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Friday, April 2, 2010

redemption, 3.2

.... continued from yesterday.

The only way I know how to begin putting the key of knowledge (Christ) back into my parenting is by explicitly explaining why I’m disciplining and correcting them. Hopefully I’ll get to stop saying it soon because we’ll both figure it out – but for now, I say this about six times a day: “ok – I know you can’t just change your heart and love your sister right now. What I’m asking you to do is to trust me and know that your sweet little Glory is worth protecting and you need to be gentler with her. Let’s pray that you will practice doing that well and while we’re at it – we’re going to pray for your salvation so that one day God will change your heart and will show you the true way to love”. Because what’s the alternative….? Saying “CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE!” or “WHY DON’T YOU LOVE YOUR SISTER BETTER?” OR “SERIOUSLY, WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?!” (ps – I’m guilty of having said all of those.

I was reading a wonderful book the other day about biblical femininity and it was encouraging women to abandon the picture of traditional family as our idol. Because if we believe the gospel is true, our main goal should not be well-adjusted, clean, patient, mild-mannered, scripture-memorizing, precious children. Our goal, our fervent prayer and desire should be children captivated by the grace and mercy of Jesus – leading them to faith in Christ and a devotion that causes them to be patient, God-fearing, and sure – respectful. But I see hope in their sin and their humanity and their fallen messiness, just as I do in my own. If I don’t know that they’re broken, will I be faithful to remind them of their great need in Christ? I fear that if I had it all together or they did, just for one day – we’d all be tricked into thinking we’re ok on our own.

Redemption for mothers (and fathers!) is real and active and unfortunately, we can’t just go about letting them sin and pillage our homes. We have to guide them and teach them and instruct them in normal society or they’ll be cannibals by the time they’re three. At least Glory will be.

But I also won’t cut out the key of knowledge and I won’t convince them they’re ok without Him. Redemption in parenting for me right now looks like asking the Lord to convict me when I’m putting burdens on them that they just cannot and should not bear. It looks like repenting to the Father and other mothers when I’ve judged their children for their sin and encouraging them when they’re worried their two year old is messed up. And, asking them to encourage me when I’m worried about the same. It looks like walking forward seeking my own redemption and thanking Jesus for allowing me to continually see my brokenness and theirs – so that whenever my eye spies something lovely or attractive or even slightly obedient, I will praise Him who made such things – rather than myself.

Some things I'm reading to help -


kellybollman said...

I don't know if this is wise, but it seems quite Biblical, so I'll share:
I delight in calling my children their God-given names:
"Hey treasure", "Good morning God's splendor" "Hey sweet princess of the King"

Sometimes we just need to be reminded of who we are, so we know how to act.

kim said...

Thanks Jess. We were just talking about books to read on this subject. As you know I'm already reading the Catherine Mahaney book, but will definitely check out the other! Thanks for posting and your honesty! Love you.

Old Woman said...

wow girl! i wish i had that knowledge 10 years ago; i love it! /your mom's friend, linda

michelle said...

wow. i'm really liking what God is speaking into your heart. time for some new books and some more prayer for patience (ugh) :)

LJ said...

"I had it all together or they did, just for one day – we’d all be tricked into thinking we’re ok on our own."

i love that. You have a beautiful heart jessi, I hope some day I'm the mom you're becoming.