When Jacob was born, I’d only been a christian for 3 years. I was desperately hungry for godly women to show me how to raise godly children.
I read every book I could get my hands on. I attended every Bible study offered. I even went to a women’s retreat at a church I didn’t belong to and didn’t know a soul attending.
I’m an introvert and never before recall doing something so wild.
A hunger for the Lord leads us to do what we never imagined doing.
I began going to a group for young christian moms very similar to MOPS when my boys were babies. 2 mentor moms led a large group session. Then we split into small groups, led by a mentor mom and also filled with an equal mix of young moms and older, wiser moms. It was one of the best decisions I made as a young mom. By far.
A hunger for God will not be left to starve. He will fill it in ways we never imagined when we seek Him with our whole heart.
The wisdom these women shared found a spot in my heart forever. My favorite mentor mom spoke with such passion and conviction. I’ll never forget her sharing a story of a time her daughter lied. She told us never to call our children liars, even if we know they are lying. She said instead to pray that the Holy Spirit bring about the conviction and allow Him to do the work that brings heart change.
I’ve followed her advice on numerous occasions, and she is right. The Spirit does what I can’t do. And the growth that begins in their hearts as they learn to hear His voice is astounding.
Once she told us how to pray for our children. Covering every area of their lives. She told us never to stop praying for their salvation, even after they’ve accepted Christ. I never got that until years later when my young boys accepted Christ. Salvation is only the beginning. That is the point true life for them begins.
She told us to love God more than we loved our children. I nodded my head in agreement, but in my heart…it wasn’t true. If I’m totally honest, I said I loved God more than anything, but I actually loved my children and my husband more than God.
I began praying simply for God to give me a love for Him that is far greater than my love for anything else in the entire world. God is faithful. He’s now done that. I may not act it or show it all the time, but I can honestly say I love Him more than I love my family. Yet, I recognize I still don’t love Him enough.
And at one meeting, I took note of her daily Bible reading plan. I had no idea that this one simple step would be the means by which God began to turn my so-so love into a passionate love for Him.
Christians are notorious for giving the answers “just pray” or “read the Bible.” Sadly, we often brush these away and look for something with some substance. Something tangible and measurable. We look for the action plan. We look for the secret that no one has discovered. Partly because we don’t believe that the Word is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. Partly because when we pray, we often feel we are talking to air (not true…but we’ve all felt that way at times).
We look for the latest bestseller that tells us something new. The author who has discovered what no one else has discovered. I have bookshelves of christian parenting books. And while they have ALL helped me become a better parent, none have done what I was most desperate for. None made me love Him more.
What I needed most to be the best mom I could be is to love Jesus more than I loved being a mom.
I needed to fall in love with His Word. And I did. Slowly. Over many years. It didn’t happen overnight. It happened little by little. With each reading of His Word, He grew me up just a little bit more. As He grew me up, He opened my mind to understand new things in His Word. And that cycle continues. And I pray it never ends. That I never stop seeking Him, to love Him more than I do right now.
The thing about His Word is that our human minds can read it cover to cover 100 times, and it will never, ever, not ever become boring. God will illuminate certain passages at different points of our lives to speak straight into our hearts.
At this mom’s group, they gave a method for reading the Bible daily to grow in wisdom. Whatever the date is you start there in the Psalms. For instance, if it is September 28th. You start in Psalm 28. Then you add 30 and read Psalm 58, add 30 again and read Psalm 88, add 30 again and read Psalm 118, add 30 again and read Psalm 148. Then end it by reading that date in Proverbs, so Proverbs 28.
In some seasons, I was only able to read these chapters each morning. In other seasons, I’ve been able to read them in addition to other books of the Bible or in conjunction with a particular study. But reading Psalms and Proverbs daily gave me a plan to stay in His Word every single day.
3 simple steps will begin the process of turning our love for Him into a passionate love.
- Reading the Bible daily – His Word alone. Christian books are awesome and wonderful tools. But they must be secondary.
- Praying – all kinds of prayers. Some in quiet, some on the go, some long, some short. Prayers of nothing but praise. Prayers of thanksgiving. Intercession. Simply talking to God throughout our days. Not getting into a routine and forgetting He is with us.
- Memorizing scripture – this can be intentional, but it also happens with the habit of daily reading. The Lord often brings scripture to mind that I don’t remember intentionally memorizing. Reading His Word will soak into our souls, and He will bring it forth when we need it. And we don’t always realize it, but we need His Word every hour, every day.
I still have a long way to go to love Him more. There is no point where I will arrive. I will never say, “Yes, now I love Him as much as possible.” I believe it’s impossible.
God is love. If God is love, the creator of love, as He grows our hearts to love Him more, we will naturally seek Him more. When we seek Him more, we will see Him more. When we see Him more, we love Him more. And it will never end. The love will grow more intense and burn brighter with time, but it will never reach a point where our heart says enough.
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