Well, the mommy guilt series is taking an unintended hiatus while this mama gets an unexpected lesson in nature, nurture and prayer. On Monday I had my worst day of parenting ever – a record I’m sure will be broken repeatedly in the coming years as parenting becomes less about meeting the primary needs of food, shelter and comfort for dependent infants/toddlers and becomes more about identifying my children’s sin, pointing them to the cross and seeing how little they care.
That sounds like a bitter, cynical response, but it’s not meant to be. The more I watch my children, the more I understand that sin has tainted even the way we see our own sin. I hold onto my sinfulness like a child clings to his blankie and claim to be comforted by the very thing that is chaffing my soul; all the while I kick angrily against the healing and comfort that comes from the Prince of Peace. It is a humbling thing to see not only my own rebelliousness reflected back to me, but know that I while I can point out my children’s sin, I cannot change their heart, and while I can point them to their need for the Savior, I cannot make them want Him.
In the midst of all of that, the culture wars land solidly on our door step, and I suddenly realize that this struggle to love my children through their sin, to love them enough to point out their sin, to love them so much I want to physically pour God’s grace into their heads until their hearts change, and knowing I can’t, is the same struggle we face as Christians in the world. We have to love people and the Lord enough to proclaim that sin is sin and is an affront to a holy God. Because we love people and the Lord that much, we eagerly point them to Christ as the solution to that sin, but that’s all we can do. We can’t change their hearts. We can’t draw them to Christ.
In the family and in culture, my weakness is to scream about their sin more than I point them to the cross. This week that drove me to my knees, and I realized that my only hope is in appealing to the only one who can draw them to himself, change their hearts, and then complete that amazing work just as He is completing it in me.