We walked again last evening, quickly casting aside the pavement in preference for long strides in the woods and then the fields, summer barbs and weeds matted down from our long, heavy winter.
Some days, for brief moments at least, I waver under the enormity of raising six children, of continually having shoulder to plow, nudging their hearts toward grace and their own faith in Christ.
I want to protect them, keep them one step ahead of the doubters who chew apart faith in Christ, spit out what they don't like and cud it into something unrecognizable.
And so we talk a lot about faith and doubts and how we can know the Bible is true and different beliefs about God. Home should be a safe place for big questions and nurturing ground for real faith
Each of them has big personality in their own unique way and I love that. God works wonders in the genetic code of a man and woman, producing such variety and beauty.
Every morning, before my feet slide out from beneath the covers, my heart cries for God wrought wisdom for the day because the enormity of raising even just one child is huge. What I feel is real - I can't be the perfect mother or have all the perfect answers. None of us can. There is a lot that the Holy Spirit will mend where I mistake, wisdom our children will need to learn through the pages of life, and, ultimately - I am not the best resource for all their questions. The Bible is.
God gave us his words because he knew the whims of humanity, I think. When you have 2-3 billion people who identify themselves as Christians praying and saying what they think God is saying or who God is or what God thinks about a social issue and blogging about it all or preaching it from a platform or handing it out in book form, well, I think it was pretty brilliant of God to make a reference book so we can see if those things all line up with Him. With who He is, His character, His words of life.
We were talking about the Dead Sea Scrolls yesterday with the kiddos and the wonder that an object found in recent times but yet so ancient could so perfectly match the Bible we read today, how the scribes who spent their lives transcribing the words of God would burn an entire parchment for a single, seemingly inconsequential error in order to keep an unquestionable record.
I want our children to know too, that God is not flat. He's not just grace and pat us on the back, no consequences for shooting while holding up the white grace flag, and how we live does matter because God's is just. I want to convey to them the multi-faceted face of God. We want our children to know the beauty of grace but not at the expense of a life poured out without purpose for pleasure with grace as a coverall. Neither is He all judgement or law. There is more freedom and freeness to *do* and to *be* in Christ than there is thou shalt nots.
Teaching good things to our children, pursing goodness in life, holiness even, striving to be like Him, teach Him, know Him - is not a reprehensible attempt at self-righteousness. Let us encourage you. Providing your children with a Christ centered education is a good thing. Contemplating adding to your family is a beautiful thing. Children are a blessing. They refine you as a mama and give you opportunity to understand grace and complete reliance on Christ. Adoption is a beautiful thing. Fostering is a beautiful (and hard) thing. We need not fear good things or wonder if they will be swept away in a pile of attempts at self-righteousness. When love is the motivation and you are extending the love of God, whether in your own family or to others, this is good! The balance is never all grace or all holiness but an acceptance of the two. It's late and my battery is running low so here is a linky to an expository on grace and holiness, a beautiful life combination for Christians to seek.