving Heavenly Father who brings the healing, we have a part to play too. A part that involves repentance, forgiveness, yielding to God and not letting the flesh have it's way.

I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these things are contrary to one another, so that you do no do the things that you wish. Galatians 5:16-17 NKJV
A part that involves letting His presence change us,

But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence), Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 AMP

It is a process of transformation, a process that gives us hope. In our kitchen I still  have an artwork on the wall that one of our children did in 2012, when she was in kindergarten. It is still there on purpose (not because I was slack with cleaning up). The title is 'God isn't finished with me yet' and then it has three pictures in a line, left to right .... a caterpillar, our daughter, and a butterfly. The scripture is Psalm 139:14 - I praise you because of the wonderful way you created me.

Praise God we don't go through this transformation alone, but rather with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the love and support of family and friends.  He is on our side, and wants to see homes filled with people living His way with love and peace. Let's ask Jesus to help us play our part in that vision today.

Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. Galatians 5:25 The Message

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