Friday, June 22, 2012

Cultivating an Appetite for God

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 "Children will have an appetite for whatever they are fed in their earliest, formative years. I have known young people from 'committed' Christian homes who know more about movie stars and rock groups than they do about the patriarchs or the disciples. They can sing along with all the top hit songs but do not know the great hymns of the faith. I can only assume that they have an appetite for what they have been exposed to." -Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Lies Women Believe

As I read Nancy Leigh DeMoss' book, Lies Women Believe, these words forced me to a sudden halt. Children will have an appetite for what they have been exposed to. What am I exposing my daughter to? What is the emphasis in our home?

I'm just beginning the journey of parenthood, with an eleven month old baby girl. My strong desire is to nurture her in the fear and admonition of the Lord. I would have "no greater joy" than to see my child walking in the truth. My husband and I pray that she would far surpass us in her spiritual life and achievements; that she would love Him with all her heart, soul, and mind, and serve Him with all her strength.

How can I cultivate these things in her? Certainly if she comes to know God and walk in His ways, it will be primarily a work of the Spirit of God. But are we furnishing a home compatible to His working? How can I develop in her a healthy appetite for the things of God?

Conviction struck a blow to my conscience. I cannot pass along an appetite for God that I don't personally possess. My own heart so loves the things of the world. I hunger for entertainment, personal comfort, material things...not the things of God.

Children are wise, intuitive. They see us and hear us and read between the lines. Hypocrisy does not escape their observant hearts. Our lifestyles are sending messages.

If we claim to love God and His word, but invest more time and express more joy and interest in the things of the world, we've undermined the values we so desperately want them to catch. If Christ is my treasure, it will be seen by my little girl in my priorities, my habits, my speech, my love, my life.

It starts now. She may be little, but the days are flying. If I am not seeking Him first now, then I am wasting precious time. Today I must put Him first. Today I must seek Him through His Word and prayer, and strive to be a vessel of His grace.

It will mean begging Him to give me unquenchable hunger and thirst for righteousness. It will mean forcing myself to my knees for focused daily prayer, even when I don't feel like it. It will mean cutting back on excessive entertainment and investing myself in things of eternal significance.

Today is the day to seek the Lord while He may yet be found. To plead for my daughter's soul, and to labor diligently after personal holiness. To count everything as loss in light of the surpassing worth of Christ. To adorn these works that the Word of God may not be reviled before my children.

What a high calling He has placed before us. I am so far from where He has asked me to be, there is such a long way to go on the road of following Christ. Yet the desire is there, and follow I must. 

In what ways are you striving to pass along a healthy spiritual appetite to your children? How do you practically center your home around the things of God?

2 comments:

  1. So convicting. I know myself I am SO guilty of this and struggle constantly to center my life around Him.

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    Replies
    1. Welcome to fallen humanity :). There will always be a tension between our flesh and the Spirit, won't there? It is a big struggle for me!

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