By Heather Allen –
On this sanctification journey there are moments where I reflect on where I have been. Sometimes I travel pretty far back, to the spot where it began: on my knees, next to my bed, at the age of six. Even as a little one I felt an internal conflict when I was asked to do something I did not want to do. At times I disobeyed, and other times I lied. I fought with my brothers when they provoked me. For the most part I was a happy kid in a happy home.
And my world grew as I grew, and I found myself struggling with other types of sin. The root was pretty much the same, selfishness and conceit. I think I loved God since I was a wee tot, but verbalizing that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead gave life to my heart.
A few nights ago I was reading the news headlines, our world has been set on fire. Sexual sin is everywhere. Theft, dishonesty, and dishonorable behavior are the new norm. At one point I closed my computer and laid flat on my face. This is an age of deception and I am fighting to keep from being deceived. I feel the weight of contending with sin every single day. And it is tiresome. But then I think about all of the changes in me. There are thousands of small, daily victories where I have not given into my wants and feelings. And learning to deny myself has led to character change.
A friend of mine said, “We will not be pure on accident, it will be something we fight hard for.” I think she is right. The point of purity is not so I can look shiny and clean and it isn’t just a nice thing to say because I am a Christ follower. It is a down and dirty all out battle against my flesh. It shows up everywhere, even in the grocery checkout where I am assaulted by magazine cover stories featuring infidelity, selfishness, and greed. All presented in such a photo-shopped way, that the average girl cannot help but wonder what went wrong in her genetic pool. It is a mind game. And as a whole, one I do not see being won.
So, how do I raise my kids in this culture? How do I raise two Daniels and one Deborah? My solution is not youth group, or Sunday school classes. It is not counseling or involving them in good activities. This is battle. And being involved in good things is not the same as being armed.
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:9-11 NIV).
At some point, they will, like all of us, have to choose. They will decide. But while my babies are still home, I will teach them to hide the word in their hearts. I write this knowing that hiding His word in my heart will provide the only map that keeps me from stumbling head long into the apostasy minefield that Jude spoke of. The truth is I need to be cleaned and changed and the only source I know is the Word. It is, after all, what endures.
“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8 NIV).
Heather Allen spends most of her time caring for her hubby and 3 kids. Check out her blog: http://www.theknottedapron.blogspot.com/