Recently, I was reflecting on God breaking off the fear of man from my life. When I began to think back, God showed me how a major part of this freedom came right from my own home.
Without really knowing it, I used to fear my families rejection. I would orchestrate each day, unknowingly, with this in mind. Every step I took was to ensure their affection, and over time it wore me out. Completely.
There were times when I feel the Father asking me to spend time with Him, but I was worried about my husband getting offended, so I wouldn’t go. There were times when I neglected myself and my own needs, that I was left totally depleted.
Then I began to respond to a gentle wooing. It began slowly and honestly, unintentionally. I simply knew I was hearing God and began to respond to the gentleness. When living in Conway, AR every morning when I woke up I would not get out of bed until I felt the peace and presence of God. No matter what. Don’t forget that was the time when I had 4 kids under the age of 8 and was nursing one of them and Chris was living in PA. Nonetheless, I would lay in bed with eyes closed waiting for peace, no matter what I heard going on in the other rooms of the house. It began to transform my whole world. It was amazing how such a simple act began to shift the atmosphere of the home and also began breaking the fear of man’s approval from my heart.
Sometimes things break off in one dramatic moment, but other times it’s a gradual progression and a result of many seemingly small decisions.
My next hallmark decision came while living in PA. God asked me to begin having a date with Him every Sunday afternoon. So I told Chris about it, and with his help, I carved out a time to get away for an hour every Sunday afternoon. It became the most wonderful and transforming time!! Most often, I would drive over to a local pond and sit in the van. Sometimes, I would play worship music and simply sit. Sometimes, I would read my Bible. Sometimes, I sat in silence. One thing was certain, every time He showed up too. Eventually, my whole family grew accustomed to my date’s with God and they seemed to even derive some pleasure in the fact that I was doing it. I am forever grateful for this time.
What I learned was, when I respected myself and my walk with God, those nearest to me would somehow also feel loved. Isn’t that crazy? Also, I have learned that if I can’t walk out my life with Christ unashamedly in front of my family, then how can I do it anywhere else? If I can’t walk free of the fear of man at home, then how can I when I’m out in the world?
It all starts at home.
Fear not; for I am with you: Don’t be dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1
The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe. Proverbs 29:25