I found myself crying a lot, and worrying my oldest son whose heart is as tender as mine, and swearing a lot under my breath, quietly so they couldn't hear, and most often, it was the German word for shit. "Scheisse."
Only, it wasn't just a swear. It was a lifeline. It was a prayer, for this knelt-over mother.
How Gentleness Makes Our Children Great @ (In)courage
I was tired and overwhelmed, and I just wanted compliance. I wanted him to honor me by obeying me; I wanted be biblical in the training of my child. I wanted to raise an obedient child so that one day he would be great.
But my son, with the bright blue eyes, he was sad. Very, very sad.
He thought he was bad; not the bad in the understanding that we are all born with a sinful bent, but the bad as in an “I’m not lovable” bad. And he wasn’t just sad, he was angry. He was angry because he didn’t think he could change. He was angry that he couldn’t help his immaturity. He was angry that we just kept trying to spank the immaturity out of him.
And when he looked at me with wet eyes and said, “God doesn’t love me” I broke.
Spanking, first-time obedience, over and over and over and over, and honor, and love, and sadness and anger, and we both just broke.
There has to be a better way @ A Deeper Family
We say things like, “I’m OK. My parents embarrassed me when I was a kid, and I turned out just fine.”
But are we? Did we?
When we’re in the middle of perpetuating the same cycle of shame with our own children that our parents, our pastors, our teachers, etc. visited on us, can we really say that we’re fine, or is it more likely that we might’ve turned a single verse in proverbs into a theology of discipline that is ultimately about power instead of love. Are we “OK,” or are we failing to see the intrinsic value in the Imago Dei imprinted on each and every one of our precious children, and seeing them instead ultimately as reflections of our own selves?
The Grace to Do Nothing: On Social Justice in the Neighborhood @ Reclaiming the Mission
We were in the middle of a discussion at one of our missional communities. We were talking about the challenges of being a missional community in the neighborhood and the subject turned to finding “what we are supposed to do next.”
After listening for a while, I felt prompted to say “maybe the best thing we can do is do nothing.” I offered that maybe what we are supposed to do is the opposite: Do (emphasis on :”do”) nothing. Instead, our main task is to be “with” people in and around our lives long enough, years maybe, to listen and become friends, partners in life, sufficient to offer who we are and what we have become in Christ in exchange for their friendship and their support and who they are.