I run in the paths of your
you have set my heart free. —Psalm 119:32
In our last full post we talked about teaching our children
to evaluate the impact of the entertainment in their lives. This raises an
important point about the role of the Bible in parental instruction. God wants
us to rely upon the Scriptures in all areas of our life. On the basis of
passages like 2 Peter 1:3-4 and 2 Timothy 3:15-17 we affirm that the Bible is
the only perfect or infallible rule for faith and life.
It is important to examine how consistent you are in
applying this truth to life. If you want to win the influence battle against Hollywood, with its mastery
of the “power tools of influence,” then hold tightly to Scripture. Amid the
time pressures and many responsibilities of everyday life, we can unwittingly
add to the Bible’s standard. For example, do your children see you consistently
appealing to the Bible as the basis for your day to day decisions? Or do they
see you relying on some homemade combination of conventional wisdom and common
We must not let the Bible be crowded out by day to day pressures.
The world is so full of competing philosophies and perspectives that you have
to make an intentional effort to start with Scripture. While it is often easier
to do things the way you have always done them, or the way friends say to do
them, or whatever the popular conventional wisdom says, God wants you to do the
hard work of making his Word your source of wisdom.
Faithfully pursued, this approach provides great freedom.
Let’s explore this idea for a moment. The goal is not to
quote Scripture locations with every sentence that we speak. Rather, our goal
should be to have the principles of Scripture be so familiar to us that they flow
freely and naturally out of our mouths. As John says in his first epistle, the
commands of God are not burdensome. Psalm 119:32 puts it this way:
I run in the paths of your commands,
you have set my heart free.
This verse accurately reflects the mindset of someone who
believes that the Bible really is the only perfect rule of faith and life. Here,
intimate knowledge of the Word of God produces a genuine heartfelt freedom. This
verse does not describe someone who is struggling with a heavy burden, but
someone who moves with eagerness and freedom along the path of life. This is
what the Bible is designed to do for the people of God. Psalm 19 says that the Word
of God revives the soul, makes the simple wise, gives joy to the heart, gives
light to the eyes and is much more valuable than precious gold.
If this is what the Bible is to you, then your attitude and
behavior will encourage those around you. You will find yourself being excited
about discovering new ways to apply the Scriptures to your life.
We have covered a lot of ground as we have been thinking and
discussing passages about parenting. In the next couple of posts, as we approach
the summer break, we will consider some points that will help produce that
spirit of freedom that Psalm 119 talks about. Let’s specifically thank God for
the sufficiency of his precious Word. Let’s pray that God would produce the
reality of having our hearts set free as we run in the path of his commands.
Remember, if you think the Word of God is restrictive, your
children will think the Word of God is restrictive. If you act as if obedience
to Christ is a heavy burden, then you will not be the encouragement to your family
that God calls you to be. If following Christ is drudgery to you, then others
will have no desire to serve the God that you serve.
Does your life reflect the joy of Psalm 119:32? We will take
a look at this together. Pray for God’s blessing.