My favorite verse from Psalm 15, which is quoted below is, "..and keep their promises even when it hurts." This is referring to people who "..may worship in your santuary" and who may enter the presence of the Lord. It also states in verse 5 that "such people will stand firm forever." This is a beautiful promise from the Lord.
I have been challenged lately to think about what my behavior and reactions are teaching my children. I am currently striving to remain obedient to the Lord and to the authority placed over me. I want to please God in my decisions and in what I am teaching my children. Am I teaching them self respect? Am I confusing them? These were questions from someone who truly cares and wants what is best for us. So I gave these questions thought, and I sought God for direction.
As I was talking to another trusted and Godly friend this afternoon, and explaining these questions to him, it occurred to me what was really right. I don't need to teach self respect to the girls. I need to teach them to respect and fear God, and to respect and love others and think of others' needs ahead of their own. This is meekness. The Word of God tells us that "the meek shall inherit the earth." It doesn't say that those who demand respect and respect themselves will inherit the earth. I believe that if we view ourselves the way God does, as sinners saved by Grace, we will be humble, strive for holiness, and have a healthy view of ourselves. I believe that making choices in the name of self respect is overrated.
As a child, I used defense mechanisms to mask pain that I felt in my childhood relationships. I used keeping to myself, reading and trying to appear that I respected myself as ways to cope. I honestly didn't realize what I was doing at the time. But really, it was self loathing. I was saved, and I loved God, but I didn't know that what really mattered was what God thought of me. I am just learning that wonderful, freeing concept at 32 yrs of age. My children are almost 7, and if I can instill in their hearts the concept of meekness, and allow them to see God actively working in my life, they will have a healthy self image.
Back to my favorite verse in Psalm 15. I also want them to know how important it is to keep promises. My children are learning about covenants and vows. They are coming to understand that God takes promises seriously, and He will never break His promises. This verse tells us that God will bless us for keeping our promises, even if it costs us pain. God is asking me to keep promises that are hard and painful, but He is supplying the grace to do it! That is the miracle of God's grace, He doesn't ask us to walk hard roads alone, He always goes along.
I don't know what this weekend holds, much less the rest of my life. But I will never regret that my children are seeing me love without reservations and wait on God for direction. I also will never regret that they see me make mistakes along the way, and seek to make things right.