These are the notes from a devotion I had the pleasure of giving at co-op this week.
Living as Children of the Light Leads Children to the Light
Read Ephesians 4: 17-32, 5:1-33
This passage gives us a very clear picture of living in the light vs. living in darkness.
Light being things like:
Wholesome talk that only builds others up, words of thanksgiving
Submission to husbands
Whereas darkness would be the complete opposite:
Arguments, anger, resentment
Words that tear down, yelling, coarse jokes, obscenity (or even obscenity that “walks the line” – poopy head, stupid – always ask, does this word build anyone up?)
Slander, brushing people off, refusing to help when there is a need
Thinking only of selfish things, turning a blind eye toward a need, greed
Not forgiving, bringing up past grievances, becoming bitter
Lust, adultery, even feasting upon sexual shows, music or books.Impurity would also include media with coarse language, disrespectful actions, anything that promotes “darkness”
Being disrespectful to your husband, not allowing him to take the lead in your family, defying him, going behind his back to do something, talking ugly about him to your children
How do our children learn?Does it come from the words we speak to them?Sure. Does it come from the books we give them. Yes. Does it come from the discipline we hand down? Yes.
God tells us more than once in this passage things like:
“no longer live as the Gentiles do”
“put off your old self”
“be imitators of God”
“live a life of love”
“now you ARE light in the Lord.LIVE as children of the light.”
“be very careful, then, how you live”
“make the most of every opportunity”
All of these things involve LIVING our daily life in Him. From what do our children learn most? How we live daily. How we talk when we aren’t teaching, disciplining or lecturing. How we treat others. How we treat our husbands. They soak in more of US than we probably will ever realize. So, “US” – how we live daily – needs to be full of light if we expect our children to learn to walk in that light.
Have there ever been times you’ve watched your child act a certain way or say something that you’ve been horrified about – only to think back that what they did came directly from you? That’s one of the scariest things I find to being a parent. I know I have lots of growing to do in my walk, yet I desire that my children won’t struggle with the same sins I struggle with.
What to do? First and foremost, turn your children over to God .Pray for them to walk in the light daily.Turn yourself over to God. Pray that you will be a good example daily. Recognize your sins and ask forgiveness from your children, as well as God. When children grow up learning that you aren’t perfect and that you see the sin in your life, they are more likely to learn to see the sin in their life for what it is.When they see you actively trying “to put off the old self” and hear you talking to God about it, they are more likely to go to Him with their struggles. And the closer you get to stepping completely out of the darkness, I believe the fewer sins of darkness your children will have to deal with. For what do they imitate? You.If you live in the light, they most likely will, too.