Passionate about all the wrong things?

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Last week I read a comment on one of my favorite blogs, that I've been mulling over and can't quite get out of my head:

that you rail and your rail with your children about all kinds of
things: drugs and rock music and Christian music and weak Christianity
and sugar and white bread and recycling and "??those"?? people and bad
literature and mud on their boots and dirty houses and vaccinations and
feeding babies and chocolate and vitamins and natural childbirth, how
will your children know which of these things is really important?
Maybe one day they find out that some Christians eat sugar and they are
nice lovely people who truly love the Lord but from hearing you day in
and day out he thought that anyone who ate sugar had a free ticket to
hell. Now every single thing you have tried to teach your child ever
has been undermined by your passionate intensity.

context was getting passionate about the small things, and losing sight
of an eternal perspective and remaining passionate about Jesus. I can
totally agree with this train of thought. At our church, we are often
exhorted to "keep the main thing the main thing", referring to the
Gospel of Jesus Christ remaining at the center of everything we do,
think and say .

This is crucial. If I get caught up on the bandwagon of nutrition or
frugality or environmentalism to such an extent that it overrides my
passion for Jesus and what He has done for me, then shame on me. I have
lost sight of that which is central to everything.

However, if in my zealousness to remain single minded in my
passions, I cease to approach life from a Biblical world view that says
all truth is God's truth, and that surely His ways can bring light and
life to all elements of living, then I am still missing out on
something major.

The writer of the post said that she can tend to "major on the
minors", and to that I can heartily add an amen, so can I. But if I am
not mistaken, my God is a God of redemption in all of the nooks and
crannies of life. While discussing this comment with my husband this
morning, he noted that God could have contained the entirety of the
Gospel in one sentence, one verse, and yet He has given us a Bible of
66 books, by different authors speaking to a myriad of different
issues. Clearly, God has a vested interest in the subtleties, and
perhaps, even the "minors".

In all of my teaching, training and passionate discourse with my
children, I want them to see first and foremost a woman who (at my very
core) has been redeemed by Grace, and who is both inwardly and
outwardly being transformed into the very image of Christ, seeking His
kingdom first. If they do not see this, then I have missed the mark

But I also hope they see more than that… a woman who seeks to find
God's best in every situation, in every decision. A woman who is
passionately serving her Savior with an intensity that requires her to
pursue excellence, stewardship, self-control, discernment and prayerful
seeking of her Lord in every area, big and small. And I cannot believe
this will undermine my message but rather affirm that everything in my
life belongs to the One through whom all things exist.

Originally published January 2008

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  1. I think the key is that you teach them the “why” of all of those little things. That nutrition and health and frugality are not the end goal–that the purpose of all of these things is to glorify God. So one detail is not your passion, but a means of expressing and fleshing out your passion for God.

  2. What a wonderful and thought provoking post. I am an overboard type person and really can jump on a lot of bandwagons and go over. I have to try and keep perspective and balance. It’s hard. I agree that we have to have Christ as the focus and be careful not to let anything that seems good to take us away from that while balancing doing His work. Not an easy task for us but a can do with the Spirit. My Pastor just stated that the devil does not usally get us to do the “bad” thing but just keeps us busy with things (even Godly ones).
    Debbie aka The Real World Martha(S)

  3. This is an area I have been thinking about as well. I find I have a tendency to go to extremes. I am learning that anytime I am driven to an extreme, I am missing God’s grace. It is such a delicate balance! This is why we are exhorted to bring all thoughts captive to Him, and allow Him to direct our paths! I find when I truly apply that, I am able to keep things in a sharper focus and balance. I love this post, Stephanie. I am going to print it out and keep it tucked away in my journal for future encouragement!

  4. I like you. I think maybe I’ve posted once before. My heart is stirred to be the kind of woman that God is making you to be. I love your passion for Christ, your absolute devotion to Him and His ways, and your surrender to His use. You are right: God cares about the small things too. Praise Him that He does! What a God we serve, who gives us EVERYTHING we need for life and godliness. May He abundantly bless your efforts and passion to live zealously for Him before your children.

  5. Your posts lately have really hit me where I am at. It’s wonderful to go to your blog and think: “Yeah, at least I am not the only one at this place in life.” It’s even better knowing that God knows where I am at and uses the little things in my life as well as the big things.

    This topic has been at the forefront of our home the last few days. As parents, we want so much for our children and yet we sometimes lose track of that balance…what is eternal and what is temporary.

    I keep telling myself as long as Christ is first, top of the list other things will fall in place. Sometimes, though it gets drowned out by all those other things that go running through my mind.

  6. I think for me is it not only a matter of keeping everything in balance, but also remembering that it is all so intimately entwined. It is teaching your children that there is a purpose for all those things mentioned in the original comment. It honors God when we take care of ourselves and it pleases him that we are caring for the land and animals he gave us dominion over. Like a child that wants to please his parent I seek to do things to honor my Lord. Not because it is required, but rather because it brings joy in a world that is already so full of misery and sin. This is how I want my children to live their lives. Honoring God in all I do, if it doesn’t honor God then we don’t need to be doing it, reading it, watching it, or hearing it, or eating it. Not sure if that all makes sense….

  7. Sometimes we focus so much on the don’ts and not enough on the do’s! I heard a story that said bankers are trained to tell counterfeit bills not by studying counterfeit bills but by studying and memorizing and being completely familiar with the real thing. I don’t want to come at life wtih my girls or anyone else by the “don’t do this” road, but by showing them all they can do! As they become more in love with Jesus and “be” who they were meant to “be” I believe they’ll make right choices. I heard a quote that said “don’t be famous for what you don’t do”. Meaning don’t be known by “oh,she doesn’t drink, she doesn’t party, she doesn’t swear”. True I don’t do those things, but instead I should be known by m passion for the King and the Kingdom and for bringing heaven to earth and impacting the world around me for his glory.

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