ephesians 3 Tag

 

Loveless Obedience

17 Mar 2014 Posted by Jillian in Becoming More Like Jesus, Blog, Motherhood, Quest for Contentment

  “Do not touch things that do not belong to you.”  I feel like a broken record with my son.  He has far too much curiosity to remember the 500 times I have told him to not touch things that are not his.  The other day, he was playing with one of grandma’s figurines, and it broke.  Of course.  I told him not to touch it/play with it, but he could not resist.  The result was:  something that had value to someone else was broken.  Disobedience usually results in someone getting hurt.   It is hard for Joshua to learn this lesson because it does not hurt him when he breaks something that belongs to someone else.  It does not hurt him when he frustrates his sister by playing with her things.  The only “pain” he feels is the consequences that I impose on him, in order to help the message stick.  I give him a consequence because I want his heart to care.   The whole point of consequences is to turn the heart back on course.  The problem is, kids can learn to obey, mainly to avoid a consequence, but it does not mean that their heart has actually changed.  Do I want Joshua to learn to obey in order to avoid a negative consequence, or do I just want him to learn to respect other people’s things?  Obviously I want the latter.   In order to achieve a change of heart, the heart needs to be addressed and engaged.  When Joshua broke grandma’s glass elephant, his heart was touched when I explained how sad that would make grandma.  He suddenly felt awful and wished he had obeyed.  He learned the hard way, and unfortunately, someone else had to get hurt as well before the lesson began to sink in.  (Thankfully he is learning these lessons when the “hurt” is relatively minor)   We are God’s children and the obedience he calls us to plays by the same rules.  Our heart must be engaged in order for the obedience to have great value.   Lately, I feel like I have been doing just about everything because I “should.”  I should keep up with the house work.  I should spend some time with God. …

Pursued

30 Apr 2013 Posted by Jillian in Becoming More Like Jesus, Blog, Drawing Near to God, friendship, Quest for Contentment

In one of my earlier posts, I wrote about how blogging feels a bit vulnerable.  It is like journaling in public.  Most of the time, I am happy as a clam to “journal in public” because I firmly believe that if we are free to be raw and honest, we offer others the opportunity to learn with us and get to know us.  Our experiences may not be the same, but the lessons are similar.  In the end, God wants us all to realize his passionate love for us and have the freedom to express our growing love for Him, wherever we may be at on the journey with Him.   I want to let you know up front that this post, in particular, feels vulnerable.  In many ways, I feel healed from the lies and questions I have wrestled with over the years when it comes to this topic.  But today I am grateful that God is thorough and does not want to leave even the tiniest piece of decay (lie) in my heart.  Maybe he has a little work to do in your heart, too?   This weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a 27-hour Christian youth event called Acquire the Fire (ATF) in Lansing with our youth group.  The theme of the event was “Relentless Pursuit.”  God is relentlessly pursuing each one of us and he longs for us to pursue him with that same relentless passion.   The word “pursue” has always evoked emotion for me.  I have not known what it looks like to be pursued by a person until recent years, so I found it difficult to grasp the concept of God pursuing me.   As women, one of the major ways we learn what love and pursuit are is through the men in our lives.  If those men set poor examples of love, it can be more difficult to imagine the great and powerful love and pursuit of God.   My story:   I have a dad, whom I dearly love and I know loves me; however, he has lived a 3-5 hour airplane ride away from me my whole life.  He has always been busy with work and other interests, and he did not invest a…

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