Wednesday, February 12, 2014

How Are You Using Your Gift?

Welcome back to the book club! We are reading through the book Women Living Well by Courtney Joseph.
This week we're reading chapters 11 & 12

Chapter 11 The Influence Of A Mother The first paragraph contains two very good questions that each mom should sit and ponder over a good cup of coffee. (Especially on a cold winter day!)

                “Do you know how powerful your influence is?”

                “How do you use that influence?”

As a woman, you have a gift of influence. What you say and do and how you say or do it makes an impression on those around you.  It’s an awesome thing. But it is essential that you use it to influence others in a Godly way.

Those little people living in your home – the ones who don’t sleep through the night…put their shoes on the wrong feet….and have messy rooms… they are greatly influenced by you. What you do and say to them and around them matters. Big time.

This influence you have will do just that – influence- whether or not you have a plan. You need daily input from God to be able to have output that will lead those little ones toward a relationship with God.  Think of your children like sponges. Soaking in whatever is around them. This leads into another question in this chapter.

                “What are your children soaking in from you and from the music, television or friends you choose to bring into your home?”

Take time to really inspect what you do. What you watch. What you listen to. Who you hang with. Does it show your young ones that God is most important in your life? That the best part of life is your relationship with Him? That honoring God comes before anything else?

Chapter 12 is right on the heels of 11. Parenting In The Digital Age Just like what you watch and listen to affects your kids, what you allow them to listen to and watch also affects them.  Satan has so much opportunity to get into your children’s lives with all the sources of media available. It is a huge responsibility as a parent to monitor the input into their lives.

Another good question is posed:

                “Will the world change your children or will your children change the world?”

You want to raise your kiddos right. You want them to follow God. To put Him first in their lives. Satan desires exactly the opposite for them, and he puts up a good fight. One you have to engage in daily.

Set standards for your kids. Biblically based and with an attitude of love. Then enforce them. Don’t be afraid if you are not popular for this. That’s ok. You’re not parenting to be popular, you’ve got a serious job with eternal impact.

Know what they are watching. What games they are playing. What they are listening to. What they are saying. Who they are talking to. And how much time they are spending on mere entertainment. How is it affecting them now? How is it affecting their attitudes? Their outlook on life? Their view of God? Their relationship with God? Their work ethic? How will it affect them down the road?

Is it encouraging selfishness? Allowing laziness to grow? Lowering their standards? Making sin seem normal and ok? Feeding an appetite for the world? Choking out a hunger for God?

Teach them how to be wise with media. Don’t just make rules. Don’t just tell them. Teach them why. Help their hearts to grow discernment so they will be able to guide themselves when you are not around. Teach them the reasons some things are not good for them to see…hear…watch…play. Teach them not only the difference between right and wrong but also between profitable and the things that waste their time or stunt their spiritual growth. Teach them to be wise in how they use their life…for self or for God. Equip them for life. For a life that honors God.

I sit here thinking how to end this in a catchy way. But my heart wants to keep writing. The importance of this can’t be communicated enough in one little post on one little blog. Prayer. That is how this should end. Prayer is your greatest weapon of defense against Satan’s fight for your children. Pray. Pray. Then pray some more. They are really God’s kids after all. You are the one He chose to raise them. To teach them. To point them back to Him. Pray that He will give you wisdom as you model and teach. Pray that he will show you how to use your gift of influence in the lives of the young ones you tuck in each night.

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