Monday, July 12, 2010


"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

Hebrews 10:23-25

example: "a person or thing regarded in terms of their fitness to be imitated or likelihood of their being imitated"

I've always enjoyed the opportunity to glean the wisdom and inspiration of others. As a wife and mother, it is particularly important for me to have older, more experienced, biblically-grounded women to spur me on to bring glory to God in my role and tasks.

I find great motivation in the above verse. The mental image of "spurs" brings greater depth to the meaning of the admonition, I think. When we want a horse to "giddy up", we have to dig in with our heels and "motivate" him to move forward! This is true among believers, too. We aren't naturally inclined to do our best, strive to serve others, please the Lord, be productive, etc. As humans, by default, we tend to do what makes things more comfortable and convenient for ourselves. It is for this reason that Jesus commanded us to "love [our] neighbor[s] as [ourselves]". I'm ill-equipped to offer a psychoanalysis, but even someone who struggles with a so-called inferiority complex, depression, low self-esteem, and the like, is still -- once the layers are peeled away -- considering all of life from the perspective of self. So, since we innately concern ourselves primarily with what makes us most satisfied, we are told by our Lord to redirect our efforts and make others the beneficiaries of our good will.

The portion of the passage that admonishes us to "not give up meeting together" is almost always applied to Sunday morning worship attendance, but I think it's much broader than that. I think it ties in nicely with the doctrine that Paul taught to Titus when he gave an outline of the way that older and younger believers should relate to one another (Titus 2). How can we "spur one another on" if we are not meeting together? And when we meet together, what exactly are we to "spur one another on" to accomplish?

Obviously, spurs are a painful motivator, and at times it doesn't feel warm and fuzzy to be directly admonished to live a certain way. A wise example of right living can be an offense to anyone who is resistant to change. This described me in my early years of motherhood/wifehood. Praise be to God that His plan is perfect and He worked in my heart to make me receptive to the biblical input of godly women.

Once we get beyond the basic aspects of our Christian walk (Hebrews 6:1-3; 5:14), it's necessary to examine the daily use of the time God gives us. The nitty-gritty details do matter, and we must ask ourselves whether our moment-by-moment choices are in line with the goals we pursue as we seek to do God's will on a grander scale. How will I "prepare my mind for action" (I Peter 1:13) if I'm sitting in front of the TV letting Oprah determine my worldview? And for what kind of action is my mind to be prepared? How will I train my children in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6) if the lion's share of their instruction comes by way of example of their peers who also require training and admonition, or the pop-philosophy of some young, rebellious music artist?

I'm in that time of year again where I begin browsing my own bookshelves for fresh inspiration for the blessed calling that is Motherhood. As I consider curriculum for our upcoming homeschool year, I'm also considering habits that need to die, ways to refine our routine, skills that need polishing, prayer concerns (which I should have mentioned first), and character training. At the same time, I'm pondering the fact that our oldest daughter -- recently graduated -- will be away from us for the upcoming fall months as she goes to help a young family with their children, and wondering if I've sufficiently done my part to prepare her for the next season of her life.

When I discover a helpful resource, I like to share it. Craig and I have made a habit of buying extra copies of especially relevant books to share with friends who may benefit from them. There are also CDs and DVDs that have enriched our parenting, which we've loaned on occasion. Across the web, I've been greatly encouraged by a few blogs where the authors aim to inspire us to work more efficiently as keepers of the home.

Having procrastinated since our school year ended in late May, I was relieved to be reminded by a friend that it was high time I brought some order to our summer days. I immediately got to work on drafting a new daily routine for all of us, which has proven a bit difficult to follow now that we're preparing to move back to the States, but will be ever so helpful when we're ready to resume it again in a few weeks.

This year, I've enhanced my preparation by adding to my home-keeping arsenal a couple of very edifying and practical blogs. Passionate Homemaking I've mentioned before, and the author is a wonderful example of godly womanhood. The second is one I've just discovered today via that same blog, and the author of this one is hosting a giveaway. Her list of blog topics speaks to her passion for running a home efficiently and to God's glory. She's giving away a music CD, and the current topic is motivation. She wants to encourage her readers to take action and stop procrastinating, realizing that no day is promised and we should make the most of every opportunity.

Even after eighteen years, I still love to soak in practical ideas, and these young ladies bring a fresh, new perspective. There's always something new to learn, and I urge you to visit and be encouraged, as well.

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