Finishing The Race

Pursuing God One Shin Splint at a Time

As Iron Sharpens Iron

By Michelle Moore

Last summer my husband and I were invited to lots of weddings. In fact, we had three in just one weekend, but one left a mark on me forever. After the vows, the young groom took the hands of his bride-to-be. He looked into her eyes and said, “I promise to help you become the woman that God has called you to be.” She then looked into his eyes and said, “I promise to help you become the man that God has called you to be.” Wow! What a promise!

Not long after the wedding, I was reading my Bible when I came across Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” I know that I have read this verse many times in my life, but for some reason this time it really struck a chord with me. For weeks, I caught myself pondering this one verse and the promise that sweet couple had made to each other. And, then I began to wonder what might happen if I truly put this verse into practice with those that I love.

How many times have I tried to make my husband the man I want him to be instead of the man that God wants him to be? How would my marriage be different if I wholeheartedly put this verse into practice? I am by nature an extrovert. My husband is an introvert. (Wondering how this marriage got started? That is a topic for another post!). So often, I have wanted him to take more leadership roles – at church, in our community, at our children’s schools. Too often, I have nagged him about doing this or not doing that. Oh how I wish that I had thanked him for all of the amazing things that he does for us and for the body of Christ. How I wish that like that young couple, I had spent more time encouraging him to be who God has called him to be instead of who I want him to be. I promise to start now.

What if I also applied this verse to my children? What would it look like if I were training them to be who God has called them to be instead of who I want them to be? It can be so tough. Many of the things that interest me do not interest my children at all. Remember Hebrews 12:1 “and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Not only do I have to run the race marked out for me, my children have their own race to run. They are only on loan to me. They do not belong to me. That very thought makes my chest tighten and tears fill my eyes. I want them to be mine. But they are not. They belong to God and He loves them so much more than I could ever dream of loving them. He has already done so much more for them than I could ever dream of doing. He has entrusted me with the task of raising them to serve Him. I must be intentional and not waste a moment of the precious time He has blessed us with. I must help them grow in His word so that they can serve Him to the fullest. I must make sure they are ready when He calls them home.

I will never forget the day we left our house to go to the church building for our daughter to be baptized. As we left, our son Joshua said, “We are leaving this house as a family of three Christians. When we come home, we will all be Christians. Satan doesn’t stand a chance in our home.” Although our sweet boy is now in Heaven, I continue to remember what he said that beautiful day. I don’t want Satan to have the smallest, tiniest foothold in my home. If I am pursuing Christ and am helping my husband and our daughter pursue Him as well; if my prayer is that we will each run our own race and glorify God with the talents He has blessed us with, how will Satan stand a chance in our home?

Oh, how I pray that you too will ask God to help you encourage those around you to pursue Him with their talents and gifts and to be all that God has called them to be. And then, sit back, watch and be amazed at how He works through you!


  1. This is so important for all of us to remember, but so hard to give up that control! Thank you so much for reminding me that my loved ones have their own race to run!

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