Tuesday, July 22, 2008

In Other Words--Building a House of Faith

“We, as women, think of ourselves as mothers, teachers, nurses and so on, but God says that we are builders. We usually relegate this role to the men, but we are building with something far greater than brick and timber.”
~Nancy Campbell, The Power of Motherhood~

Jesus taught us in Matthew 7:24-25
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

We will be wise builders if we put into practice the words of Jesus. Building wisely is important! We want what we build to withstand the winds of derision and change. This is true of our physical creations, but it is even more true of our spiritual well-being.

The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
~Proverbs 14:1~

I know that my faith and that of my children will be tested in this world. The one thing I want to be absolutely sure of is that I am not the one tearing down the house of faith with my own hands! So, how do we "build" a house of faith in our children?

First, we build it in ourselves! We cannot teach them something that we do not know ourselves. We need to be in the Word, praying and applying God's principles in our own lives. If we are not, our children will only see us as stumbling blocks not building blocks.

Second, we need to recognize the "building moments" in every day. Often these moments seem like distractions, but they are imperative.

*When Flower brings me a handful of daisies out of the garden while I am cooking dinner, I need to stop and receive them graciously and not be pre-occuppied with my task. This is building a sense that she is important enough for me to stop and consider her.
*When Jewel cries out in the middle of the night, legs cramping with growing pains, I need to calmly reassure her and massage out the pain. This is building a level of trust that no matter when the need occurs, someone loves her.
*When the girls are asking me a myriad of "how?" and "what?" and "why?" questions I need to be patient in answering them because I am laying the foundation of solid belief and knowledge.
*When German needs me to run an unexpected errand for him I need to do so without grumbling in front of the children, no matter how inconvenienced I feel. This builds a foundation for them to be gracious and considerate wives some day.
*When I am preparing for Bible Study group or Small Group Fellowship, I need to do so with joy. This builds a foundation that serving God is a blessing not a chore.
*When someone in the community is rude to me, I need to be respectful back. My children are watching and learning merciful speech.
*When someone is hurting, I need to be quick to help. I'm building caring actions in my kids.
*When a friend has made mistakes, no matter how grievous the sin, I need to forgive quickly and completely. I'm building forgiveness in my girls.

By seeing the "interruptions" and "inconveniences" of the day as building moments, I lay a foundation that Jewel and Flower can build their own house on in years to come.

Finally, as parents we must recognize that we are not the only builders in our children's lives. Paul expressed this in 1 Corinthians 3:10-11 when he wrote of his evangelistic work:
By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

We are laying foundations in their lives and hopefully giving them strong building blocks of faith. But others will come along and build on what we have layed. We must endeavor to place people in our children's lives who are also building with the Word of God. We want the building that happens in their lives to be godly, so we must be diligent in our awareness of who is building and what may need to be torn away.

Father God, please help me to be a diligent builder in my children's lives. Help me to lay the foundation blocks for the faith that will come. Please come alongside me and make their faith their own. I want them to know You. And, God, please help me to aid them in developing friendships and relationships that will point them to You. In the name of the precious Cornerstone of our Faith, Jesus, Amen.

Chelsey at Joyfully Living For His Glory is this week's hostess for In Other Words. Come and be blessed!


Denise said...

Really beautiful post sweetie.

lori said...

THAT was fabulous...My mind went immediately to the verse about rock and sand....
We are being watched and heard...building and constructing all the time!

Wonderfully said!

Karen said...

The process starts with us, how true. We are the ones who are responsible for demonstrating how its done. Sand or rock we get to choose which to build on.

Kristin said...

Well said dear. We all need reminders that how we act day in and day out are so important to the kids we are raising.

Laurie Ann said...

God bless you for the wonderful examples you are setting before your children and before us in sharing your post. You have a beautiful heart and I'm so glad you shared it with us.

Kathy C. said...

Ahh how true. Our reactions to the daily distractions of life are the building blocks of who we are. We must be so careful to see the outcome of what will be built in us each day.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing. Yes, our children can be our mirror reflections. Thank you for the reminders.

a woman found said...

oh I loved this post! i was just meditating on those words in 1 Corinthians the other day. It must begin with me and my example is soooo important!