Posted By Jennifer McBride on July 17, 2011
And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. Deuteronomy 6:6,7
These beautiful words are a powerful command to Christian parents. Often used–and rightly so–as an example of the discipleship model of homeschooling and the need to teach our children the ways of the Lord from sun up to sun down, these verses encouraged me in a whole new way the other day.
Over the past four years I have been battling severe adrenal fatigue. At times I gain the upper hand and can almost pretend I’ve conquered the beast, but it is a constant exhausting struggle. Every now and then the Monster attacks with renewed vigor, knocks me off my feet and cripples me for a time. Over the past several months I’ve been on the losing end of the battle and have once again hit the point where I’m spending most of my days in bed, on the couch, in my faithful recliner or a mixture of the three.
Along with the battle of physical fatigue comes the battle against discouragement. The other day I was laying in bed staring at my boring ceiling and feeling like a useless blob wth thoughts along these lines running through my mind: “I’m missing even more precious time mothering my little ones, the household is once again turned upside down, Steve is bearing a huge burden and I don’t even feel like reading, memorizing Scripture, watching Jane Austen films, organizing my recipes or otherwise utilizing all this lovely free time. Nope, all I can do is lay and stare. How in the world can I be of any use to the Lord when I can’t even get out of bed?”
The Lord so graciously brought Deuteronomy 6:6,7 to mind and drew my attention to the words “when thou liest down”. Aha! The light of Truth broke through my dark discouragement as the Lord reminded me again that no matter how hard things are, I still need to be obedient to Him and I still have a responsibility to all the little eyes watching me. I can certainly still love the Lord with all my “heart, soul and strength” even when I am in the “liest down” category and I can still teach my children to do so too.
Whether I am up reading books, baking cookies and walking by the way with my children or whether I am in bed unable to sit up and do a thing, the example I am setting for them will leave a strong impression one way or the other. Through all these difficult days the hearts, minds and souls of my little ones are being trained and formed. They are not on “pause” just because I can’t mother them the way I want to. They will either learn to doubt the Lord or they will learn to trust Him.
If I can do nothing more than lay in bed I can do it with a good attitude and a smile for them when they come in the room. I can still provide a happy atmosphere in the home. I can avoid complaining, I can praise them for the extra work they have to do while Mommy is sick, I can encourage them to be a help to Daddy with a good attitude, I can admire the cards they bring me, I can speak to them kindly. I can point them to the faithfulness of our Heavenly Father and the lessons we are learning through this trial. I can glorify God and point my children to Him by the way I conduct myself in times of trial and adversity. I can walk with the Lord even when my body can barely move–and it is absolutely imperative that I do so.
I hope these thoughts will encourage you as they have me. As mothers, we have little eternal souls that we are responsible for no matter what our situation in life is like. When things are going well we need to point our children to the Lord. When times are hard we need to point our children to the Lord. May we be faithful to love our great God with all our “heart, soul and strength” and to teach this love for Him and the truth of His Holy Word diligently to our children when we sit down–be it to read them a book or because we are just to weak to stand; when we walk along the way–whether our steps are strong or faltering; when we lie down–whether it be in green pastures or in absolute weariness; and when we rise up–as we climb the Hill Difficulty, or on wings like eagles.