Memorizing my monthly verses along with Charleston this year (something I shared about in this post) has been such a blessing. This spiritual practice of Scripture memory has always been deeply impactful for me personally, and having my son come alongside me in this has been especially powerful (for me, and I hope for him too).
Knowing that these verses would be laying the groundwork for many of our spiritual mother/son conversations this month, I had Charleston in mind when praying over which passage to commit to memory for February.
As my kids’ mom, my number one, tippy top priority is to raise children who know and follow the One True God. Everything else is secondary to my goal of pointing them to the truth and beauty that can be found in Jesus. To quote Dane Ortlund yet again, “what is it that [our children] need? Most deeply? Yes, they need friends, and encouragement, and academic support, and good square meals. But might it be that the truest need, the thing that will sustain and oxygenate them when all these other vital needs go unmet, is a sense of the attractiveness of who Jesus is for them?” I want my kids to know that my own love and provision, powerful as it may be, cannot hold a candle to the love and care they will find in Christ.
Bari Weiss recently did a show on our current golden age of “gurus.” She attributed the rising number of internet influencers and “experts”—and the increase in followers flocking to their lightweight promises—to the decline in organized religion and our deteriorating trust in institutions. As a society, our eyes have been opened to the many ways the “higher ups” have misled us, and we’ve grown disillusioned; yet our hearts still yearn for guidance, our ears still perk for an authoritative voice to call us out of the shadows and into the light. This makes us easy targets for false prophets and deceivers—most of whom themselves are simply misguided, though there are undoubtedly many who are malicious in their abusive leadership.
Sadly, it is in this entirely broken and wayward culture that I am raising my children. Falsehoods lurk around every corner with imitation beacons of light presenting ideas that seem appealing but only lead them further away from the Capital-T Truth. Before throwing my children to the wolves, I want them to become so well acquainted with the God of the Bible that they will recognize imposters from a mile away. I want my children to know the God that is their redeemer and rescuer, their refuge when falsehoods threaten to consume them.
Psalm 31—which was penned by David in moments of deep distress as he was persecuted by Saul—paints a beautiful picture of God, our redeemer. David points to God’s righteousness as the motivator for His act of salvation: David knew he, David, was unworthy of rescue, just as we who read this psalm thousands of years later can never earn our own salvation. But David leaned into God’s goodness and grace, acknowledging God’s power and pleading for His guidance and a freedom that could be found only in Him. I want my children to know that this same God that rescued King David is the God who hears their cries and offers them rescue and redemption in their moments of fear, and brokenness, and disillusionment. When they hit rock bottom, God is still there—offering to be their steady rock to stand on and their stepping stones out of the darkest pit.
Verse five ends with a declaration that the Lord who saves us is the God of Truth. It is this attribute of the Lord—the fact that He is not just the God of truth but that He Himself is the total embodiment of Truth—that I have been drawn to most deeply in this age of relativism and open-ended “truth”. God’s truthfulness does not allow Him to disregard our brokenness, dismiss our shortcomings, or discredit our pain: He is fully aware of the depravity of our souls and our circumstances, but this does not repel Him. Instead, He draws near. He extends His hand. He rescues.
Heavenly Father, I thank you that you are our rescuer and redeemer. Jesus, I thank you for entering into our fallen world in order to pave the way for our redemption. Holy Spirit, I thank you for opening our eyes and hearts and souls to the greatness and goodness of the truth. I pray that my children will know you as their rock and fortress. And I pray that I will know this too, and not just know it, but live into it. Into your hand I entrust my spirit, for you have redeemed me.