Blessed Are You

Blessed are you with defiant, disobedient children.

You grieve the anguish of God. You align yourself with Christ insomuch as you lament the reactions and the choices which keep your children from the goodness at hand. And from the ways which bode well for them in the end.

I wish I could end here, but I have a confession to make. It’s not just them for whom I grieve. It’s me, and what they do to me, and what sort of reflection the show of me. My ego—always making it about me. It’s too much! I can’t take it! So last month I paid a professional eighty-five bucks just to tell me that my kids’ disobedience isn’t my fault. I wanted to hear, from somewhere outside my own head, that my children’s poor choices weren’t a result of … me—a lack of perfection in me. He said “Kids aren’t our grading card”, but I couldn’t believe him.

I went on a walk the next day. “God!” Quite exasperatedly, I asked, “What does all of this say of me and what am I to do?!” God could have pulled a “Natalie”, which would be to over-lecture me on something about ego and my true focus, or to point out that I certainly haven’t been perfect myself. But He simply asked me, “Do you think I am a good parent”?

I have experienced goodness, and also crises. I can see both from the other side now, and they look radically different from that angle. I know that God is good. In goodness and suffering, I have experienced that God is emphatically, always good.

“Yes, you are good”, I said.

“And what do the world’s choices say of me?”

I can say with certainty, that my own choices have not altered the fact that God is an unchangingly good parent to me. Regardless of how He is perceived by others, or how others see Him in light of my defiance and turning away, God is good. It may look like God is uncaring or unimportant or cruel, but I know otherwise–the world’s choices reveal that God is even that much more compassionate. It is possible that good is good despite someone’s reactions to it, just as Christ is good regardless of what the world’s aversions to Him might say.

So, what am I to do? After some contemplation, the answer seemed clear: Mine is to be in Christ. And however that translates into my children today, is in God’s hands.

I am tempted to fiddle with and expand that sentence, because it sounds so simplistic and ignorant. But His yoke is gloriously light!

Parents, you work tirelessly and hard. You long for the good in your children. You agonize their resistance to good. This is exactly right! Believe this with me, as I am hoping to be convinced (again) this morning: God is good. And you are good—perfect, in fact!—as you are in Christ. Don’t let your second-guessing, or comparison, or other’s reactions deter you from this Truth.

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