Friday, June 24, 2011

Day Seventeen -- Fruit of the Spirit: Self-control

"So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." -1 Corinthians 10:31

Today is a doozy.  Today, we're covering our sons with prayers for self-control.

I told you it was a doozy.

Especially when it's something I know I struggle with on a daily basis.

And oh, how I wish I could take on that struggle of self-control for my sons.  Anyone else with me?

I want to share with you the encouragement Brooke provides in the LG.  Enjoy.

"What's on the throne of your sons' heart?  I recently spoke at a small local women's conference on the topic of finding balance in our physical and spiritual lives.  Admittedly, this is an area I've struggled with my entire life.  I'm an emotional eater, and my weight has fluctuated over the years to prove it.

I used to think that I could control it by counting calories, or walking four miles a day (yes, I used to do that).  I've tried portion control, diet pills and running, but nothing sticks.  Know why?  Because I love food.  I turn to it for comfort, fulfillment and joy.  And until I dethrone it from Christ's rightful place in my heart, I will continue to struggle.

It's idol-worship, plain and simple (ouch).

Food may not be the area of self-control with which your son struggles.  Maybe he has video games, sports, sex, or money on the throne of his heart.  The key to overcoming our tendencies toward worshiping something other than Christ is to choose to love Him more than we love our sin.  A constant laying down of our desires and picking up of Christ is the only fix.

I wrote an article once on the topic of loving Him more...

It was a hot summer night, and I sat on my bed with a heaping culmination of all I'd been taught.  A moment of rare heart understanding as I realized that life with Christ was not about what I could or could not do, but about loving Him more than I loved my sin.

Loving Him more.

Anything that separates me from God is sin and anything good can be made sin if I love it more than I love Him.  And now, twelve years later, I'm still choosing.

I love Him.  I love Him less than looking my best.  I love Him.  I love Him less than yelling at my kids.  I love Him.  I love Him less than getting even with my husband.  I love Him.  I love Him less than having a published book.  I love Him.  I love Him less than time to myself.  I love Him.  I love Him less than a stomach painfully full of my favorite meal.  I love Him.  I love Him less than getting my own way.

I love Him.

I love Him less.

Every time I love Him less I love something else more.

But He loves me.  He loves me always.

In the moment of choice this knowing of His steadfast, never-ending love is what gives me strength.  This knowing of His great sacrifice for me...and for you.  This knowing of the lengths He would go to love me more.

More than I deserve.

More than I can comprehend.

More than the power of Hell can stand against.

"My Savior's sacrifice paid for all my sin.  So in my suffering I look to the Cross again.  No need, no want, no trial, no pain can compare to this: The wrath of God once meant for me, was all spent on Him.  Before the Cross, I humbly bow.  I place my trust in the Savior.  Your finished work captures my gaze.  You bore the wrath.  I know the grace."
-Before the Cross (Sovereign Grace Music)

Now the little forever soul sits in front of me for what seems like the 20 millionth time today.  And I look at him ... and he looks at me.  And I wonder, out loud, how he could possibly want to choose discipline over joyful obedience.  After days of willful rebellion from two little men, I'm spent and I cannot understand in that moment why ANYONE would choose this chaos -- this misery -- when simple obedience would change everything.  Don't they know the sweetness that would be theirs if they would just obey?

Just CHOOSE to obey?  Sigh.  There's that word again.

That choice to love Him more begins from the beginning ... hearts made to worship Him ... choose Him.  Hearts that are left to themselves will choose our own way every time.

How many times have I chosen my own way when I knew the consequences?  How many times have I forfeited the sweet, peaceful blessings of obedience in order to stamp my feet, cross my arms, dig in my stubborn three-year-old-like heels and have my own way.

And this from a woman who has tasted the goodness of God in the land of the living!

How can I expect my little ones to choose the good all the time when their own mama, a Jesus-follower for over 20 years, still gets it wrong?



And more grace.


and choosing to love Him more."

Today, as you cover your sons in prayer, I will be covering you in prayer.  I think it so true that God is working in our hearts as much as in the hearts of our sons.  Please be encouraged, be strong in your commitment to pray for your children -- no matter what their age is -- and know that I'm asking God to give you the strength you need to persevere in this challenge and to move in the hearts of your sons.

No question today -- let's just pray.  :)


mommy of Five said...

thank you for you prayers! and for your honesty. i'm so glad we don't have to do this alone! Jesus is right there, isn't he!?

Alyssa said...

I feel the same way! So glad we don't have to do it alone!!! :)