"When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, "You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?" Galatians 2:14
"Those who cling to worthless idols
forfeit the grace that could be theirs" Jonah 2:8
It took a new verse to me and an old one from college to begin pointing me in ways that would not only change my parenting, but my life as well! We have begun to see blossoms of fruit coming (you really don't see fruit in kids until 4 or 5yrs!) and found "how's" of doing things to serve our "why's" of doing things...and that was good...we have walked down the road of success and failure with spankings (now called disciplines in our home- thanks kovacs!), time outs, first time obedience, schedules, language....but even so, i felt this longing...longing to give my kids something that wouldn't teach them "how"...but more the depth of all things...all life...jesus...
you are probably saying, "come on, they are only toddlers!"...i know, but as i struggled with my own sin, i found a picture of myself in my kids, their behaviors and responses to life....i found the need for the gospel beyond their joy of eternal life.
About the spring of 08 stew and i found ourselves overwhelmed with the gospel...good news that had saved our souls....(thus, our third child- Karis- God's grace) We found it not for our eternal state with God, but for our life now. As I would read of my friends who encountered "idol" worship in other countries I stummbled upon my own idols...hidden in the depths of my heart...where every good american keeps them.
With the help of Tim Keller, Stew and I began to find so many places where our lives "weren't in line with the gospel"....and we could either keep clinging to them and forfeit the grace that was ours, or we could fall into the grace of God in Christ and let him save us in the smallest parts of our heart..."
So, a simple truth we preach to ourselves became a preaching...training in our home...I am more wicked than i could ever imagine! How freeing it was to begin really being honest that I couldn't master or control all things and be that right wife, friend and parent...I could never have the approval of others or my children that would satisfy my need for love....i didn't have to live up to the image that past and childhood would demand of me....I was more wicked than i could ever confess....BUT
I was more loved than i could ever imagine....don't stop...listen to me....Christ has made all things right with me before God...Christ has approved and justified me before God, Christ has become the image....my worthless idols of control, approval or image were no longer needed since i became a christ-follower. God loves me more than i could know...yet my prayer was Ephesians 3:14-21! that I might know how much...and most of all, BELIEVE it! As Ephesians 6:19 tells us, I had to hold up my shield of faith as I became more aware of my sin.
When i turn to my idols...i am saying that i love or need something more than Christ....i must have this or this is more important than Christ. But as a Christ-follower...i don't have to battle this...Christ has taken me out of that battle and justified me...saved me for Himself...to glorify Himself...so, now, all my sin that happens points me to Christ...the one that i offend also is the one i wait for to bring me into the light of his Righteousness by which my sin debt is already paid ...Micah 7:7-10....so now, every chance i sin, is every chance to be renewed in Christ!
so how would I teach this to toddlers? an infant? more later....