A few years ago, we were stirred in our hearts to ask the Lord to give us a family verse. It didn’t take long for one to rise to the surface – Micah 6:8.
“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?“
Back then, with fewer children, it felt like we had more time to be intentional about living this out. As our family life gets fuller, requiring more of us in this season, I find myself thinking that it takes more effort to walk out this mantra. But then I realize that as we allow the Bible to guide us in our lives and in our parenting, a direct result is the equipping of our children to fulfill what “the Lord requires of us.”
To me, this speaks of doing the right thing. Being brave. Being bold. Standing for truth and holiness, even when you might stand alone. This is something we talk through regularly, in many different contexts. Being in the world and not of it. Sharing with your siblings. Offering a kind word when you want to answer with a harsh one. Treating others well. Walking in the courage that God gives us to stand for what is right. And to risk being misunderstood and judged because we choose to see things through the lens of faith.
Seek for ways to show kindness and love to others – whether we know them or not. To reach out in the love we’ve freely received in order to build up those around us. To have our hearts break for others, to cry with those who cry, and walk beside those who feel alone. To me, mercy speaks of bearing with one another.
The key here is walking humbly with my God. It is because of Him, and all He’s done for me, that I get a true taste of humility. When I see my filth and my sin compared to His glory and abounding forgiveness, I cannot help but be brought to my knees. Even as I write this, I am stirred up in my need to meditate on that more – the contrast between who I am, and who I am in Him. It is astounding. All good in me is because of Him, and for that I am humbled and grateful.
With a focus on the JUSTICE portion of this verse, I realize that this is something we can model every day. It is choosing to do the right thing. And that is often not the popular, or easy, or compliant thing to do. The guide book to justice is His Word. The Bible is the ultimate measure of what is right and wrong. It answers every dilemma, and it continuously steers us back to truth.
As a mom, I try to continually refer to God’s Word. That is how I was raised, spoon-fed truth in little nuggets at a time. And now, as an adult, I realize that I have those tucked away in my heart. Though sometimes I fail to do what is right, I do know that I have a Helper that equips me to decipher His guiding and His leading. And perhaps next time, I might be a little quicker to identify when I am choosing to take my own route. Around our home, with a majority of us being verbal processors, we often talk through situations, we share, and we challenge one another. Referring back to the Word of God is the safest way to equip our children as they grow in independence and make their own decisions. He alone can be the measure of what is RIGHT. He alone can grow in us the ability to determine what He is calling us to.
Recently, I have been reading Daniel and I cannot help but wonder if I would have had the courage to stand alone in the company of powerful leaders as they bowed low to appease the king. Would I have bent my knee, telling myself it was to my own God, but trying to fit in and not be noticed? Truth is, I want to be noticed – I want to stand firm – not for my glory, but for His. I am not ashamed of the God I serve. I acknowledge that I have been offered a life where I do not have to comply to what is normal around me. And that may lead to me being misunderstood and rejected, but I am in good company with the King of Kings. (Isaiah 53:3)
Do right. At all costs.
And because of that, we are forever changed.