Our vandal sons, Sam 5 and Charlie 3, recently vandalized my make-up in what was truly an obnoxious and horrific display.
I punished them and made them help clean up the terrible mess.
Then, I put them in their rooms for a nap.
A huge chunk of my day and pocket book was impacted by the naughty behavior.
When they woke from their nap they were happy and talkative. I didn’t bring up the mess, the behavior or their punishment… neither did they.
It was done.
And I don’t assume you parent like I parent.
But I would assume that you have had to punish a child, and I would like to think you moved on from that incident.
Once a child does something wrong and the incident is made right, or a lesson is learned why would I rehash it? Seriously, if I am not able to demonstrate forgiveness for $45.00 in Maybelline products and the opportunity to teach and move on – I may need to seek counseling.
What would be gained by me rehashing the deed three hours later?
Well, I am not interested in shaming my children. And I am not interested in teaching them that they can’t be forgiven.
If that was the kind of parent that I was, waiting for them after the nap so I could lecture and chastise them for hours more, what advice would you give me about my parenting?
These two little boys are mischievous beings.
They are curious, rascally, and pugnacious.
If I were cruel, if I was a wicked dictator, I could destroy this in them. I could rule with an iron fist and I could blog about how I beat them into submission. I could break their toys, scream, and yell, and worse – ignore their pleas to forgive them and let them have their peace.
Would you read such a blog?
Would you email me and champion my brutality?
Would you buy my book? Or tune into my Facebook Live series?
I share stories about the insanity that makes the vandals the vandals.
I love them.
They are a laugh riot… and while I get frustrated when they are up to no good, I adore them. Nothing they could do would separate me from loving them.
It is 1:00 am and I have been up most the night, physically sick over something I learned this week. Old acquaintances of ours have disowned their son. They learned that he was in a homosexual relationship and for “religious reasons” they announced on social media and to their child – they never want to hear or see from him again.
I am watching as many friends are encountering this uncharted water and I do understand the hurt and the struggle of watching a child make decisions that are awkward, scary, and outside of any plan, we had for them.
But I will never understand disowning a child. I will never understand shaming them publicly or touting “religious reasons” as the methodology for un-forgiveness.
If perfect love casts out all fear, what are we afraid of?
If Jesus came to give us live abundant, how can we withhold love from a life?
If any one of us is without sin, struggle, or sight… who will throw the first stone?
Everything I have believed about God, up until 6 months ago was a lie. I believed His wrath was moments from me. I believed He never forgot and that I had to conquer my sin or He would destroy me. Out of one side of my mouth, I blared scriptures meant for Jews with hardened hearts wandering in the desert. From the other side of my mouth, I hummed the promises of a new life in Jesus Christ.
The teachings are oil and water. The Old Testament is an epic historical tale of adventure, bravery, deceit, hope, fear, and the totality of the world, in desperate need of a Savior. The New Testament is the answer to that need… the New Covenant took over the morning that Jesus’ friends went to check His tomb.
And He was gone.
A renewing of our minds is a challenging work – especially when our minds are saturated with the lie that Jesus is not for us.
[clickToTweet tweet=”A renewing of our minds is a challenging work. Especially if we think Jesus is not for us…” quote=”A renewing of our minds is a challenging work. Especially if we think Jesus is not for us…”]
And yes, I believe He is for all of us and our restoration. But Jesus wasn’t religious. He picked heads off wheat on the Sabbath and challenged those who believed their works in any way justified them. From way up high on the horse of self-righteousness I am certain IF there is a greater sin… to count ourselves worthy of disowning someone would be it.
As if I am any better than anyone of my children, I have to ask – if they murdered someone would I go to their prison cell and remind them daily of their mistake? And before you write me a nasty letter accusing me of comparing homosexuality with murder, that is not what I am saying.
What I am saying is that no one act of the flesh is more or less then the next. Sneaking schnapps in your coffee, shoplifting, cheating on your spouse or your taxes is on a level playing field. And while I personally do not believe this is God’s intention for sex and marriage I am challenged by this, it is neither His intention for me to stand in pious judgment for those in need.
So many of our churches are teaching that this is THE SIN, and concurrently driving seeking humans from the pews… and their homes, the very humans Jesus would have broken bread with.
What is the methodology that enables us to believe that we get to decide someone is not worthy of our love?
Am I a parent that loved conditionally?
Jesus, I pray no.
And while same-sex relationships are not a struggle I have faced I do in fact have struggles that I take to the foot of the cross. If we are not available to those we love because we believe we are somehow better than them, are we not the very beings Jesus spoke out against?
In every aspect of earth dwelling I find one of the most important scriptures in the letter to Corinth, “Everything is permissible, but is it beneficial?”
As I sink deeper into the abyss of mothering adults, adults with questions, friends, relationships, and challenges I concede, I was unprepared for this battle. But I find myself saying these words:
Yes, it is permissible, but is it beneficial? And is this, no matter how hard, is this FOR YOU? Is this what you were created for? And mostly, how can I help you? How can I love you? How can I pray?
And as I sit across from familiar faces that now done full beards and hints of laugh lines what would they say to me that would warrant me telling them to go and never return?
Certainly, I can think of nothing.
I believe Jesus when He said, “NOTHING can separate us from the love of God the Father.”
My question then is this, who are you that believes you are better than this holy WORD?
If we have not love… we have nothing, and even in that nothingness, ironically we are still loved.
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
1 Corinthians 10:23 Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial.
This is a touchy subject. Some parents are more capable of these talks. One such parent is Tracy Levinson. I encourage you to invest in her beautiful book. Follow the link by clicking on the picture. You can also listen to my sister and I talk with Tracy about her book by following the pod cast link.