The Word at Work

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by Stephanie Stancel

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his Word I hope …

Psalm 130:5

If we are talking discipleship in the home, herein this verse lies my strategy, mode and means. And while it seems almost laughable to apply the term “discipleship” to the chaos family life generates, we should remind ourselves that a disciple is merely a learner or follower. Every mom who has ever worked to complete some task with a baby on her hip, toddler gripped to her leg and a preschooler positioned at her side has no lack of followers. Every mom who has shuddered to hear her child repeat some unbecoming word or phrase understands the keen perception of her pupils.

All scripture is breathed out by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness …

2 Timothy 3:16

And by God’s grace I aim to put the Word to work as I struggle to prioritize and practice it in daily life. Instead of lamenting the interruption of yet another quiet time, we have made a habit of reading the Bible together at breakfast each morning. We read the same passages repeatedly. (We have been in 1 John for at least two months now, mostly because it is what I too am studying.) Their (many!) questions challenge me to understand and communicate the meaning of the text. It amazes me how familiar we have all become with the content and the many ways we find to apply it throughout the day. It becomes particularly instrumental as we, a cluster of close-quartered sinners, fail to live up to all that the Word demands. When this happens, I try to resist the temptation to be shocked and shaming over their wrongdoing, though we do name it as the sin it is, whatever it is. Instead I point back to the truth of the gospel: God’s holy and righteous standard is one we can never hope to meet. Thus our need for a Savior, for Jesus.

… Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

Romans 10:17

Though I affirm good manners, suitable behavior and obedience, these satisfy not my parental striving. Ultimately, I want my kids to know, trust, and love the Lord. And not just some jolly, sappy characterization rendered to them. Not some graven image god mentally constructed from a Christian subculture. I want them to know the one true God who has chosen to reveal Himself through His Word. I pray that, loving the Father and trusting in Jesus, they will then joyfully obey the law that beautifully reflects His character. In short, I am doing all I can to sow the seeds of His Word in the lives of my children, trusting that it will not return empty (Isaiah 55:11) but will “bear much fruit.” (John 15:8).

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