November 18, 2010
The Formula
Lysa TerKeurst

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…" Romans 12:2a (NIV)         

Devotion:
When I was a young mom, I was desperate for a formula. I truly thought there must be a formula I could plug my family into that would yield great kids. And there were plenty of moms that tried to convince me they had the formula.

"Bottle feed and never let them sleep in your bed."

"Breastfeed until they are 3 and give them the security of sleeping between you and your husband every night."

"Don't ever send them to pre-school. It will be detrimental to their social development."

"Send them to pre-school right away - it's crucial for their social development."

"TV is good."

"TV is bad."

"They must read by age 5."

"Let them take their time learning to read. You'll ruin their love for books if you force them."

"Step in and model healthy conflict resolution when they argue with their siblings."

"Let them handle things on their own."

"Be there 24/7 for your kids."

"Don't be a helicopter mom. Give your kids room to discover who they are without you hovering over them."

Seriously, it's a wonder we moms figure anything out with all the conflicting information and advice we get. I spent the first five years of motherhood convinced I was messing my kids up beyond repair. And it wasn't for lack of trying. Heavens no. I was serious about gathering every morsel of information I could and trying with all my might to decode "the formula."

Well, here's the deal. I now have kids ranging in ages from 22 to 11 and this is my very best advice in regards to the formula. There isn't one.

There is no perfect parenting formula. What works for one kid may not work for another. The seemingly perfect algorithm one family follows could be disastrous for another.

We weren't made to follow formulas. We were made to follow Jesus. Period.

This is true with parenting but it's also true with every other aspect of our lives as well. We were made to follow Jesus' lead in our marriages, our jobs, our ministries, our churches, our friendships, our everything.

In Romans 12:2 Paul so powerfully reminds us, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing, and perfect will."

We weren't made to be robotic followers of this world's formulas. We were made to be transformed into the unique person God appointed to fulfill the assignments set before us. So, on a practical level what does this look like?

It's a simple woman who humbly acknowledges how much she doesn't know about life and readily admits how much she needs Jesus. Not just in spiritual sense…this woman needs Jesus in every way. All throughout her day, she can be heard whispering heart-felt pleas to her Jesus saying, "Show me the way, show me the way, show me the way."

And as she does this, she loosens her grip on all the formulas thrown at her and courageously embraces His gentle voice behind her saying, "This is the way, now walk in it" (Isaiah 30:21).

Dear Lord, help me to follow You and You alone - not a pre-planned formula. Help me to see that I need You more than anything today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit Lysa's blog for a list of Bible verses every mom should have.

For more wise advice on becoming the mom you want to be click here to order Lysa's book: Am I Messing Up My Kids? (This is an updated and expanded version of her book "The Bathtub is Overflowing but I Feel Drained.")

Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa TerKeurst. The best gift you can give your family is the gift of becoming a godly woman.

Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl DVD set

Lysa will be speaking in over 40 cities this year and she'd love to meet you! To check for a city near you, click here.

When you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries, you touch eternity because your purchase supports the many areas of hope-giving ministry we provide at no cost. We wish we could, but we simply can't compete with prices offered by huge online warehouses. Therefore, we are extremely grateful for each and every purchase you make with us. Thank you!

Application Steps: 
We weren't made to be robotic followers of this world's formulas. We were made to be transformed into the unique person God appointed to fulfill the assignments set before us. So, on a practical level what does this look like for you?

Reflections:
What formulas (if any) have you been following or holding onto?

Please pray over each of them to discern if they are in accordance with God's plan for you and your family.

Power Verses:

Matthew 4:19, "‘Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men.'" (NIV)

Romans 8:5, "Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires." (NIV) 

John 10:27, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." (NIV)

© 2010 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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