“How you [the parent] express and live your faith will have, all things being equal, a greater impact on your child’s life than any other factor. . . . what they see and hear and experience growing up with you will communicate more about the essence and veracity of faith than anything they face or anyone they know.”
That quote? Was part of a project the creative team is working on today. As I read it, a few thoughts went through my mind:
It's inspiring when you're a brand new parent and there's nothing but possibility ahead.
It's motivating when you're the parent of teens who are searching and open and responsive.
But it's overwhelmingly discouraging when you're the parent of a young adult who has chosen to walk away from the faith you introduced them to.
Thoughts that go through your head when your children (or your spouse) rejects Jesus:
- "I made Christianity unattractive."
- Did I make it about do's and don'ts and not enough about love and grace?
- "Did I present it as legalistic instead of relationship-istic?"
- "If I represent Jesus here on earth, I've done a sucky job portraying His great love, His creativity, His forgiveness, His patience, His sacrifice."
- "Did I not walk the talk? Did they hear me profess with my mouth, but not witness any faith in action?"
- "If they are rejecting my faith, which, let's face it, IS WHO I AM, then they are also rejecting me, right?"
- "Were there key teaching moments when I should have been more intentional in our conversations that I missed?"
- "Was it the-two-churches-closing on us that contributed to this?" (Twice our communities of believers ended up scattering.)
- "Please God, send another messenger of Your good news to my child. I wasn't very good at it. Please send someone whose faith is infectious, appealing, desirable. Someone who is bold, loving and relevant. Someone who speaks the truth in a compelling, urgent, transparent way. Open my child's ears and enable him/her to respond. Open my child's eyes and enable her/him to see how very much you love him/her. Please. Please. Please."
Yeah, so basically, just another day at work.
Three things I'm thankful for:
1.I'm thankful for my sister. She spent yesterday morning getting my dad to practice putting an x in a circle with his left hand so he could vote.
2. I'm thankful that I live in this country.
3. I am thankful that our stories are not over yet.