“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” Psalm 145:18 (NIV)
Last time we were together I spoke about how God used our 8-year-old child to introduce a new tradition to our family to give our firsts to God at the beginning of the school year in a way that impacted our family more than anointing the doorframes with oil would have. As a result, I learned two valuable lessons that night.
First, I don’t always have to be in charge. The same way God taught me to submit completely to my husband last year, I need to submit to others in my family, to friends, to co-workers, to bosses. My ideas aren’t always the best ideas. I have a lot to learn from others if I take the time to listen, truly listen to their hearts.
Second, just because we’ve “always done it this way” doesn’t mean we always have to do it that way. God cares more about our hearts and why we’re doing something than the actual tradition itself. Would it have been wrong to anoint the doorframes with oil? No, not if after praying God didn’t replace that tradition with another. But, because I honestly prayed for insight and promised God I would submit, I believe since God answered my prayer through our son’s suggestion, I would have been disobedient to God’s still small voice had I objected.
Instead, God prompted my heart to listen ahead of time so that when my son asked for the opportunity to introduce a new tradition, I was already prepared to say yes. Not only did our family get to enjoy a time of togetherness, but our son was validated that he has great things to offer God that are all his own.
Will we repeat that tradition again? I hope so. Will it replace anointing the doorframes with oil? Maybe, maybe not. I realized through this simple invitation and the beginning of a new tradition that God loves hearts that want to obey. I don’t care the tradition we use to dedicate our home to God. I’m just glad that our family has a heart bent toward dedicating our home to God on a regular basis. And I’m excited to see what other traditions may be introduced in the future because every tradition that draws us closer to each other by drawing us closer to our Father is always welcome in this family.
© Cheri Swalwell 2017