As I was thinking through the process of responding to anger in infants (a challenge I’m working through right now), I was reminded of the passages that talk about learning how to respond rightly to the situations I face each day.
Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. Colossians 4:5
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: II Peter 3:15
The Peter passage in particular is talking within the context of responding to unsaved people, but it clearly can apply to our children. After all, we are teaching them about the hope that is within us, hopefully with a meek and sober attitude. What I’ve been thinking about is that I’ve always focused on the “be ready” part and not on the “sanctify” part. My pastor’s wife suggested this phrase reminds her of the need to renew her mind found in Ephesians 4 and Romans 12. Here is what trusty Matthew Henry says.
We sanctify the Lord God in our hearts when we with sincerity and fervency adore him, when our thoughts of him are awful and reverend, when we rely upon his power, trust to his faithfulness, submit to his wisdom, imitate his holiness, and give him the glory due to his most illustrious perfections.
I like that. I want to be careful that I’m not merely studying how to answer and respond to my children. I want to also be sanctifying God in my heart. That reminds me of Proverbs 3:6: In all thy ways acknowledge [God], and he shall direct thy paths. Yes, I can see how sanctifying God in my heart is like acknowledging God in all my ways. That’s a fun connection I’ve never made until now.
The only trouble is, now I feel sheepish about starting to think through the problem (my promised post) until after I’ve spent some time doing this. Part of me says “can’t you write first and sanctify later?” No, I guess not. I hope you all don’t mind if I tackle anger and infants tomorrow. I need to think about this some more, and maybe others do, too.