GOD the Father – the One who before the foundation of the world chose to give us the same love He shared with His Son, the One who made the world for an environment in which we could know and experience His love, the One who knew before He made us that we would grasp for more than His goodness and love, the One who planned before the foundation of the world to put on skin to come near into the world He made to be light in our consequential darkness in order to demonstrate once and for all His forever love by killing off the sin and selfishness that emerged from our grasping for more than His goodness and love, the One who came as Jesus to clarify His original proposal for intimate relationship with us betrothing us as His bride forever because of His undeserved love, the One who gave us His Spirit for this season of engagement and embodiment that we might be assured of His love as well as be empowered to love like He loves us, and the One who will return to bring us near forever as His impure bride grateful that He purified us with His love – He always has been communicating a news with us. And it is good.
It is difficult to summarize a news that took so long to communicate and clarify and deliver, but here is a petty yet hopeful attempt:
the Gospel _ that news that God, even before He made us, knew we couldn’t get this life right or our behavior better or our insecurities secured or our loneliness overcome. So, even before we were sinners, before we said we were sorry, He had already planned to come in skin right near to us to assure us of His undeserved love, to forgive us for wanting to know more than the life He offered, to remind us of His desire to be with us, to demonstrate His faithfulness to keep a promise even though we couldn’t, and to invite us along with Him to continue to announce and declare and embody this same good news to all who are ashamed and hopeless and insecure and alone and have lost their way.
We believe this already-made-into-reality-through-the-cross news, and we are not condemned. But how is this news becoming “on earth as it is in heaven” in your daily rhythms and relationships? More specifically, how does it affect your parenting? Should it?
I would suggest that it should disturb and define and determine our parenting, especially if our hope is for our kids to relate with the Heavenly Father rather than just please their parents. I am begging Jesus to use His gospel to disturb and define and determine Jen and me as parents, and I pray the same for you. Today as well as for the next two Wednesdays, I will suggest three ways His gospel should do just that.
First, I would suggest that His gospel should change the way we think of and believe in our kids. We should not think of them in terms like happiness and good and deserving and would never do something like that. We should not believe that they ought to already know better or that they should never suffer through hardship. We should pray for them with terms like joyous and selfish and grateful and contrite. We should believe that they can grow to be wise and that, even through difficulty, God is making them to become something. And thinking of them and believing in them in these ways should reshape our parenting away from the goal of raising a good kid toward raising a grateful kid secured by grace and sent fully loved.
What do you think?
May His gospel shape us to grow kids with grace and send them with gospel.