I would lead you and bring you
Into the house of my mother, who used to instruct me;
Song of Songs 8:2 NASB
These lines feel a little autobiographical to me.
I was introduced to the faith at home from a very young age. My parents were of the opinion that if the doors of the church were open we should be on the inside. That meant that at the very least, Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday evening. We were actually part of a few different churches through my formative years, first Plymouth Brethren, then an independent Evangelical church. After a move to Virginia, we spent some of my high school years in a Presbyterian church, and then finally back to NJ and that Evangelical church.
When the Song of Songs speaks of the maiden’s mother it’s talking about the church. In God’s plan and economy, the church is the normal agency for the nurture and training of young believers. The church is tasked with training up Christians in how to walk and grow in a life with God—discipleship. Jesus commissioned us:
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. – Matthew 28:19-20 NASB
When I was in my mid-twenties, I encountered Jesus, and began pursuing Him with a passion and zeal that I had not previously known.
Headstrong and full of self-righteousness, I gathered up my young family and left that church, to pursue ‘deeper things.’
I did learn some deeper things in my travels. Here are two of the deeper things I learned:
The grass is in fact always greener on the other side of the fence.
There is no such thing as the perfect church.
Through some not-so-interesting circumstances, I ended up visiting my old church, the one I could call ‘my mother, who used to instruct me.’
The draw I sensed was strong, leading me to come back and bring the grown up version of Ben back to this body where I grew up. I had grown. The Father is a genius at using even our questionable choices for good outcomes in our lives.
In my life, the Lord brought me back to my mother. At the same time I brought Him back to my mother.
The Lord is faithful to nurture us, even when we kick against the method He wants to use. We have a good Father.
See you again soon
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