Before I chose to quit the Bible for a year, I thought about my example as a parent. I considered what I would be teaching with my life. I asked myself, “What kind of parent stops reading her Bible? Why would you do that when your son is getting ready to go to college?” These questions stemmed from fear and self-accusation.
Instead of shrinking back because of self-imposed fears, I gave myself permission to see this area with eyes of love.
And this past week has shown me the importance of authenticity in our spiritual walk.
Days eight through fourteen represented the last week before my son began college. My son and I had several heart-to-hearts about life and faith over the past weeks leading up to his departure. These conversations had much more depth than ever before.
One of the things that struck me from talking with my son was his increased openness. When I shared things I picked up about him spiritually, he did not even deny it. Not only did he seem different, but I engaged differently. I sensed greater freedom, hope, and life when we discussed spiritual issues because I pointed to Christ, not religiosity.
I have labored in the blending of my family.
It has been extraordinarily harsh and beautiful for all of us. After my son lost his mother, the road has not been easy for him. I feel excited for my son because he did not allow the pain from life to stop him in his tracks. I am proud of him for choosing to step up for himself when life gave excuses to throw in the towel.
After our last conversation, I connected a few dots:
My son does not seem to care about the scriptures I know and can throw at him. He never did. My son cares about how much I live it.
I realized this week that over the years, my son had been watching me more than I thought, even in those testy step-parent/step-child situations that felt like I had asked Jesus to take the wheel, and he responded, “Nah, Sis.”
And in those times when I royally messed up, apologized, asked for forgiveness, and intentionally made changes, my son had taken note.The last thing he wrote to me before starting college speaks to it.
You’re the best mother anyone could ask for. I am so grateful for the unconditional love you have shown me over the years. The fact that you have loved me even when I treated you poorly reflects the love of Christ…
As I re-read the card, the word “so” kept standing out to me.
He ended it with, “I love you so much.”
My son’s expressions of feeling “so” much gratitude and love testify of God’s faithfulness in our family.
Now that he has started his next chapter in life, my son still needs so much love.
I believe all of us need so much love. Yet, some of us do not realize it and pursue it in destructive ways.
All of us need to know and feel so loved in our best and worst.
Christ represents this kind of love, for He loves us in our best and worst. He loves us as we go through the growing pains of transformation. He loves us when we spit on him and reject him because he sees the glory of God’s creation in us.
He stands for us without compromise. He calls us higher with His sacrificial love. The more I think about it, the more I feel oceans away from coming close to exemplifying the Christ kind of love.
Talking with my son over the past week challenged me to pursue freedom in God because the more I yield my way, the more capacity I have for love to flow through me.
If being a Christian is based on Bible study, then I am not a shiny example for my son. But, what if being a sound example meant pursuing God so much so much that it shows in our children feeling genuinely loved of Christ so much?
Three Points of Wisdom From Days 8-14
1. Walk your talk, no matter if people around you give you permission to compromise or do not understand your principles.
2. Love stands for your highest and purest essence of yourself and others.
3. Your children will know Christ in you, not from your religious perfection, but your commitment to love.