When I teach my children the Gospel, I don’t start with: “You are bad, therefore you need Jesus.” I start with: “Before you were born, God loved you.” I start with God’s love and I end with God’s love.
I teach my children they are whole, deeply whole. I teach them they were beautifully created in the image of God. I teach them they are unconditionally loved and cherished—no matter what they do or don’t do. I teach them to be lighthearted, easeful, resting in full assurance that they are loved. I teach them that and nothing and nobody can separate them from the love of Christ.
I teach them this way because I know, sooner or later, life will catch up to them, as life always does. There will be sorrows, disappointments, setbacks and obstacles. However, if they are deeply rooted in the love of God, they will not be moved. They will not be tossed to and fro.
On Abortion: The Day I Owned What I Believe by Shelly Miller
Sometimes we avoid pain at all costs because we think living with disappointment might be easier than feeling it. Circumventing pain and numbing it isn’t the remedy or short cut toward a fulfilled life. Ask anyone who’s done it.
On Being Approached by Three Young Black Men by Shawn Smucker
As we passed the three young men on their way home from the pool, I made eye contact with the one walking at the back. He wore small, round glasses and his flip-flops scratched along the pavement. He had kind eyes. He waved hesitantly as I drove past, and I lifted my hand and waved back. Both of our heads turned towards each other, two moons passing in opposite orbits.
He could be a hero, I thought to myself. He could be a hero like Temar Boggs. And then blood rushed to my face because I realized I had never thought that before; I have never driven past a young black man on the street and thought, He could be a hero.
What to Do When You May or May Not be a Control Freak by Mark Buchanan
These two things – control and self-control – stand at opposite ends of the maturity spectrum.
The toddler was a live-action reel of a fierce effort to control his mother. And he was a spectacle of immaturity.
The mom was a breathtaking portrait of impeccable self-control. And she was the epitome of maturity.
The New Testament has 16 separate exhortations to be self-controlled. It’s a major theme. So the wise heed that, and work with the Holy Spirit to get a grip on themselves. They receive the comfort, the rebuke, the strength, and the instruction of God himself to discipline their thoughts, emotions, attitudes, and actions.
They give up trying to control others and step up being in control of themselves.