Monday, September 5, 2011

Part one...

I've been reading Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids With the Love of Jesus by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson. As one friend who is reading the book commented, "I agree with everything she says and intermittently want to throw the book across the room."

Exactly. It is that challenging. She confronts all the nonsense in our parenting that we have effectively deceived ourselves with for years such as, "Good parenting in equals good children out," and turns that model upside down to offer that we view every instance of parenting as not only the way God is telling us the good story of Jesus but of how we may also tell our children the one good story.

Easily three-fourths of the book is more about confronting your personal view of how the gospel of grace affects your life with one-fourth tackling how the gospel is to effect your parenting. The whole "You cannot lead anyone further than you have been led."

One of my favorite reviews of this book is over here and here. Read it and weep. I did.

All that was backstory with the point of part one being that I discussed chapter nine with a friend the other night. Some of us have been getting together weekly this summer to share angst insight, one chapter at a time. It has been so revealing. My greatest moments of clarity coming as I am able to speak out loud what reading the chapter and answering the questions at each chapter's end have been swirling around in my head.

Last night's clarity came on the sharp edge of chapter nine's challenge: that my chief end in life (which includes my parenting) is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever--no matter, whatever, however and whenever God may sovereignly choose that to occur. Meaning that God may choose to glorify Himself in my life through the weaknesses of my life; my sin, failures, and affliction rather than the world's idea of my accomplishments, victories, and blessings.

Um, but option number one hurts more. Can I have a bye on that?

A similar request made in a Garden resulted in the choice of trusting the One who is eternal to do exactly as He willed. Exactly as He willed landed that guy making the request on a Cross.

Tough stuff. Because that guy in the Garden? Well, He had all things going for Him. But me? Well, I'm just me--all messed up at various points but at every one, saying I trust that He will do with me exactly as He has promised. But how easy is that always?

Fitzpatrick states it this way, "Of course, every one of us will quickly confess that we know we need the power of Christ. Yes, yes, of course we do. But the veracity of our confident confession will be tested in our response to our weakness and failure and to the weakness, failure, and sin of our children." (Emphasis mine)

That is not an easy theology. We much more like the story of God blesses obedience just like you expect blessing to look than God blesses as He wants and often that blessing comes through refinement that hurts like the big one.

But it is the people who embrace His no matter, whatever, however, and whenever blessing that I will talk about next in Part two.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, yes and yes. And amen. Not an easy theology, no, but what a good and gracious and purposeful God!