I’ve been thinking a lot about parenting lately, (a) because I are one, and (2) because it’s Very Hard Work. If you’re a parent, you know that to be true. These are people that you had a hand in bringing into the world. You fed them, clothed them, raised them, and now most of the time you just want to knock some sense into them.
I’ve noticed that all the things I try to teach my kids is more caught than taught. For example, some years ago a person who may or may not be my wife said to someone who may or may not have been my 6 year old son at the time: “For the last time, get in here and pick up this crap!” (“Crap” may or may not be a favorite word in my marriage.) To which the theoretical son replied, “What crap are you talking about?!?”
Here’s what Gary Thomas, author of the recently-reviewed The Beautiful Fight, has to say:
My kids know that prayer and Bible study have been staples for virtually my entire life. If, knowing that, they see that I lose my temper with the same regularity as someone who doesn’t seek God; if they notice that I treat my wife no better than anyone whose heart has never been convicted by God; if they witness that I do not possess the joy of one who has experienced God’s grace and salvation; if they see that my religious disciplines make no discernible difference in how I live – then the only conclusion they can be expected to reach is that all this “God stuff” doesn’t really matter.
Can your kids say that the “God stuff” matters in your life? Can they see a difference in you because of Jesus? Are you modeling behavior that you want them to emulate? Are you actually pointing them beyond yourself and to the gospel?
Is it time for us to clean up our crap?