Hey Momma! I wonder if you, like me, feel like the world has gone crazy. You are thinking that you want to prepare your babies for whatever may come. It feels a little overwhelming though because who could have imagined anything that is happening.
The truth is that the world has always been a crazy, evil place. After all, we are told that the whole world lies under the influence of Satan. (1 John 5: 19) So, what is our response as Christians? How do we stand apart?
Cue Romans 12:2. This was our first family scripture to memorize for this year and I think it along with the rest of the chapter holds some answers.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.Romans 12:2
Transform vs. Conform
I am a scientist. Before I was exclusively a stay at home mom, I worked at a chemistry lab and taught the sciences at a university and a high school. So, when I think on these 2 words, the scientist in me comes out.
To transform means to change into a different form. There is an actual conversion of what was to something new. In chemistry, we call this a chemical change. We actually alter the make up. This is what God does with us when we surrender our lives to Christ, He makes us new. It is also what He continues to do in our lives through sanctification as we grow in His word.
To conform means to become similar in form or nature. It is an act of following and bending to be in accord. In chemistry, we call this a physical change. For example, when you pour liquid into any container, it will take on the form of that particular container. However, this is only a physical change that may come out in what we see or how something behaves but there is nothing new really produced. This is what it’s like when we follow the pattern of the world. It is the same old flesh nature that may try to remake itself on the outside but there is no real inward transformation.
Renewing Our Minds
The scripture indicates that the only way to renew our minds is through transformation. The only transforming power in this world belongs to the Holy Spirit. The Spirit’s tool that He uses to transform us is the Word. In the 119th Psalm, David tells us that he stores up God’s word in his heart so that he “might not sin against God.” He goes on to say that God’s word “turns us from selfish gain”, “keeps our eyes from worthless things”, and “preserves our lives.” (Psalm 119)
So, the mind that is renewed is saturated and constantly controlled by God’s word. It is a mind focused on heavenly things, not earthly things. A further look into Romans 12 gives us an idea of the fruit of a renewed mind:
- fervency in Spirit
- person of prayer
So if we want to transform our family, the word of God is the only answer. We must incorporate scripture into every part of the life of our home and family. This goes beyond having a daily Bible reading time. It means that the scriptures are a significant part of who we are and what we do all day, every day.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 says, ” These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
Here are some ideas for incorporating more Bible into your home:
- Have a place to prominently display scriptures that you can change often. I.e. a letter board, chalk board, a simple frame you can put a new print out, or simply write them out on a poster board or sheet of paper.
- Have a weekly memory verse. Have the whole family memorize it together. Find a way to make it fun with actions or into a song. Quiz each other often. Consider a small reward for knowing it at the end of the week.
- Use the scriptures for encouragement. If you see a Christ like characteristic in behavior, point it out and use a scripture to confirm it. If someone is struggling, use the scripture to give them the confidence they need.
- Use the scriptures for discipline. If a child is out of order, use the scripture to show them to right way according to God’s standards. If it is a repeat offense, consider having them memorize or write out a scriptural example of what God expects to keep with them.
- Pray through the scriptures. If you don’t have a family prayer time, it might be a great time to add it. Choose a passage of scripture and use it to praise God, to search our hearts, and to ask what He may want our family to do with it.
- Seek to live out the scriptures. When you see a command of Christ, push yourself to live it out in a way that your children see it. Remind them that God is working to transform you just like them. Let them see the power of transformation and desire it. (See also this post: How to Give Your Children a Mother Worth Imitating)
Approving God’s Will
The result of a renewed mind transformed by His word is that we “will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” This after all should be our motivation: To do what God wants so that He is glorified.
In His commentary on Romans, John Mac Arthur says, “Countless thousands of people today, including many genuine Christians, flock to various churches, seminars, and conferences in search of personal benefits-practical, emotional, and spiritual-that they hope to receive. They do just the opposite of what Paul so plainly emphasizes in Romans 12:2. In this forceful and compassionate exhortation, the apostles does not focus on what more we need to receive from God but on what we are to give to Him. The key to a productive and satisfying Christian life is not getting more but giving all.“
In other words, we give up our will for His. The only way we are able to test and approve if we are living His will is to live our lives according to the commands of the Bible. When we are more focused on what we can do for Him and less on what we can get for us, we become the living sacrifices that He meant for us to be. Romans 12:1, the verse that comes directly before our scripture focus, says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”
How does this look in Motherhood and transforming our family?
- Getting rid of worldly customs and entertainment that is not pleasing to God. This may include tv shows or movies, books, music, games, etc. You (and your spouse) must test these things against the scriptures and pray for conviction.
- Making sure that positive thinking based on the Word reigns in your home. (See also: Philippians 4:8: Teaching Our Kids Positive Thinking)
- Choosing to stand on the Word of God even when it is not comfortable. The Word of God should form our stance on politics, social issues, relationships at work, school, and home.
- Refuse to live in fear, doubt, anxiety, worry or disbelief. Remain firm in believing and hoping in His promises and trust He is always working everything for good.
- Be the light in the darkness! Stand out as some one who loves God and does His word. (See also: Matthew 5:16: Teaching Our Kids to Be the Light)
Remember our goal is to be in God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will by being holy for His service. This means that we lose our own will and rights for His. The transformation process isn’t without intention and adherence to His scripture but the benefits of knowing that we have pleased our God far out way any sacrifices that we make to give up the pattern of this world. And, in the end, we can present children who are prepared with the Sword of the Spirit, ready to battle the Ruler of this world and having the armies of God behind them!
As always, I would love to pray for you or further connect with you. Leave me a comment or find me on any of the social media channels in the right column or below. Enter your email below and click subscribe to keep up with each new weekly postl.
If you have more ideas on how we can put the word of God into our homes or transform our families by the Word, comment those as well. We can never have enough encouragement to one another. Blessings.
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