Saturday, February 16

"Thus saith the Lord, stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls." Jer. 6:16

The children are quiet in bed and I am sitting in the living room in front of the wood stove, a slice of buttered and honeyed bread by my side with a glass of water. This little one safe in my womb is wiggling his toes up under my ribs, making his presence known and I find myself wishing for the 5th time that I wasn't so short waisted.
My eyes and spirit have been drawn continually to this passage of scripture for the last few days. I have been meditating on in in the context of parenting and more specifically motherhood. With so many trends in parenting, so much "wisdom" being offered in every magazine and website, I just long for the simple and the basic truths.

What I've noticed about this verse is that it gives order in its instruction:
1. "stand ye in the ways, and see"As a parent, I want to surround myself with examples of strong families. I love to people watch! I love to see the dynamics of families as they interact. Nothing motivates me quite as much as spending time in the presence of a godly mother who, despite the hiccups motherhood throws, has got it going on, set on a specific goal.
For whatever your goals are, find examples to watch and see and emulate!

2. "and ask for the old paths"
Acquiring wisdom, in whatever subject you are intent on studying, involves asking. While the transfer of wisdom at one time was strictly verbal/auditory, now we have additional resources such as the internet and books and television.
Research your subject. Ask literally and figuratively. Do ask. I love to spend time with a few friends in particular because they motivate me to be a more godly woman and to be a better mother. Find people who have accomplished what you want to accomplish and glean from them.
When you come across free "wisdom" , from whatever source, ask yourself how it lines up with God's word and His instruction.

3. "where is the good way"Once you begin to ask and research, you'll need to discern which way is the good way. I think for every methodology of parenting there is an expert saying it is the best way. There are so many ideas on parenting touted that basically, according to the wisdom of the world, you can't be wrong as long as you have good intentions.
Researching moms who have mothered successful godly children encourages me. I always hold at arms length the modern day people who are emulated in the public eye. Until their lives are over or they have stood the test of time, you just don't know what fruit they are going to produce or what skeletons will come crawling out of their closets. I guess I am a skeptic in that sense.

4. "and walk therein"
After watching, asking, and discerning comes the walking. Walking is often the hardest part in parenting. I may have a head full of knowledge that knows what I should do and what is best to do. Somehow that knowledge has to become conviction. Conviction lies in the heart and will motivate me to do what I know I should.
A baby learning how to walk doesn't just get up and run a marathon one day. He begins slowly and unsteadily and determinedly. It is his determination that leads to success.

5. "and ye shall find rest for your souls"
Having a parenting routine and having confidence and trust in God to establish our home and guide my mothering does bring a peace to my soul. It's just when I falter and fall that that peace flies out the window!

The rest of verse 16 tells how the people of God rejected the Lord's wisdom for their own wisdom. It seems that's been a reoccurring theme in many areas, including parenting, in recent history.

Read more about influential mothers here.


Eleanor Joyce said...

This post brings to mind Acts 17:11. There is no lack of parenting advice and marital advice and all kinds of advice on the web and elsewhere. We owe it to ourselves, our families, and our God to do like the Bereans. They not only received the word with all readiness of mind from the apostles, but they searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. We ultimately draw true strength and wisdom from the primary source - God himself.

Andrea said...

What a wonderful post.
I am always trying to "glean" from mothers--young or old--around me. I love how you took apart this verse in regards to mothering.

Me said...

I love it when preachers refer to Acts 17 and tell their listeners to look things up for themselves. In my mind, it lends them so much more credibility.
And Andrea, I love it when older more experienced mothers lend themselves to mentoring younger mothers. Unfortunately, there seems to be a shortage.

Kelly @ The Barefoot Mama said...

I love this post. Your insights into these particular verses are great and a wonderful blessing! I couldn't agree more with your thoughts - and hooray for those wiggly toes of the little one on the way! :o)

Anonymous said...

thanks for the comment my fellow blogger... i thought i linked to you as well but i guess i dont... consider you linked NOW

Anonymous said...

I love that verse. God brought it to my attention when I needed to fine tune some weak spots in our homeschool. The answer was, of course, to return to the old ways and at the same time learn His ways. He brought it to me in conjunction with " As the heavens are higher than the earth, so also are His ways higher than our ways and His thoughts than our thoughts. Know what? It worked far better than any of the other approaches I tried.

Me said...

Kelly, thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment! Yes, we are very thankful for the wiggly toes rubbing my ribs!
Mark! A man post! So unusual! Thanks!
Susie, thanks so much for your thoughts on homeschooling with this verse. I think it can be aptly applied to a lot of life and maybe that's why I was so drawn to it!