Yesterday evening in church we sang this song Find us Faithful. The chorus goes like this:
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave
Lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
And when we sing this song I often wonder… what is the focus of our thoughts and prayers here while we sing? Is it ‘find us faithful”/help us be faithful? Or is it us thinking “oh, yes, please let our children believe and obey”. I'm not saying it's wrong to pray that our children believe. We all know the urgency for our children to believe. And too often we think we’re the ones who can make them believe. And it’s good to want them to believe. But do we forget about the rest of this chorus? Do we forget about the great responsibility we have that it mentioned? If we want them to believe, to obey, they must find us faithful! And in order for them to find us faithful, we need to be faithful! We can't just pray for their salvation and then live as though God is not central to our lives!
How can we be faithful? Is attending church every Sunday, volunteering for various activities/committees in church and reading the Bible and praying before and after meals enough? Unfortunately, it’s not! Really, unless our faith permeates every aspect of our lives, the rest of that is just appearance of faithfulness and often meaningless as it doesn't reflect our hearts.
How can they find us faithful? Well, God works in wonderful ways. :) I was pondering this question through the evening yesterday and through the night and into this morning as I awoke. And this morning the first thing I did was put music on the stereo (Apple TV) and I put Rich Mullins on because I haven’t listened to him for quite some time. The first song that came on was Step By Step. Some of the lyrics of that song are
“I will seek You in the morning
And I will learn to walk in Your ways
And step by step, You'll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days”
“I will seek You in the morning”! Well, that’s the beginning of our answer to how our children and the generations to follow will find us faithful. That’s the start to making our faith permeate every aspect of our lives – start our day with HIM! Start our day in prayer and in the word. And yes, sometimes this means getting up well before the children get up so that we can do this undistracted. But if that doesn’t work? Get the kids children’s Bible books and let them have their own Bible time when you have yours! That way you are also teaching them to start their day with God! And by learning to start their day with God, they will develop faith. Which is exactly your goal with them – that they believe! :) Do I do this perfectly? Far from it!! But it certainly is my goal, my desire!
And when we "seek [Him] in the morning" and "learn to walk in [His] ways" then He will lead us "step by step" on the path of righteousness, the path of faith. And we "will follow [Him] all of [our] days" and our children, and our children's children, etc will "find us faithful".
I’ve been reading a devotional and another book recently and the funny thing is, they both recommend having a family and/or personal mission statement or purpose statement. It needs to be specific enough to be able to follow and general enough to encompass all aspects of your life. The thing about creating something like this is, it becomes what determines all the decisions you make in the day, in your life.
Say your mission statement is something like
“To pursue Jesus with my whole heart, to glorify Him in all aspects of my life
To be a loving wife and show my husband how I admire and respect him
To engage with my children and help them grow up to be children of God
To show Christ to all around me through the things I say and do”
Then this will influence your actions throughout the day. You will start your day with Christ. Maybe your kids will wake up fighting. Will you yell and scream at them? Well, that’s not really engaging them and helping them grow to be children of God. Nor is it showing Christ to them through the things you say. So you’re going to stop and take a breath and respond in a Christ-like manner instead of react in anger. And this will continue throughout the day, into the next, into the weeks and months and years ahead. And your faith will permeate your life and when you die your children will say, “She/He was faithful! Thank God for the legacy of faith my Mom/Dad left for us!”
Start your day with Christ. Seek Him in the morning! Let Him and His word permeate your life! And in the end, your children will find you faithful!