I was raised in a home where the Word of God was the standard by which everything was measured. We did not watch the news to determine our choices. We did not ask relatives for advice that would become our final authority. We did not go to the local college to determine our moral standard. We did not even go to other families in our church to decide what we would believe, and not believe. My parents made the decision that if they saw a biblical truth … that would become the rule in our home. I hate to use that word, “rule;” I think the word “standard” is a better description. A “standard” means ‘accepted as normal or average.’
My parents set forth very specific guidelines for our family and in our home. We were taught these guidelines as though they were convictions. They were our parent’s convictions by choice, and if we were living under their roof, they were our convictions by demand. As I grew up and went off to college, I took their convictions with me. I quickly discovered that when I was out from under my parent’s roof, that I was going to need to stand for my own convictions. I began studying the Bible from a different perspective. I no longer had someone hovering over my choices … I was on my own (somewhat).
As I studied the Bible, and began discovering these truths for myself, I began to change my convictions from that of convictions by demand, to convictions of my own choice. What delights me to this day, is that the convictions our parents placed in our home growing up, have largely been the convictions I have carried throughout my life. Today I read, “I will run the way of Thy commandments, when Thou shalt enlarge my heart” (Psalm 119:32). I love that last phrase “… when Thou shalt enlarge my heart.’
As a child and a young person growing up in my home, my father and mother were in the process of helping me grown a heart for God. They knew that there would be a day when I would leave their home. It was their responsibility to pour the Word of God into my heart. Through repetition, memorization, and meditation within the walls of our home. It was also their responsibility to get me into a church that stood on and for the Word of God. The day would come when I would step outside their authority, and I would need a strong foundation when that day came. I am thankful for parents who raised my sister and I on the Word of God. My heart has “enlarged” as I have gotten older. Those foundational truths we were taught in the Word of God by following the pattern of our parents have helped me to “run the way of Thy commandments.” I hope our children/grandchildren can say the same!