Friday, February 20, 2015

Stamping the Image of Christ

I've always loved to read, but once I had children, my "free" hours seem to be getting fewer and fewer. I tend to be a lot more selective with my reading choices. I always have a stack of "waiting to be read" material. Last week, I picked up a book that I have had on the waiting list for several years. I'd fallen in love with this author in high school (she has the best book ever on establishing Biblical guidelines for dating and waiting on God's best - Lady in Waiting). I love that her writing style includes so much Scripture. I was excited to dig into "The Mentoring Mom: 11 Ways to Model Christ for Your Child." Before kids, I might have breezed through this book in a day or two, but now, I tend to "chew" on a chapter for a little while.

I've been contemplating that first chapter for about a week now. The privilege I am given as a mom to stamp the impression of Christ on our kids is overwhelming. I love teaching Hudson Bible verses and singing Christian songs with both kids. We read Bible stories, watch Biblical cartoons and try to reinforce the lessons they learn at church.

I know the impact my parents had on my spiritual growth, and I am excited and scared to death that I have that responsibility with my own children. I think that's why I've been putting off reading this book...If I didn't read it, I wasn't responsible for implementing these truths. The task felt overwhelming. But after the first chapter, I am excited...I want to model Christ to my kids and help them see the importance of devoting their lives to the Lord.

One life wholly devoted to God is of more value to God
than one hundred lives simply awakened by His Spirit.
Oswald Chambers

I think I felt that I hadn't been mentored enough. I felt that I needed to gain more Biblical knowledge and be under someone else's instructions longer before I would be able to adequately train my children. But then I read this sentence...

The good news is, being a mentoring mom is a learned science, 
and as long as you are teachable, you will be able to stamp good images
 on your children's lives.

Mentoring doesn't need to be a formal "sit down and let's talk" weekly appointment. It's simply "making disciples" like Jesus talked about in Matthew 28:19. It means to "stamp and image" on another individual...and I can start stamping the image of Christ on my kids everyday. Hudson asks to pray at meals and before going to sleep. He lists people he wants to pray for, and we are often surprised at his tender, observant heart. The simple activity of praying consistently with him has taught him that prayer is important and necessary.

I began reflecting on those who have stamped the image of Christ on me. Throughout my life, I have been greatly influenced by several key individuals...

I thought of my mom's gentle spirit and dedication to the Word of God. Her desire to encourage others and make her home welcoming to others has helped form who I am today. I remember a modesty talk that my youth pastor's wife gave at a retreat. A professor in college took me under her wing and taught me so much. I find myself asking, "What would Mrs. Martin do?" often. My roommate in college had such a consistent quiet time. Her devotion and dedication stuck with me. Another friend, though older, is memorizing entire books of the Bible. She's taught me that there is always something for me to learn. The Lord prompted me to send a certain Scripture verse to a friend via email after she'd had a miscarriage. That friend told me, "Always follow through when the Lord prompts you to share a verse with someone...It was exactly what I needed." The list could go on and on...

In this "Stay-at-Home-Mom" phase of life,  I often find myself falling into a trap, though. I tend to think that my days of being mentored are over or on pause. But the first chapter in this book addressed that too! Some mentors are even found in the pages of a book. And so, being a list maker, I started writing down influential books in my life. 

I've been mentored by Elisabeth Elliot in Passion and Purity. Rachel Scott's testimony in this book encouraged me to keep journaling. Henry Blackaby in Experiencing God. Nancy Leigh Demoss in A Place of Quiet Rest. Carol Kent in Becoming a Woman of Influence. A.W. Tozer in "The Pursuit of God." Francis Chan in "Crazy Love" and Beth Moore in "Jesus the One and Only" and "Stepping Up." The list could go on and on...and I will continue to add to it because I want to remain teachable. I am so thankful that I can be encouraged and influenced by another Christian's written word. These authors will never know it, but they are mentoring me. 

And so, at the end of those days where I picked up toys and changed diapers and wiped noses, I will keep having my time in the Word and my time with a Christian author. Because in order to stamp the image of Christ on my children, I need to make sure I am continually surrounding myself with material that stamps the image of Christ on me.

No comments:

Post a Comment