There is a lot in our world that is just plain ugly. Catch the news on any day and hear of war, crime, tragedy, etc. Our music often focuses on that which is depressing rather than uplifting. On the other hand, there are a lot of good things on which we can focus our attention.
The good thing is this – we have a choice. Of course we cannot isolate ourselves completely from every unpleasant thing, but we can choose our focus. We can make a genuine effort to fill our minds with the good things and this will make a world of difference in our lives.
Paul put it this way: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
The Book of Proverbs is a book of wisdom – wisdom on how to live. There is a lot in it said about riches and poverty. One choice passage says this:
“Give me neither poverty nor riches –
Feed me with the food allotted to me;
Lest I be full and deny You.
And say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
Or lest I be poor and steal,
And profane the name of my God.”
(Proverbs 30:8-9 NKJ)
This passage presents a very balanced view of wealth and poverty. There is an inherent spiritual danger in each. The safest place is somewhere in between and this is where most of us find ourselves.
The apostle Paul offered a similar idea but in different words: “Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” (1 Timothy 6:6-8)
You hold more than a baby in your arms. You lead more than a toddler or small child by the hand. You mold and shape more than a child’s mind, social skills, and heart. You, dear lady, are influencing this world and eternity. As you rise to the challenges and succeed in keeping Christ in the center of your children’s hearts, you are partnering with God. He can help you cope with the temporary trauma, the short-lived chagrin, and fleeting frustrations of motherhood. God designed the home, and as such He designed it as a place where mother’s touch and influence would settle deep into the hearts and lives of those eternal souls you helped bring into existence. You can dedicate them to God like Hannah did Samuel (1 Sam. 2:28). You can sacrifice for them like Samson’s mother did for him (Jud. 13:13-14). You can treasure the things about your children in your heart as Mary did about Jesus (Luke 2:19).
The trials of motherhood are a relative moment. The lessons you leave them last beyond a lifetime. Thank you for willingly, lovingly, and righteously pursuing this important facet of God’s work on earth!
Government among men is God’s idea. Paul wrote: “There is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” (Romans 13:1) It is one of His blessings to mankind. Anarchy – the lack of government – would be devastating. It would truly be the survival of the fittest or put more bluntly – a dog eat dog world. Even the anarchist could not survive anarchy.
Rulers exist in the world for the benefit of those who do good and for the punishment of those who do evil. Paul put it this way: “Rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil…he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid, for he bears not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God a revenger to execute wrath upon him that does evil.” (Romans 13:3-4)
We should pray for those who rule. Again Paul wrote: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority.” He then adds what should be the goal of such prayers: “That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2)