Welcome back to the A Believer’s Character series, an alphabetical excursion through a list of important Biblical character traits for children. I’m teaming up with Joyice of Raising Boys Homeschool for this great project. Together, Joyice and I have been exploring Christ-like character traits we want our children to display. Today brings us to the letter Y and I’m talking about raising girls who are willing to yield to the Lord. I encourage you to check out the other character traits I’ve shared by visiting this page.
What is does it mean to yield?
The word yield means to give way to, to submit to, or to surrender to a superior power or authority
Does the Bible say anything about yielding?
It certainly does!
The example that immediately sprung to my mind was Christ’s humble yielding to God the Father. As the crucifixion date grew closer, Christ prayed on the Mount of Olives where He said, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42). Though the Savior asked for suffering to be removed, He yet surrendered to God and went to the cross, thereby acknowledging that His Father’s will was far superior.
But…what if we’re not so eager to yield to God?
Consider Balaam’s experience as it is recounted in the book of Numbers. Balak, King of Moab and his people are living in fear of the strong Israelites. King Balak asks Balaam to come and place a curse on the Israelites but God tells Balaam not to curse the Israelites. Balaam eventually goes to visit King Balak, but is warned by God to speak only what God says.
The next day as Balaam prepares his servants and his donkey for the trip to Moab, we learn that God is angered by the upcoming excursion. God sees right through Balaam, understanding that he has a rebellious and greedy heart. As they travel, Balaam’s donkey veers off the path twice and even sits down one time. This is because the aminal sees the angel of the Lord blocking their intended path.
Since Balaam’s spiritual vision is clouded, he does not see the angel, and he beats the donkey for its alleged disobedience. After the donkey offers a verbal complaint about the beating, Balaam finally sees the angel. God uses a speaking donkey to get Balaam’s attention and to encourage Balaam to completely yield to God’s will.
How can I teach my daughters learn to yield to God?
My husband and I have taught the girls that God’s plan is ALWAYS better than their own personal plans. Therefore, it is important for the girls to willingly yield to God’s authority instead of pursuing their own yearnings. This, however, is often easier said than done, and requires much spiritual discipline.
In order to help them understand how to yield to God, there are three points we share with them: listen, receive, and act.
- Teach them to have listening ears. We want the girls to be able to discern God’s voice, so as I’ve mentioned before we read the Bible and pray with them. This gives my husband and me opportunities to point out scriptural truths the girls can apply to specific life situations and allows us to guide them as they talk to God and await a response.
- Teach them to have receptive hearts. I liken this to receiving a beautiful gift. If a friend shows you a lovely gift she has gotten for you and then offers it to you, but you refuse to receive it, you won’t be blessed by the gift. The girls can hear God, but if they don’t take His words to into their hearts they’ll never benefit from what He has said through Bible reading and prayer.
- Teach them to act upon God’s will. Let’s take the gift analogy one step further. Even after the girls’ accept the gift, they must go one step further and take action by opening the gift in order to be blessed. Once the girls know and understand what God wants them to do, they need to move forward, yield, and do what God has called them to do.
A prayer for yielding:
Dear Lord, thank you for Jesus, Your dear Son. Thank you for for His desire to yield to God’s will by offering Himself as a sacrifice on the cross at Calvary. Help me to remember that Your will is better than mine and help me to yield to You. Give me ears to hear what You want me to hear, a receptive heart to take on Your will, and an active body so that I may act upon Your instructions. In the name of Jesus I pray.
© 2014, Andrea Thorpe. All rights reserved.