No Other Gods

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image” (Exodus 20:3-4a).

Somewhere in my homeschooling experience, my children became the focus of not only my day, but also my entire life. I found myself thinking of their needs constantly and became self-absorbed in making their lives happy and successful. Although a measure of this devotion and attention was appropriate, there was a surplus of affection that was being misdirected. My children had become my idols, whom I worshiped with all my energy and time.

Lovingly, God set a course of events to correct me of my mistake. The lesson culminated when I read the story of Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22. Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son on an altar in worship to the Lord convicted me. I knew I loved my four children too much to let them go. The thought of losing them at a young age was more than I could bear. Somehow, I knew God was asking me to lay them, my greatest treasures, at His feet. Living for the Lord first and serving my family second was the correct order of priorities.

Have your children become your idols? You may not think so, but evaluate your thought life, your daily schedule, and your heart. Who is the object of your worship and devotion — Jesus or your family? Don’t rob God of the devotion due to Him. “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God” (Exodus 20:5a).

Heavenly Father, forgive me for putting my children before You. All I have is from You, including my family. Today, I’m making You the first priority in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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KATHY P 09/05/2008 10:02:30

Thank You for writing this word of encouragement. That "appropriate measure" is certainly a difficult balancing act. I sometimes feel guilty for telling my kids to leave mom alone for a while so that I can have my time with God. That guilt is straight from the mouth of the devil and today I will shun that voice of wrong direction and heed the vocie of my maker and put HIM first over my kids. Thanks Again!!!

MARNIE S 09/05/2010 14:28:39

Great topic - I see so often in homeschooling families and I've been guilty of the same thing...God clearly showed me I was building an alter around my children and homeschooling that was higher than my alter to Him. I found the motivation behind it was I was parenting from a place of fear rather than love. I feared losing my children or them being "harmed by the world" or "losing their salvation". God helped me surrender each one to Him and let His love fill the spot my children were filling. IN that process the fear was gone (perfect love casts out fear) and I saw more clearly how I needed to get that balance and even set some new boundaries w/ my children. God showed me that "my" children are on loan from Him for this time and I need to do my best to help them grow in Godly character and knowledge, but ultimately they will need to find their own way and journey to a deeper love of God as the grow up. Thanks for the great messages :-)

KIM P 09/06/2011 04:19:34

Thank you for this topic! I studied the book of Isaiah last year as part of a women's Bible study and the subject of idolatry was very present and convicting! I'm just starting out in homeschooling - my oldest is 5 and we just started kinder! I'm very excited and thankful to God for this blessing. But what are some practical ways to not make our kids everything? To not put them before God? Homeschooling obviously takes up a lot of time and planning and having young children is a lot of work!! Any advice anyone can share would be great. I appreciated Marnie's comment because that was helpful as well! Thank you!

GEORGIA A 09/06/2011 05:04:10

Good morning! I too am just starting homes hooking my 9 & 11 yr olds after being at a wonderful Christian school for 8 yrs. It is a daunting task and my children, although they are doing well, miss seeing their friends/classmates on a daily basis. My prayer to our Lord is to guide me in making this year a time of joy, learning, balance and organization. Blessings of joy and refreshment to all of my fellow homeschoolers!!

EMILY T 09/06/2011 05:46:58

Thank you for this reminder. When we think of idols, I tend to think of things like money, myself, food, tv, computer...but I never thought of my daughter as an idol. Thank you so much for this devotion.

NISHA W 09/06/2011 07:46:04

Thank you. It is so easy to get this one out of whack. I know were it not for my morning quiet time Iwould always be hopelessly lost in this balance. Putting Him first on my calendar puts my mind in the right perspective. Yet even this is only by the grace He gives to obey.

KIMBERLY D 09/06/2011 08:38:43

Thank you for this gentle reminder, that although my children are my responsibility, the Lord must always be my focus. For without him, nothing is possible....

Carla B 09/06/2011 15:14:40

I really needed this today-this past weekend I dropped my eldest off at a worship school far, far away. I know this is the best thing for her, but I am really struggling with coming home to a house without her. Life just feels so weird, but I need to keep my eyes on the Lord...

DESIREE M 09/14/2011 06:09:45

All I can say is WOW! Profound and Powerful.

KATHY S 09/06/2012 06:01:02

I am protective over my very \"special\" child. We talk about Jesus throughout the day, and he does our main praying at night. I go to this devotional in the morning and pray before school starts, and we pray through the day (although alot of the time it is because we need the Lord\'s help). Still, I hope I am not putting my child before God. I do not worship my child, but I do protect him from harm, that\'s why I started homeschooling to begin with. I guess after reading this devotional, if I\'m doing something wrong, I\'m sure God will gently show me. Thanks for another great devotional that always makes me think!

SARAH S 09/06/2012 08:30:32

And the King will say, I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!\' Matthew 25:40

VICKY K 11/20/2012 08:57:40

All fine and dandy until you do lose one of your children at a young age. Then let me know if that child is on your mind all of the time. I do my best with what God has given me. That\'s all I can do.

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