Courage and resolve

Last night I finally got to watch a movie I have been looking forward to for many months – Courageous. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend it! I won’t give the story away, but the general theme is that families need fathers who are committed to being strong, courageous, spiritual leaders in their homes – a principle that I couldn’t agree with more! Although Courageous is specifically aimed at inspiring fathers to live out their best potential, I found this film encouraged me in this way as a mother, too.

Never underestimate the influence fathers have on their children.

Raising children is one of the greatest and most daunting tasks I have ever undertaken. When I stop to think about the influence I have on my children it can be scary – especially when I think about all the time I have failed as a mother. As parents we need to take our role seriously – more seriously than we take our jobs, our hobbies and our friends. Specifically, we need to take the spiritual guidance of our children with the utmost commitment and care.

It is not always easy to follow through on a commitment to being the best parent we can for our kids. There is a spiritual war, and we are in it. Satan knows that if he gets our kids, he will have a good chance of getting many more souls in the future too. There is no doubt that as a Christian parent we will face opposition and attacks in all kinds of forms. It may be obvious, such as physical persecution, but it is probably more likely we will be attacked in more subtle ways. Maybe you find your time being filled with things of lesser importance so that you forget to make regular opportunities to read the Bible with your kids. Maybe you are affected with excessive tiredness, causing you to snap too easily when you should be responding with grace. Maybe you struggle with your marriage, and the effects filter down to your children. There are endless ways you might be attacked, and that is why we need to have courage and resolve. We must take on the fight with the power of God, and determine to overcome all obstacles through ‘Him who strengthens us’ – for this sake of our children’s souls.

A Godly heritage is a blessing we strive to pass on to our children.

The line that stood out to me more than any other in the movie last night was, “I don’t want to be a ‘good-enough’ father.” When we don’t take parenting seriously, we are in danger of thinking that good-enough is good enough. But I think if we settle for good-enough, we are taking a risky road. Instead of nonchalantly accepting that ‘we will never be perfect, so we should be happy with good enough’, let us renew our courage every day and resolve to stand up and give our children the best that we’ve got. After all, God gave us our children. How can we offer Him any less than our very best efforts to raise them in His good and perfect ways?

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Of men and muscles

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
1 Timothy 4:8

Every night I watch my brother and husband work out in our lounge. This started about two weeks ago, due to their desire to flatten their tummies and grow their muscles, and they are pretty faithful to do it every evening. Sometimes they even cajole me into joining them, but I have to admit I prefer to just watch… 🙂

We live in a world where health and fitness is seen as somewhat of a god. People join gyms, buy protein shakes from health food shops and sign up to all kinds exercise classes. Children are taught about the value of regular exercise, cigarettes are legally obliged to come with huge health warnings, and mothers are given information on post-partum ways to work out as soon as possible after giving birth.

Now there is nothing wrong with being healthy – if you’ve read my previous posts you will know that I myself am concerned with helping my family to stay healthy by eating the best kinds of food we can afford. Being healthy is great – but it’s value is a limited-time offer. You see, we can be the healthiest, fittest person on earth, who never gets sick and avoids cancer, diabetes and heart attacks. But in the end, health is only valuable for this life. When you die, health and fitness won’t be an issue! Godliness, however, has eternal value.

Prince takes every opportunity to strengthen his physical muscles. Do we take every opportunity to strengthen our kids’ spiritual muscles?

As parents, we need to keep this truth in mind as we train up our kids. It’s easy to spend hours of time researching how to give your kids the best nutrition for their growing bodies. It’s easy to spend money and time enrolling them into sports and gymnastics, knowing that you are supporting their physical well-being. But more than all that we need to be seeking after ways to regularly feed them spiritually nutritional food, and find ways to encourage them to exercise godliness.

One of the reasons people seek after health is to avoid getting sick. They don’t want to go down with the flu or risk a heart attack by clogging up their arteries with grease. In the same way, we need to exercise godliness so that we can avoid falling into sin. We should be aiming for peak spiritual fitness – for ourselves and our kids. We need to give our families the best spiritual nourishment available to strengthen their souls, so that they will be able to resist the harshest of temptations.

My little boy loves to compare his muscles to Daddy’s muscles. He take joy in seeing how strong he is, and even takes it upon himself to exercise in the hopes of getting stronger as quick as possible! My hope is that I can teach him to have the same kind of passion for developing spiritual muscles, because this will last him for eternity.

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