Friday, August 04, 2006

Raising Heavenly-Minded Children

This post is in response to a question from a reader who was meditating on the quote from Anne of the Island. I will paste part of the quote here:

“Anne sat in a pain that was almost intolerable. She could not tell comforting falsehoods; and all that Ruby said was so horribly true. She WAS leaving everything she cared for. She had laid up her treasures on earth only; she had lived solely for the little things of life -- the things that pass -- forgetting the great things that go onward into eternity, bridging the gulf between the two lives and making of death a mere passing from one dwelling to the other -- from twilight to unclouded day.”

The reader’s question:
“I would love to hear comments on what this looks like. How do we do this? Also, how can we be sure we are not, especially as homeschooling mothers, making an idol of our children and families, so much so that we hold on to them so tightly for fear of losing them. I don't fear death in that I know I will be with the Lord, but I am saddened to think of those that are left behind. Especially when there is an "untimely" death. … How can we live with Heaven in mind while here on Earth, and how do we impart this eternal thinking to our children?”

This is a question requiring an answer that goes beyond religion or creed. Humans like something tangible. We like theologies, systems and labels. We want something measurable to gauge our child’s spiritual progress so we teach our children the ‘catechism’, fill their heads with biblical knowledge, and have them memorize scriptures. But none of this will guarantee a heavenly-minded heart. They are but outward forms, instruments to help one along the path. If relied upon too heavily, history has revealed that those very tools create Pharisees or even worse, atheists—skeptics, who, as C.S. Lewis’ Aslan described in THE LAST BATTLE, “Their prison is only in their minds, yet they are in that prison and so afraid of being taken in that they cannot be taken out.” We must realize that Material cannot form the Spiritual.

So how do we impart the Spiritual? We cannot impart what we do not have so we must begin with ourselves. If we cannot answer the following questions in the affirmative, then we must seek such revelation with all our heart. Do we believe Him when He states over and over again that He loves us with an everlasting love? Or is it mental assent? If we truly believe that we have a perfect lover who will never leave us and hurt us without a cause, then we will respond in kind. We will long to get to know Him deeply, to be near Him, to share every secret with Him and ask for His counsel. We will spend our days and nights thinking of Him. We will yearn to see His face. Our life will revolve around pleasing Him, because we have learned that He is the perfect, benevolent King. Our heart will skip a beat when He speaks our name. (And He DOES speak YOUR name.) We will no longer fear for our loved ones if we are taken before them, knowing that we did our best and now their Perfect Father, Who loves them so much more than we ever could, will finish the task. It’s not that we don’t love our children enough; it’s just that we love Him more. We begin to find that earth’s pleasures leave us unsatisfied and they begin to fade, while heaven’s light seems to glow behind a thinner shroud.

If we love Him this much, then we will not be able to stop ourselves from speaking of Him with great feeling to our children throughout the day. We will often recall the good gifts He has blessed us with, we will speak of the wonders He has wrought in creation and His many miracles through the ages. When we fail, we will thank Him for His mercy and forgiveness and then do the same for our little ones. We will continually compare Him with the kings of the earth and brag of His surpassing greatness. Our children will see us spontaneously worship with a full heart. We will often speak of heaven with yearning in our eyes, not because of that beautiful mansion we want, but because the King lives there and we will finally see His face and be near Him.

And then, one day…we catch a glimpse of Love’s mist in our own dear children’s eyes.


  1. Anonymous23.12.06

    August 4, 2006 - Your words

    Posted by Jennifer

    Your words fall into my heart like saturating drops of refreshing rain. Beautifully addressed. Thank you.

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    August 4, 2006 - I agree full heartedly

    Posted by Canadagirl

    So true my friend so true.
    In Him,

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    August 4, 2006 - Thank You...

    Posted by FireInMineEars

    What a beautiful post and wonderful reminder. Thank you so much for writing this; it is so easy to make idols of good, even wonderful, things, and forget the Person who is supposed to be first in our heart.

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    August 6, 2006 - Untitled Comment

    Posted by Anonymous

    And do you love Him this way? How long have you loved Him this way? I enjoy your blog so much!

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    August 6, 2006 - I am Blessed To Know You

    Posted by JacqueDixonSoulRestES

    and So Very, Very blessed to read this post.
    You get right to the heart of raising Godly children and being a True Child of the Father. I only wish I fit into the beautiful picture of Love for My Father that you painted - more often.
    You have inspired me, encouraged me, and challenged me.
    Thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to speak through you on this subject.
    Your Friend, Jacque

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    August 6, 2006 - thank you

    Posted by Jeanne

    Thank you, Linda. Thank you, thank you, thank you. What a gift this is.

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    August 7, 2006 - Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

    Posted by KAlexaLott

    I cannot even begin to express what a blessing your blog has been to me. After more than a year of struggling with History (I didn't like the way AO's scope and sequence), I finally was able to open yours and I LOVE IT! In fact, I have copied and pasted your Scope and Sequence for Yr 1 and Yr 2 and your schedules as well! I am so excited now!

    Thank you so much for willingness to share!

    Many blessings,
    Kim Lottman

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    August 8, 2006 - Thanks for this post!

    Posted by deedeeuk

    What an important reminder! I've been challenged this morning in a way I haven't been in ages. It was a great way to help to balance to 'fear' of leaving those we love, and showing them the one we love most! Thank you soo much!

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    August 8, 2006 - Untitled Comment

    Posted by lindafay

    I am most encouraged to hear of so many others encouraged through this post. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

    May His beauty overwhelm you and his love flood your hearts today and forever,

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    August 8, 2006 - Untitled Comment

    Posted by lindafay


    I am happy that you can use the history schedule. Feel free to pick my brain if something is unclear.


  2. I LOVE this post! and yet I feel a pang of, "I'm not there." I KNOW I love my LORD! but I don't have the degree of peace and contentment that is mentioned here. HOW do I get there? I want it sooo badly, and unfortunately forcing it just doesn't work! Please pray for me! (((((HUGS))))) sandi

  3. Sandi,
    I appreciate your honesty. I will share with you, not as someone who has arrived but as one who is learning from those who have gone before me and from my own mistakes and life experiences.

    The road to peace begins with a yearning that turns into a desire so strong that you don't want to live without His presence. In fact, you come to a point where you feel you can't live without Him. Unfortunately, most never desire Him so strongly, even those who chose to follow him, often because they are so caught up with his gifts. So, because of His great love for us, he causes events to happen in our lives that make us WANT to turn to him, make us need him, make us absolutely desperate for him. But he won't force us to him, just persuade us.(Heb12:6) During this painful process, we begin to see our sinfulness in a new light. Sin that we winked at before, looms over us like a specter and we hate what we see in us. Those of us who spent much of our time criticizing the splinter in others realize we have a log lodged in us and we are ashamed. We feel like Pharisees. New compassion forms in us for others as we begin to experience the amazing grace He has given to us. 'All our righteousness is as filthy rags' takes on new meaning in the light of his holiness and love. We learn that we are helpless without Him and then we understand that we never really desired him like we do now. The Lord wants people who are absolutely dependent upon him. That's what the road to holiness is all about. It is a progression from independence to utter dependence. He wants children. (Matt18:3) This is what I am slowly learning as I go through my own dark valleys. (John Bunyan attempted to convey this in Pilgrim's Progress. Remember the valley of the shadow of death?) There is so much more I could say. I feel I am not being very clear. I just want to encourage you that your desire is an excellent thing. I will pray with you that the Lord will grow your desire for HIM above all else. He will not disappoint you. The end result is peace.