Excerpt from Praying for Girls
By Teri Lynne Underwood
One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
Let’s start with the most obvious: An undivided heart worships. This isn’t about attending church or liking a particular style of music; worship is about attributing worth to something or Someone. David was essentially saying he wanted to spend his life in the presence of God. Paul spoke of this when he urged the Romans to present themselves as living sacrifices. He called it their “spiritual worship” (Romans 12:1). When we realize our whole lives are an act of worship, we see how everything we do and say points to the Lord. And it is our job as moms to help our girls learn the same lesson.
And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him.
Immediately. These fishers of fish left their nets as soon as Jesus invited them. They walked away from torn nets and fishy odors and chose to follow a dusty rabbi. They heard the call, and they heeded it. Sometimes we hear the call and then we wait for God to show us photo ID. We want to be sure it will all work out the way we plan. A wholehearted disciple will follow immediately, trusting the words of the One who has always been faithful. Even when it doesn’t make sense. Maybe especially when it doesn’t make sense. Let’s be moms who show our girls how to heed the voice of Christ.
Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.
Time and again we see the men and women of Scripture praising God. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is replete with examples of the “sacrifice of praise.” From Noah leaving the ark (Genesis 8:20) to the worship service in heaven (Revelation 22:3), we find the offerings of His people. The prophets praised Him during the darkest days (Habakkuk 3:18–19). Job praised Him in his suffering (Job 1:21). The early church praised Him as they saw Him work in and through them (Acts 2:46–47). Paul and Silas praised Him from prison (Acts 16:25).
Now it’s our turn, moms. We offer our “sacrifice of praise” and we teach our girls to do the same. We help them remember God is good and we can trust Him in every situation we face. And as we do, we see that the offering continues on.
But one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.
Mary chose to linger near Jesus while Martha was hustling in the kitchen. We might call her lazy, but Jesus said she’d chosen what was necessary. Some days it can be hard to linger in the presence of Jesus. We’re sleep deprived or stressed out. The kids are out of school. Someone is sick. The dog is puking. Our attention gets moved from lingering to hustling. Here’s what I know: The hustle won’t ever make room for the lingering. But when we linger, the hustle isn’t as stressful.
Our girls are watching every move we make. They are taking note of how we manage stress and where we give our time and effort. Let’s show them the importance and value of lingering in the presence of the Lord.
I will give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.
Gratitude and glory. That’s what we give God in return for all He has done for us. We embrace Him wholly, knowing without Him we truly have nothing. Paul spoke to this when he wrote, “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8). Nothing matters outside of Him. Nothing.
How well are we doing at showing our girls what it is to embrace a wholehearted devotion to the Lord? Are they seeing in us a consistent pattern of giving thanks and glory to Him? If we don’t teach them, who will?
Excerpt from Praying for Girls by Teri Lynne Underwood
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