I found an interesting blog post through comments from a post by Rachel Held Evans, and it reminded me of similar conversations that I’ve had with Amelia. I’m in the same boat as the author, in many respects, though at one point in my life I thought I had all the answers. But that was from my head-knowledge-filled experience of growing up in a indy-fundy baptist church where I believe now I had more guilt-laden convictions than life-seeking ones.
I want my children to know that knowing and loving God/Jesus is a journey, not a destination; the same as loving their brother or sister or as I love my wife. Yes, there’s a moment where you realize in your head what you’ve been doing already and that you don’t want to or can’t love others the same way, but it doesn’t stop there, get any easier, or become automatic. It’s still a process, still a journey, and will still be hard to do at times.
And I want to tell them that the times it stops being about love are the times that will be the roughest. These are the times, as a parent, that I become selfish and think about how their behavior is affecting me thus becoming angry. These are times for them that they want to push the other rather than share. These are the times for all of us that we’d rather say something harsh about a friend who wronged us or ignored us or was not aware about something we wanted them to be rather than dig deeper with them. These are the times when we are simply out for ourselves.
And then I want to show them that the times that are best and glorious and magical are the times we are in it together, for each other, sharing in love. When we literally or metaphorically hold hands; when we help our friends in needs; when we hug a family member who is sad; when we grieve together when one of us has lost; when we celebrate together when one or all of us has gained; when we bring someone else into journey with us.