August 24, 2022
Author: Andrea Maher
When I raised my children, we did family devotions every evening during the weekdays. Our lives were so filled with school responsibilities, sports schedules, and overall daily busyness that we deliberately carved out a time to gather together to talk, debrief from the day, and ultimately teach principles from the Word of God.
I made sure it was interesting, practical, and relatable enough to have four antsy boys sit still for a block of time without dread. The last thing I wanted was for them to view the Bible as boring or not applicable to their daily lives. So, I used creativity.
There were times I would show a clip from a movie and then we would discuss what biblical character traits were present or not. I used articles from newspapers, tossed out cultural dilemmas for discussion points, always with a guided effort to insert the Scriptures into the equation. I was gauging how they processed the world that they were living in. “You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down and rise up (Deuteronomy 11:19).
I checked out what they were learning in Sunday school, so I could find a fresh way to incorporate it into our devotional time — with the goal of reinforcing the lesson. The Holy Spirit impressed on my heart early on in my parental journey that spiritual warfare was a clear and present danger and seeds had to be planted at a young age. “The word of God is alive and active. It is sharper than any double-edged sword. It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 11:12).
So, this is how we rolled! When I finished cleaning the kitchen, I would yell out “devotions,” and the boys would drop what they were doing, and scurry into the Family Room to take their seats. If they happened to have friends at the house, they would unashamedly invite them to take part. (The memory of their friends perplexed faces still brings a smile)! The time was flexible, open-ended and always allowed for subject oriented interruptions, disagreement of opinions, and sometimes brotherly bantering (and the occasional “mom, he’s looking at me)!
Also, being a woman — and a mom of four boys — I knew the importance of planting seeds about the type of girl they should admire and eventually seek as a wife. So, (and I hesitate to say this), I would challenge them to identify the opposite sex as either “Israelites” or “Egyptians.” (The labels were my biblical way of honing in on a world view.) I wanted them to know that no matter how strong they were in their beliefs, there would be one species – the opposite sex–that could influence them in the wrong direction, regardless of how their naïve minds could never imagine such a thing. This notable fact of life originated in “The Garden of Eden!”
I understood the power misdirected sexuality had over a man coupled with the reality that women ultimately drive the tenor of the home and the heartbeat of their children. I desired my boys to have a subliminal “BUYER BEWARE” on their hearts.
This reality is shown pointedly in Numbers 22: King Balak, a Moabite, hired the prophet Balaam to curse the people of Israel. Balaam would be unsuccessful as God would only allow a blessing to come out of his mouth. He tried to curse them three times because he was corrupt and wanted the payment. But because the Israelites were God’s people, it just wouldn’t work. So, Balaam came up with a plan B, a surefire plot. He tells the evil King to send his women (the Moabitesses) into the Israelite camp and have them invite the men to their tents. He knew they would seduce them with their sensuality and introduce them to their idols (aka: counter world view). Sure enough, the men took the bait—and ended up cursing themselves, which resulted in a plague that wiped out twenty-four-thousand of them. (Numbers 25:9)
A woman with a non-biblical worldview is a danger to a Christian man. “A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones” (Proverbs 12:4).
So, if you’re the mom of daughters, what a blessed opportunity to train them up to be Israelites in a world full of Egyptians. Our girls must be mindful that it is God who has given them the power to influence, to complement, and to love the opposite sex in a way that will lift up her man and her home. “A wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down” (Proverbs 14:1).
Now more than ever our girls need to be the type of women, who unashamedly love their God, know their biblical worth, and who, like our biblical mentors, are the ones that faithfully remain at the foot of the cross and the first to declare His resurrection from the tomb.
“And Abram harkened to the voice of Sarah’ (Genesis 16:2)
We must understand these differences and continue to impart biblical values to both our boys and girls that will echo into eternity. The day is indeed short.