I am reading a book called "Equipped To Love - Building Idolatry-free Relationships," by Norm Wakefield. Tim read this book a few years ago, thought it was helpful and has even passed the book along to others, but I never got around to reading it.
Recently, I saw the book on his shelf and decided to read it, and then my friend Julie contacted me on FB and said they were reading it and invited me to do a group study with them! I think the Lord wants me to read this book!
Here is something that Rosie, Julie's daughter, said recently -
"I have been thinking, how it is so true that we so very often see "good" things and "nice", kind, loving, caring, sensitive- people as coming from the Lord, and the difficulties and "hard people"- the ones that don't notice, say mean things, ignore us, or don't react in the way we think that they should, as coming from the devil.
However, really God purposely allows, and even puts them (things and people), in our lives (whether they are positive or negative), to change us, and to point out in our lives the things that we need to grow in...(the making idols out of people). They are sent by the Lord, to show specific things in our hearts and lives that need to change."
Isn't this so true? We tend to think of only the pleasant, wonderful things as from God's hands and surely not the difficult. But how wonderful to think that our God has lovingly allowed the difficult to help us to grow and to weed out idols and other things from our lives!
Julie shared a link to an article from "Lifestyle of Learning Ministries" that was really good and challenging regarding teaching our children to love. You can read that article here.
It is hard work to do "heart work" in our own lives and the lives of our children. However this is where character is formed - where self is weeded out - and thinking of others comes to the forefront. It requires dying to self daily, moment by moment. It is something that we do not like in our flesh. We want what we want.
As a parent one of the worst things I can do is to NOT curb this natural desire for self in my children. Of course that means I have to allow the Lord to curb this desire for self in me...
I am taking this book on vacation with me. I am looking forward to how the Lord will use this in my life.