In honor of Father's Day, chapter one of "How to Raise Your Children For Christ"...
Andrew Murray's 52 short chapters are Scripturally-based, starting with Genesis. Today's chapter is entitled, "The Family as God Created it", from Genesis 1:27-28a:
"So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it,"
Being created in God's image, we reflect God in the following ways:
- Dominion over the earth--> Power of God
- Mental powers --> All-wise God
- Morality --> Righteous and Holy God
Yet, the greatest reflection is His love.
God is love. He must have a worthy object for His love. Since God is the only & all-perfect One, the Son (Jesus) is the perfect recipient of God's love.
"The deepest secrets of the Godhead in the fellowship of the Father and the Son by the Holy Spirit were to be shown in the family." -Murray
In our homes here on earth through the love of a husband and wife, parent and child, we are given the opportunity to reflect our heavenly Father's love.
If God created families to be image bearers of the trinity, we should want to study and know more about the Father's love & "home". Vice versa...
"Every experience of the love and blessing of a home on earth can be a ladder by which to rise up and get nearer to the great Father-heart in heaven."-Murray
Yet sin entered the world. It ruined the perfect relationship of fathers to children. Sadly, some fathers allow their sinful state to inhibit them from being a blessing to their children. The home then becomes a "path not to heaven, but hell."
As moms we need to encourage ourselves and our husbands, sin does not continue to hold us back. God has restored us unto himself through grace. Now we need to focus our energies on restoring home life to they way God intended.
"Let every parent who feels conscious of his own shortcoming, longing for wisdom and grace to do aright the work entrusted him, look back in faith and hope to the heavenly origin of family life."-Murray
God originally created the family in this way, to bear the image of the trinity. Once ruined, He redeemed the family. He continues to watch over the family, promising to provide His "Father-love and blessing to every parent who desires to be the minister of His holy purpose."
If you desire to follow God's will for your family and raise children for Christ...
"Look to God as the author of your family life; count on Him to give all that is needed to make it what it should be."-Murray
My take-away: Stop being so focused on discipline and training that I miss the joy of loving children and being loved. In the day-to-day, trusting God with my family. Trusting Him to give me what I need to raise up godly men. Eventually I will be confident He is molding my family into the "bright reflection of His own" family.
Prayer (updated version of Murray's):
"Lord, great and holy creator of men! You have made me a parent of children who are wholly dependent on me. You have given me the happiness of living a life of love, the joy of loving and being loved. You have placed me in a home, that is to be the image of the home in heaven, where the Father God and the Son Jesus live in everlasting love.
O Lord, I confess how little perfect love, joy, purity, and brightness of heaven have been reflected in our home. How little have I understood my calling or truly aimed at the high ideal You have given me. Forgive me Father.
Hear me when I beg you to guide my thoughts and help me study Your Holy Word so I may learn more what Your purpose for parents. Teach me to know You in Your infinite fatherliness. To study and experience You, the divine, original, from which a parent's heart was created. May your Father's love and blessing rest on our home. Amen."