Bible as Patternby Christine Berglund

To cover up a very ugly spot right outside our back door, my husband and I have been laying patio stones. After shopping the market and seeing that we could not afford the right pavers, we opted instead to pour concrete mix into molds to form pavers on the area.

In spite of the backbreaking labor, it has been a lot of fun, embedding pebbles and pressing leaves into the wet mix to make leaf impressions in the wet concrete.

Okay, we also scratched the perfunctory “GB & TB” initials with the hearts, too. I guess we can get away with silliness like that after almost 38 years of marriage.

One thing good about molds is that you get the same product each time, with the exception of what you imprint or embed into it. They fit together nicely and will make a lovely patio for a cheapskate couple.

The same is true (minus the cheapskate couple) in Christianity. We are molded into the image of Christ by the pattern found in the Bible.

“Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us” (Philippians 3:17 NASB).

The product will be the same if the same mold is used. The Bible contains the mold, or pattern, that we obey to become Christians. We may look a little different on the outside, with our own personality, just as each of our leaf pavers will be one-of-a-kind. Nevertheless, our purpose will be identical. As New Testament Christians, we serve our Master and our risen Lord.

It delighted and impressed me this week to find a Facebook post by my daughter using the exact same Bible verses and same arguments against early marriage that I used when I was her age. I must admit that my first emotion was surprise, because she is at that age when she seems to feel that her mother knows very little. Then I realized that she was simply allowing herself to be molded by the same power that molded me.

She was quoting the same Bible verses and references that I used so long ago. That same wisdom, found as a pattern in the Bible, kept me safe from the unstable and unhealthy relationships that plagued my friends. In fact, I didn’t date at all until I met the wonderful, godly man who is now my husband. Why bother? Dating has a goal, and the goal should be a godly mate. I could not see any of the other possible love interests ending up that way.

I thank God for the molding that happened as I studied God’s way in the scriptures, rather than following the way of the culture around me. That same information and wisdom is there in the Book, ready for anyone willing to be molded and shaped by God.

As we teach our children, we do well to remember that the amount of Bible facts that we stuff into their heads have value. But far greater is the value of teaching them to allow that precious book to mold them as they continue studying and learning from it!

“But now, O Lord, you are our Father, we are the clay, and you our potter; and all of us are the work of your hand” Isaiah 64:8.

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