the heartbeat of our home

Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory,

for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!
(Psalm 115:1 ESV)

This is the heartbeat of our home – in all that we do, we desire and strive to reflect the glory of the Lord, to bring honor to His name, to proclaim Christ.

I realize that there’s alot to say here about this Scripture – about the fact that we have a family verse – that we desire to live up to it – and the reality in every day living that accomplishes our desire. With that said, I am going to start here…

I know of families who have family mission statements. Very high and lofty, systematic and thorough statements that include everyone in the family, state each persons’ role within the family, what the family is to do, and how the members will accomplish it.

I know of other families that a little less formally than the families with mission statements embark upon endeavors to be a. the most fun family in the neighborhood or b. to have the best dressed, well behaved children on the block or c. to be the most financially successful couple in their social circles.

The mission statement families usually have their mission statement displayed in their home for everyone to see; perhaps the mom refers to it each day at breakfast; perhaps the dad alludes to it when he disciplines his children.

The “most fun family” has a craft closet, a play room, and outside toys of all kinds crammed into their garage. The well-dressed, well-behaved family – well, we all know what they look like. And the financially driven people, I think they just look tired.

What I have seen with both of these kinds of families – and even families that do not fit into my two little categories – is that they are weird. or burned out. or overdone. or sort of all of the above. And most of them are not accomplishing (at least well) what they have set out to do. Except for, perhaps, the fun family.

(The thing that goes awry here in both of these cases is that the fear of man, not the fear of God, is the standard, the measuring stick, and the goal. For a good read on all of our problem, I recommend When People are Big and God is Small by Ed Welch.)

Tyler and I started this conversation before we were even married, knowing that one day we would be married, and we hoped the Lord blessed us with children.

Here we are, TEN years since we started dating and coming up on our 7th wedding anniversary with two little men filling our arms and hearts. His great grace amazes me!

In our discussion, we recognized a couple of things…

1. We want to have a family.

2. We want to love each other and to raise our children well in the gospel of truth and grace.

3. We are a people called to Himself and we will obey.

4. All of the above means we would not live the ‘typical’ life (we are not sure what typical entails, but we are sure we don’t live it).

With all of that being said – and with the facts of who Tyler and I are – we knew we could not be the mission statement family. We did not want to write up and keep up with a systematic approach, a business like approach, to our marriage and to our children. After all, we want some flexibility. We might want some space. And we know that it’s nearly impossible and stressful enough to make you want to pull out your hair when you try to systematize children. Have you tried? Well, then you know.

But it does seem like a good idea, and I understand where the mission statement families come from. Just like I love envelopes, I love a good goal-oriented life. But just like the Lord all but tears up my envelopes, He thwarts all my written goals, too. And for this, I do know why. Because the Lord hasn’t made us or commanded us to be goal-oriented. He has called us to be God-oriented. And for me, that means, especially with long-term goals, the Lord does not allow me to have them. They take my focus off of the Lord too quickly. He’d rather me walk around and seem like I was lost to the world then have me charging after some ah-mazing! goal and be lost to Him. Don’t you just LOVE HIM for that!? I do.

— He does, however, call me to an intentional prayer life, one where He does give me Himself and desires and dreams. Here, I lay down these dreams and desires, delighting in Him and standing back to watch all that He will do. And this is a process for me, learning and doing this,… —

We also knew we didn’t want to be the family who tried to keep up with the Joneses, we just can’t, y’all. We just can’t keep up. Even with ourselves sometimes.

Now, it seems like at this point that all we knew is what we did not want to be. So we started to talk about what we did want to be.

We knew we wanted to…

a. Glorify the Lord in everything we think, say, and do

b. Listen and obey the Lord in every part of our lives

c. Display this before our children

So with all of that in mind, we set our face to the Lord’s, nose to nose. We are desperate for Him; He has led us through some dark places. He is the light. He is the path-maker, we have to walk with Him. He is Life, for our life. We do it because we have to. If we want life, if we want good, we have to.

And as we set our face to the Lord, we say – –

Not to us, O LORD, not to us,

but to your name give glory,

for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!

3 thoughts on “the heartbeat of our home

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