Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~Little Eyes Are Upon Us~ June 17, 2013

I recently saw a tv commercial for bottled water where the little boy does exactly as his father does.  Every movement, every choice he made, he did because his father did so first.  I have noticed the same to be true of my boys.  They are looking at their daddy to see how they should behave.

I was talking with my mother just this week about how different things are now.  Saying things like: “please, thank you or yes sir or ma’am” have gone out the window.  Boys no longer open doors for girls as they once did, why should they, she can get it herself.  In public, you see these young men berating their girlfriends instead of treating her like a lady and you have to wonder, where they are learning that behavior.

I am not trying to place the blame solely on the dads, however, your boys are watching you whether you realize it or not.  Do you ask for things politely or do you make demands?  When you go through the door, do you step back and let your wife and daughters go ahead of you or do you rush in and let the door slam in their face?  How do you talk to your wife in front of others?  Do you honor her with your words or tear her down?  I know with my husband, nothing gets him hotter than when one of our boys talks disrespectfully to me.  He comes to my defense like a wild man and makes it perfectly clear that he will not tolerate that sort of behavior.  And it melts my heart.  Because I know, that by his actions, he is teaching our boys to one day be protective of their spouses and to treat all women with respect.

Now guys, don’t fret.  Even if your dad didn’t exactly set a shining example on how to do this kid-raising thing, your Father in heaven is happy to show you the way.  It is never too late to get in the Word which is full of advice for all your parenting woes.  The very best way that all kids learn is through example, so start living out what it teaches in front of them. Although it may sound good to say, “I’m the adult so do what I say not as I do,” it doesn’t typically fly with the little people.  If you want kind, respectful children, then be a kind and respectful adult for them to model their behavior after.

Shadow-of-Father-and-Son

“Direct your children onto the right path

and when they are older,

they will not leave it.”

(Proverbs 22:6 NLT)

 

~The Truth & Nothing But The Truth~ May 23, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 6:43 am
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blurredtruthEver know anyone who said the Bible is open to interpretation?  I know parts of the Bible can be confusing but I don’t see any “gray” areas.  Granted, some secret things belong to the Lord and only the Lord “but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of his law.” (Deuteronomy 29:29)

Knowing that, how can anyone say that they believe in God and then go through His Word, picking and choosing what is truth and what is subject to opinion?  The Bible in it’s entirety is what we are to live by in order for our Christian lives to be whole & complete.

In Deuteronomy 4:2, Moses tells the Israelites:

“Do not add to what I commanded you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.”

As oftentimes is the case, I see comparisons in God’s word to parenting.  My oldest son is the worst about doing “half” of what I ask him to do.  For example, I say “Isaiah, take all your dirty laundry downstairs, put your darks in the wash, your whites in the basket.  Don’t forget to bring up your clean clothes and put them all away.”  While he manages to get the clothes to the laundry room, they end up in a heap on the floor in the vicinity of the washing machine.  Clean stack may or may not reach it’s destination but they certainly do not find their way to the closet.  The end of his bed is about as far as he can manage.  When I call to his attention that he did not quite follow directions, I get the exhausted response of a teenager.  As he huffs and walks away, I explain the importance of listening to every word that is spoken, not just the highlight reel!

See the resemblance?  Some like to think that as long as they obey the main points of the Bible; do not kill, steal, cheat or lie that they can overlook the more intricate details lying just beneath the surface; details that can lead to a more intimate relationship with our Creator.  God is not a waster of words.  If He saw fit to give it as a command, then there was good reason behind it.  His word is for our benefit.  He didn’t throw out a random list of rules in hopes of making our lives miserable.  Just as any good parent would, He set boundaries for us to prevent us from self-destruction.

 

~God Knows My Heart~ May 6, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 6:56 am
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repentIt’s a statement I’m sure most of you have heard and quite possibly something you yourself have said.  While it is true, some have begun to misuse the meaning.  Yes, the Lord does know your heart, your thoughts, your desires, your dislikes…the list could go on and on.  However, the fact that He knows your heart doesn’t excuse you from certain obligations as a Christian.  I’ll give you some scenarios.

You inadvertently insult a friend when they come to you for advice.  You know you shouldn’t have said what you did, or at least not the way you said it.  But you don’t apologize to your friend.  You don’t ask for their forgiveness much less God’s, because “It’s ok, God knows my heart.”

Your day is jam-packed with important activities.  You know, like answering emails, doctors appointments, grocery shopping, not to mention work!  You just don’t have time to read your usual morning devotion.  Evening comes and all is quiet, you could spend some time in the Word.  But you’re exhausted, it was a busy day and you just want to relax and catch up on your shows.  No big deal.  There is always tomorrow.  Besides, “God knows my heart.”

An old friend calls you up and invites you to that place you know you shouldn’t go.  But you’re a changed person now.  You love the Lord.  You can visit one of your old haunts and exercise self-control.  One thing leads to another and you slip-up.  It’s not like it was a big sin, just a little mistake that you never intended to make.  It certainly doesn’t warrant a confession or repentance before the Lord.  No one else even knows what you did so why should you publicly admit fault to your peers or to God?  “Repentance is just a formality when God knows my heart.”

When you look at it from these perspectives you can see why it is dangerous to hide behind what has become nothing more than a cliché; something that believers convince themselves is sufficient when they don’t want to address an uncomfortable issue.  Instead of using God’s omniscience as your scapegoat, take a look at what the Scriptures say.

James 5:16 tells us to “confess our sins to one another” not ignore them and hope the other person forgets that you wronged them.

Matthew 6:33 says we should “seek first the kingdom of God.”  He isn’t satisfied with our leftovers.  Use Jesus’ life as your example, he rose before the sun to make time with God.  Time spent in the Word should be a priority, not a fleeting thought.

And when you sin, no matter how insignificant the sin may seem, a sin is a sin is a sin, period.  Repentance is necessary to receive forgiveness from God.  There are countless Scriptures to back this Biblical principle up.  Perhaps the one that sums it up the best, “unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:3b)