I needed the Phillips-head screwdriver, which was supposed to be in our kitchen’s junk drawer.
I sifted through the chaotic space, searching wildly, and without luck.
For a person who cherishes the neat and the tidy, I was horrified at this state of disarray. A disaster! How had I allowed it to become such a wreck? The previous week my husband had combed through it in search of super glue. The week before that it had been scissors. And prior to that? Tape.
With the Phillips-head nowhere in sight, I was done, frustrated, and now determined to fix the real problem, which was not a missing tool.
My problem was a dreadfully disordered drawer.
One hour and eighteen dollars later, I held a junk drawer organizer in my hot little hands. In only a matter of minutes, peace and order returned.
Band-Aids, cough drops, screwdrivers, scissors, rulers, chip clips, pencils, sharpies, post-it notes, tape, birthday candles, super glue, nail clippers, and even a mini flashlight now each have their own compartments.
We slide open the drawer and take what we need.
Unless you are living beneath a rock, I do not have to explain that disorder is decimating our culture. The ruler of this world, Satan, is having his heyday. It won’t last. (Revelation 20:7-10)
But in the meantime, I ask you: As a Christian, how do you plan to flourish spiritually in such chaos?
Perhaps it is time to clean out your junk drawer.
Go ahead–start by emptying the contents and tossing everything that is displeasing to God.
Your Bible will serve as your junk drawer’s organizer.
We have the only instruction book required for living well, and it is the Good Book. In order to know it, you first must read it. This requires setting aside gentle swells of time to spend with the Lord.
Be unrushed in your prayer and Bible study time, as you read God’s Word, savoring this treasure. Seek to obey the Lord as you learn what he loves and what he opposes and what he requires. Do not rely on Sadie from small group or Steven from Bible Study to be your conduit to truth. We are living in warped times, where multitudes of professing Christians are not only embracing but sadly teaching worldly solutions to spiritual problems.
Truly, you must know God’s Word for yourself.
And it is paramount, kind reader, to faithfully teach your children and grandchildren the delight of obedience to God through Scripture.
Explain that God created the entire universe with his strong voice. (Genesis 1) Step outside with your family and name the constellations and discover the face of the moon. Openly wonder at the shapes of the cumulus, cirrus, and stratus cloud formations. Show your loves the difference between the brilliant maple trees and the stately pines. Toss whirly birds into the air and watch them flutter earthward.
Tell them that our Creator knows the number of hairs on their little heads (Luke 12:7) and that he painted the beautiful color of their eyes. (Psalm 139:13-14) Emphasize that God never makes mistakes and that all of his promises hold true. (Psalm 145:13) Inform them that God intentionally fashioned our microscopic DNA, weaving us together.
We must respect and honor the fact that God made you, my dear son, to be a male, and you, sweet granddaughter, to be a female. (Genesis 1:27) Children, God was not joking when he created each one of us, and we must never disagree with his perfect design and craftsmanship by trying to be something we are not.
Never, ever, apologize to your children and grandchildren for that which God created, declaring it to be good.
With these thoughts in place, God’s Word front and center, you have now given your children and grandchildren a biblical framework in which to place life’s tools. It will now make better sense to them as you seek to help them deposit godly tools in life’s drawer, while discarding the world’s lies right into the trash can.
As you model joyful, narrow-way living, do not swerve from direct Bible reading and discussion. You will be bombarded with other options, so flashy! so fun! Build the wisdom and discernment to say No, firmly and graciously declining, willfully discarding poor choices in favor of God’s way. Children will gladly rise to the level of expectation that you set. Open your Bible and expect them to open theirs. It is delightfully simple, and children are perfectly capable of understanding clearly spoken truth.
Teach truth to your children and grandchildren when they lie down, and wake up, when you go out for ice cream, and play on the swing set, when you drive home from the ball game, and when you throw stones in the pond. Laugh and have fun and build memories and forts and sandcastles and snowmen. Enjoy the goodness of God through the pleasures of nature and the gift of family.
Practice spiritual discernment before your family, another invaluable tool for life’s drawer as you seek to choose godly friends, good books, and kind speech. Flood another compartment with Scripture memory, and another with humble service to others. Teach your children and grandchildren that they are not the center of the universe, and neither are you–God is. They are not to be worshiped, and neither are you–God is. Pray together and openly model confession and repentance and forgiveness.
Instruct your children in the joy of obedience to you as parents. Your little ones must first respect and obey you before they learn to fully respect and obey God. Love them enough to discipline them well.
I once taught a children’s Sunday School class in which a youngster consistently rebelled, throwing furniture and dark scowls and unkind words around the room. It stunned me until I realized that this child was permitted to run the show at home by controlling the mood of the house. The child’s parents did not discipline their youngster, and clearly feared their offspring more than God. This kindergartener was never required to obey and was therefore utterly miserable–perpetually angry and rebellious.
Living in obedience to the Lord is serious, serious, business. Our children and grandchildren are observing what we believe to be true, through our actions.
The Biblical order of the home is clear: little ones are to obey their parents in the Lord. (Ephesians 6:1) Wives are to submit to their husbands as unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:22), and husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). If this hierarchy is out of whack, the family will not thrive.
God is kind to give us the blueprint of well-ordered living, isn’t he? Obedience to Scripture it is meant to bless us.
The next compartment?
Transparency in sharing the real hardships that authentic Christianity brings. (John 16:33) This understanding of truth is a tool children must have. If you insist that life is meant to be all blue skies and smooth waters, your family will be prone to giving up or giving in to sin when difficulties arise through obedience to following Christ. And as you truly follow him, hardships will multiply. (1 Peter 4:12)
Another crucial compartment to fill is your unwavering commitment to be in church every single week. Your family’s spiritual health depends upon it. Our prone-to-wander hearts must be under the regular teaching of God’s Word in order to mature, and not in a once-in-a-while fashion. This habit will reap spiritual dividends, deepening those roots of faith. Place the priority of consistent church attendance above sports, shopping, birthday parties, work, sleeping in, and socializing.
We are instructed to not forsake meeting together. (Hebrews 10:25)
From time-to-time I counsel women who are desperate and hurting, their lives in shambles, disordered from top to bottom. Mothers and wives and daughters suddenly at loose ends. There is a common theme at play, and it goes like this:
I don’t know what’s wrong…our family attends church at least once a month, (excuse my dusty Bible, we are just so busy with sports and birthday parties and vacations) and I drop my children off at youth group once a week. Shouldn’t that be enough to do the trick?
Do the trick?
The trick of forming ardent Christ-followers, burning with devotion to God?
I assure you, there are no tricks.
There is a simple drawer of God-honoring disciplines, based purely on Scripture.
And each person, within each family, must learn to reach for those tools.
But to own the tools you must first truly love and cherish God above all else. If your confession of faith is false, your life will eventually prove it.
The beauty of submission to God leads to a rightly-ordered life.
Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me. Psalm 119:133