She plopped herself right in the middle of my less-than-sparkling kitchen floor and screamed like she was having a limb forcibly removed.
I’m talking about the bellowing-until-you’re-red-faced-and-shaking-from-exertion kind of screaming.
I wish I could tell you what the screaming was about, but the truth is, I can’t remember. And I bet she can’t either. Whatever it was, it was insignificant.
But that didn’t stop my four-year-old sweet-and-sassy girl from being passionate about it just the same. In fact, if there’s one thing both of my girls are (and just maybe their mama is, too), it’s passionate.
Passion can be defined as “a powerful emotion or its expression, especially the emotion of love, anger, or hate.”
(Yep. I’m pretty sure screaming your head off qualifies.)
“If only passion didn’t express itself in such poor behavior!” said every mom always.
Except guess what? As true as this is for kids, it’s even truer for adults. In fact, passion is at the core of some pretty heinous crimes and some pretty despicable sins. So much so that passion is often assumed to be something bad.
But here’s the thing – we serve a passionate God. There’s not a more vivid expression of passionate love than the cross. Being made in His image includes the capacity for emotion, even (and maybe especially) strong emotion that rises to the level of passion.
I want my daughters to be passionate – to have powerful emotions. I want them to be fiercely protective. I want them to have fiery devotion. I want them to experience fervent love.
And so as a Christ-following mama who’s desperate to point her daughters toward Jesus, I’m realizing that it’s not about squelching their passion. It’s about steering it.
Pointing my daughter toward Jesus isn't about squelching her passion. It's about steering it. @aDivineNcounter… Click To Tweet
I don’t have this all figured out yet, but I suspect we steer their passion by talking about things that matter, and talking about them like they matter.
I have a feeling we steer it by modeling passion for all the right things, and by resisting passion for those things that are less than excellent.
And I’m pretty sure we steer it by presenting them with real-life opportunities to learn about what really matters.
And what are those things that really matter? Here are a few passions I’m seeking to develop in my life, and by God’s grace, in the lives of my girls.
Passion for God. “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” (Psalm 63:1)
- Deep gratitude for Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.
- A constant and conscious awareness of the Holy Spirit’s presence.
- A zealous love for the Word of God and for truth.
- Spreading God’s glory in the world through personal evangelism and world missions.
- A hunger and thirst after righteousness, leading to holiness.
- Times of prayer that are so fervent, it’s as though we were promised we’d be granted whatever we ask – because we were. (John 14:13-14)
- Stewardship of every aspect of life, relentlessly viewing each experience, each relationship, each opportunity, each talent, each dollar, each moment as divine gifts meant to be stewarded well.
Passion for people. “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.” (Romans 12:10-11)
- Cherishing close and vulnerable friendships.
- A home with hospitable doors and friendly arms flung wide.
- Connected involvement in Christ’s Church and in the local church.
- Active care for the oppressed, including orphans, widows, and slaves, as well as those experiencing extreme poverty.
- Vicious advocacy for the sanctity of life, from before the first heartbeat until after the last breath.
Passion for marriage. “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised.” (Song of Solomon 8:7)
- Fiercely guarding purity until marriage and after marriage.
- Respect for the differences between masculinity and femininity.
- Determination to reverence her husband in obedience to God’s command.
- Enjoyment of physical affection and sex within marriage.
- Living out and advocating for God’s design for marriage, with regard to its permanence and its purpose.
Passion for children. “But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children.” (I Thessalonians 2:7)
- Confident in God’s endorsement of a mother’s calling.
- Recklessly trusting God’s plan for the size of her family.
- Committed to training up her children in the way they should go.
- Devoted to fervent prayer on their behalf.
- Determined to follow God’s leading for their education and other pursuits.
Heavenly Father, the ability to feel is a beautiful gift. Though our passion for You will never meet the level of Yours for us, may ours grow ever stronger as long as we live on this earth. Please fan hot the fiery flames of holy passion in our hearts, that our daughters may walk in our footsteps even as we walk in Yours. In Jesus’ precious name I pray, Amen.
Now it’s your turn! What would you add to these passions a Christ-following woman should cultivate? I’d love for you to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
Loving child of Almighty God, adoring wife, and homeschooling mother of three, I am active in teaching and music ministries in my local church. I am passionate about encountering my Savior and about encouraging other women to do the same. It would be an honor to have you visit me at A Divine Encounter!