A while back I got an awful haircut.
I am cheap and impatient and so I picked a quick and low cost option for my haircut, and I regretted it very quickly. In light of the fact that I had to wear the dreaded style for weeks, I think I handled it quite nicely, not overreacting or threatening bodily harm to the woman who scalped me. I probably could have been a little bit of a better sport, since accidents do happen but I wasn’t.
I’m not perfect. I’m glad I don’t have to be.
A while back I saw a clip of Candace Cameron-Burree at odds with Raven Symone over the basis of Christianity, I was pleased that she used the stage to share her truth and I agreed. What I love about being a Christian is that I don’t have to wear a hallow like the good angel that sits on the shoulder of cartoon characters always picking the right thing to do. I don’t have to say all the right things, I don’t have to know everything, I don’t have to be a superhero or anything even close.
I have a God who is all that.
In the moments of parenting where I am too hard on myself or don’t have enough patience with my kids, I take comfort in knowing that my quest to be Christ “like” never means that I am Christ. I don’t have to sacrifice myself or wear a crown of thorns, and I still get to reap all the wonderful rewards.
I have to believe that Jen Wilkin must share my feelings. After reading her new book, None Like Him, you to will see that she has to be just as grateful as I am that she doesn’t have to be God. In her book, she goes over her 10 favorite ways that God is different from us. Her writing makes her seem like she’s the kind of lady I’d enjoy having coffee with, great descriptive language and boy can she tell a story. Of course us both being proud children of the King doesn’t hurt either.
So in response to her book, I am offering 3 ways we as parents are different from God and how we those differences are actually great for the kids he has entrusted to us.
God doesn’t need me, so I can need him ALL I want. So, I totally love my kids. Really, I do. I loved nursing them and holding them and that face they make when they see you and run to your arms. There was a period of time when I really did love that they only wanted and needed me. As they get older, I love that they have personality and interests all their own. But if you’ve ever hid in your closet to get a moment of silence, you know there are times when you just want to be not needed. How awesome is it that God doesn’t need me to run the world? He will use me, if I allow him to, and I love when he uses me to show his love to these kids he gave me. It’s pretty cool. Knowing that he has a plan for each of us, including my children, takes a little pressure off of me.
God is omnipresent, so I don’t have to be. As parents oh how we want to be everywhere at all times. Able to save our babies from hurt, pain, even simple disappointment. But alas we are not. And I frankly believe that’s a good thing. Our kids need to experience life without bumpers all the time. They need to learn to navigate life on their own sometimes. After all, we’re raising adults, and parenting children. The God we serve is all about guiding us to use free choice and that’s a great way to parent.
God is all-knowing, so I can “LET IT GO!” In the 80’s there was a song called, Superwoman, and the premise was that I am not your superhero, I have needs, and I am human. I sing that song around my house fairly often actually so that the little people who live with me understand that I’m good, but I’m not God. I work as hard as I can to keep up with the needs, wants, and goals of the family, but there’s only so much space in my brain, I can’t take on the burden of knowing everything for everyone. I can practice what George Pearsons called, divine carelessness, which is submitting myself to the infinite wisdom of God rather than relying on my own understanding. With kids, there are so many things we don’t know. Why do the holes in their head beg for things to be put in them? Why is going to be on time so hard? Why are bodily functions so much fun? Not to mention the big things like how do I help them love God and themselves in spite of the world? I can say, I don’t know and get away with it, because I can also say, Jesus knows, and we can ask him.
I love that God gladly takes the heavy lifting only letting me chime in when it’s in my best interest to do so. Being a parent is the hardest job on earth, but thank God we’ve got someone on our side who knows a thing or two about how this planet works.
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