I have a confession: I only bathed my kids one day last week. It wasn’t on purpose… entirely. I blame the weather.
Shadows were stretching long and temperatures were trending warm. Pleas to play for just a little longer were heeded. A frosty winter will do that to you… make you crave the sun.
It hardly seemed worth the time to waste that beautiful weather inside bathing, so we didn’t. As I’m sure you can imagine, it got stinky around our house.
During the stinky week, I was reflecting on Joshua, the warrior leader of Israel. He was second only to King David in his successful leadership in pursuit of the Promised Land.
Brave and courageous are characteristics that readily stand out when I read about his life, but when I look again at his leadership, another word keeps popping up… sanctity. Clean. Set Apart. Pure.
Listen, even though I’m notoriously bad at bath time, I definitely want to learn what I can from Joshua’s godly leadership. How can we guide our families in this spiritual cleaning?
1. Prepare for a new day.
“And Joshua said to the people, ‘Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.’” (Joshua 3:5)
We all know the hope that each new morning brings. Let’s invite our kids to reflect on the day before even going to bed, to take inventory of our hearts. Evenings are a great time to lead our kids in prayer to ask God to clean today’s desert dust off our hearts, so that it doesn’t weigh down the wonder of tomorrow morning.
Tip: This evening have a quick prayer time to ask for clean hearts to see the wonder of God’s work tomorrow.
2. Use traditions to teach.
“So Joshua made flint knives for himself, and circumcised the sons of Israel at the hill of the foreskins.” Joshua 5:3
Joshua led the Israelites in being circumcised to remind them that God had set them apart. We can use prayer, scripture reading, worship or any other Christian traditions, not just as habits, but as reminders that God has set us apart. Mindful tradition helps us to plant deep roots in who God was, grow in who He is, and confidently stretch forth knowing that He will always be.
Tip: Set aside time for a daily scripture reading to teach your kids about what God has done; use that as a jumping off point to talk about what He is doing in your lives now.
3. Recover from a bad day.
“Get up, sanctify the people, and say, ‘Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, because thus says the Lord God of Israel: “There is an accursed thing in your midst, O Israel; you cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the accursed thing from among you.” Joshua 7:13
Like Joshua, even the most intentional leadership in our homes doesn’t stop us from occasionally stumbling or going astray. When sin sneaks in the back door and we get on the wrong path as a family, we can show our children how to hold sin up to the light. We can use bad days as a chance to talk to our kids about sin, forgiveness, and grace.
Tip: Tonight at dinner talk to your children about your missteps and your repentance, and invite them to do the same.
Daily life can get us all a little dirty and dusty sometimes, and if we forget to wash we will start to stink. Let’s be intentional about getting our spirits cleaned off… even if we can’t find time for a bath!
Word of the Day:
Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth. (John 17:17)
Lord, scrub us clean from the mess of the world. Clear our eyes and our hearts to see Your wonders for today. Thank you for your Word, which guides us into all truth. In Your Name, Amen.
Follow Kaylie at her blog at www.kayliehodges.com