bare white

bare white


How did I Became an Idol Builder?

I have fallen for them like a bad relationship.
I have caved to their attractive front.
I have lived them and kept up the facade, caring for it meticulously.
I have built them up, brick by heavy brick.

And now (finally), I am tired of them and their chains and the weight they add to my life and only want REAL.
A real grace-filled life not a perfect one. Real, gracious love by a real grace-FULL Savior. Real forgiveness that is not dependent on me or my works or lack there of.

The trends and ideas (and there are too many to count) that communicate being a good, right, holy parent by choosing the good, right, holy things that will produce good, right holy kids... it is not true. It is a false idea! But I bought that idea...hook, line and sinker. And what it did was produce little idols that stand in the dusty corners of my mind. Never, did I think 'parenting' would build idols or that the 'having children' would become an idol. It wasn't intentional, but it happened.

The thought process I have manicured :
I thought I could be "Jesus" to my kids by putting them in the right places at the right times filled with the right friends. IDOL
I thought I could be "Jesus" to my kids by keeping them safe, free from certain kinds of storms, free from ugly pain, free from unneeded hurt. IDOL
I thought I could be "Jesus" to my kids by showing them their faults - even gently and graciously at times, helping them choose better next time and showing them how to be disciplined enough to make the rights decisions most of the time. IDOL
I thought I could be "Jesus" by giving them the best education, involving them in the best things and teaching them to obey. IDOL
I thought I could be "Jesus" to the world by having obedient kids, helpful kids, kind kids who spoke kind words, loving words and opened doors for anyone. IDOL
I thought I could be "Jesus" to the world showing them what a put-together family looks like, talks like, eats like, dresses like, plays like. IDOL
I thought I could be "Jesus" to anyone by building a beautiful facade, free of weeds and yuck only to find we are steeped in those weeds and yuck. IDOL

What I failed to see in my web I carefully crafted was I cannot "be" Jesus to anyone, let alone my own kids. I can only NEED Jesus and be real enough to allow that desperate need to not be hidden from them, pretending it doesn't exist or I have somehow figured "it" out.
When I need Him the most is in storms, in hurt, in pain, in desperation (even in the mundane). Instead of fearing the storms and avoiding the hurt and turning this direction and that to keep them or me away from the pain and desperation, when those things come (and they will) what if I walked right into it and let them see me drop to my knees. On cue. Without another thought. Drop. Pray to the One I need in my weakness. Ugh! This is so hard. It laughs in the face of strength.
And yet, what if in my weakness, that is when I am really strong? It may be a catchy and even overused phrase, but what if it is really, actually, wholly true? What if on my knees IS where I am really meant to be? What if in the middle of the pain and broken and desperation and hurt - that is where I see Jesus, kneeling, comforting, holding, praying, healing, loving. Such real life. What if all of those perfect scenarios and perfectly learned lessons and perfectly scripted answers I gave my kids really just gave them nothing more that complacency and a need to perform for men? Because, you know what? That is exactlywhat it did for me. I lost my First Love. And yet I had the right things to say at the right time and as I did say those right things, it just built in my complacent idols. (Revelation 2:1-5)
What if showing them their agonizing need for Jesus starts by letting them see my agonizing need for Jesus EVERY. SINGLE. MOMENT. OF. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. And that it is impossible to be self sufficient when we realize our need is so great? There is pain and hurt in this broken world that we live in and they will never get away from it. But should they? Should I? 

It is interesting...the word Christian - "little Christ". So many Believers use those words, me included. Really though, I don't know the half of what they really mean. "Little Christ"...He didn't run from broken and weak. He ran into the nucleus of it and lived there and taught there and broke bread there and then, after His short life, died there. For me, for you and that is perfect Love. And that perfect love is what casts out fear. (1 John 4:18)

It has been there since almost the beginning...pain, sin. Cain and Abel, Moses, Abraham, Samsom, Jonah, Job, Daniel, David, the 12 disciples, Rahab, Esther - I could go on and on. I read about Rahab this morning and as soon as I started reading I felt the ugly, pride-filled rub of those idols, thinking I would have done it differently and for certain would not have used a harlot in my grand plans of attack. Do you see, though, the same pattern that slammed into my sight? All of those real life stories are full of weakness, hurt, pain, deceit, depression, doubt, anxiety, murder, sexual sins, anger, broken families, fear. And yet, their NEED for God, their dependance on God, and their Faith in God is what made their weakness - strong, their hurt - healed, their doubt - belief, their fear - brave -brave enough to follow...Most importantly - their Sin - completely Forgiven!

I think I have thought too much of myself thinking it all depended on me. Who do I think I am in light of my Savior's Grace...I mean really? I have been wondering what freedom in parenting really looked like. I have been so curious about grace-FILLED parenting. Now I am beginning to see, it has less to do with me being right and everything to do with me being fully on my knees, or even flat on my face before God. It has nothing to do with me being right rather me becoming Holy like my Savior. It has nothing to do with me being right and producing certain behaviors but rather me being obedient and brave enough to let my kids see I don't have it all together, or all the answers BUT I do have God and He is in all of the answers! It has nothing to do with ME being right and everything to do with HIS glory and sweet forgiveness. Undo me, Jesus!

I recently read a book by Leslie Leyland Fields. Her penned words have opened my eyes and done a work in my life that God began two years ago. She writes,
"We have made far too much of ourselves and far too little of God. We have adopted our culture's belief that we are the primary shapers of our children. And that we have control over who they are and who they become." (Leslie Leyland Fields)
Hook, Line and Sinker...yes! I fell for it the ideas instead of falling into my Savior.
And so I write this not just for anyone, I write this for me; to give freedom to ME, my kids...We aren't that good kids, we NEED Jesus. We cannot BE Jesus to anyone - we can just show that we have Hope. A Hope that is found on nothing less than Jesus blood and HIS righteousness. (Edward Mote - 1797-1874)

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