As I've been thinking about raising my girls with a heart for missions, I keep coming back to the same thought....
If missions isn't important to me, then it won't be important to my kiddos.
It seems simple enough, but so often I think that I can just "hope" ideas into their heads.
Ideas like, "Missions are really important so they should think they are important even if I'm not doing anything to teach them or show them that."
Kinda like the old phrase, "Do as I say, not as I do."
It doesn't work.
If the equation starts with me, then what must be going on in my heart?
First, I must have a heart that seeks the God of missions.
A heart that does not burn for God will never burn for others.
How can it?
I'm a fallen human being that cares only for myself.
I can't "work up" enough good feelings to live selflessly for other people.
Even if I could, my good feelings aren't going to get anyone anywhere.
The only thing that can change a person is Christ.
And if He is not important to me, then He'll never be important to those I'm trying to reach.
And how do I gain this heart for God?
I tend to over-complicate this one.
The idea itself isn't difficult, but the carrying out of it takes work.
I gain a heart for God by getting to know Him,
and the way I can get to know Him is His words.
Before I had kiddos this one wasn't too hard.
I had plenty of time for Bible reading, study, and prayer.
And then I had kids, and it got a lot more difficult than I'd ever imagined.
I'd make excuses.
I'd fall asleep.
And after a while, I just felt horribly guilty until I'd break down crying.
Finally a wise woman made the point that walking with God doesn't look the same in every season of life.
As a young mother I will not have a three hour block of time to sit quietly and read and study and pray.
So I learn to grab time when I have it ~ whether that means snatching a few minutes when I'm supposed to be scrubbing stains or hiding in the bathroom a few extra minutes.
This is also the season of life that the memorized Word is so very important.
As I'm busy about my work, I should be meditating, chewing on the portions of Scripture I've memorized.
And if I didn't memorize much when I had the time?
I write verses on cards and I post them wherever I am the most ~ above the kitchen sink, the kitchen counter where I do most of my food prep, the door frame I walk past all day long, above the washing machine, at my desk.
They can be fancy or plain, but the important thing is that I can be taking in His Words and learning His heart.
How else do I cultivate a heart for missions?
Secondly, I must be reminded of His words about missions regularly.
I'm a word thinker, so I decorate specifically with words that remind me of my life's purpose.
Maybe you are a picture thinker.
If so, then decorate with pictures that remind you of His commission to us.
I use a chalkboard I made from a broken mirror as my reminder.
It can be anything really ~ a sampler hanging on your wall, framed art, a globe, a photo, a piece of jewelry.
Just find something that serves as your daily, hourly reminder of why God put you on this earth.
Last for today, I must be very specific about what I fill my mind with.
If I fill my mind with vain things, then I'll usually think worthless thoughts.
If I fill my time reading romance stories, then I'll probably be thinking about how I wish my life was like that story book.
If I fill my ears with news of a fallen world, then I'll definitely be thinking fearfully.
But if I fill my mind with stories of God's working in the world?
Then I'll likely be thinking about how God can work right where I am at.
And isn't the whole point of this post supposed to be how to develop our own heart for missions?
What I put in, comes out.
So I must ask myself, what am I putting into my mind?
Does it make my heart yearn for God and to be a part of His work in this world.....
I'll be writing about this topic for the next 40 days.
I'd love to have you join, and I'd love to hear what you do personally to have a heart for missions!
Would you like to read the entire series?