Armor

Usually in my prayer life I am pretty straight forward with God.  Never disrespectful, I always understand my place in this relationship.  But I figure: if He already knows my thoughts and my heart, there is no place for pretense.

Lately, as I put on my spiritual armor (see Ephesians  6:10-20) I have been telling God that we need some updates.  I think the armor could stand a couple modern additions.  First, I think we a comm would be a good idea.  A cute little earbud that lets us communicate more effectively, more directly.  And second, night vision goggles {am I right?} would be excellent for this spiritual battle with darkness.

So at church Sunday, as I am worshipping God, I think about my armor.  I smile at my ideas, thinking maybe this time I can help God out a little.  And that’s when He reminds me of a few basic truths.

First, He already knows my thoughts and all I ever have to do is listen for that still small voice (1Kings 19:12).  No comms necessary.  Second, He is the light.  I have the best flashlight ever!!  I am not supposed to see into the darkness, I am supposed to shine a light into the darkness.  No night vision needed.

I love love love how God gently reminds me of the truth.  I love how the WORD I have hidden in my heart comes alive as God uses the truth I know to correct my thinking.  I am so thankful that God loves me enough to correct me, and that He is gentle every time He does.

Of course, God doesn’t leave it there.  Today (10/31) the devotional from Experiencing God has this quote:

God has provided you with spiritual armor that is more than sufficient to withstand any assault

Ok God, I get it.

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Courtship

When we began homeschooling almost 20 years ago, the idea of Courtship was big.  The concept is noble.  If you protect your children’s hearts from breakup they will be more pure and whole for their spouse one day.  If these children only have one relationship in their lives, then they won’t have so much emotional baggage to deal with and their marriage should be stronger.

It sounds great in theory.  But years later it wasn’t working.  Many of the young ladies eagerly accepted their father’s leadership but were finding themselves single into their 30s and beyond.

So why did this beautiful idea fail?  I don’t have all the answers, but I awoke this morning with a curious question on my mind.  Have we taught our children to be stingy with their love?

God’s love is a beautiful thing; a thing meant to be shared generously.  Granted, purity is His idea and a worthy pursuit.  I am not talking about living like the world does in regard to unmerited intimacy.

Today I think the idea of courtship is too self-focused.  And that is not the way Jesus asked us to live our lives.  We are to love others with all the love God gives us after we have loved Him wholly.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers or to be an expert on the situation.  My teenage children are not married.  We have had many bumps on this road: when your children’s hearts get broken, it hurts a mama.

God is sovereign.  And He is the expert with all the answers for each of our children and their relationships both with friend, spouses, and Himself.  Ultimately my children’s relationship with God is the one I pray to be strengthened and made more intimate.  I’m sure this walk is different for every human being.  I am so thankful that God walks with us to give us wisdom and understanding.

I hope by sharing this one question I woke with, that I have helped someone gain a better focus.  To God be the Glory.

AJ