Sunday, October 16, 2011

Get Over It

One night last week, Brett was out of town, and I was holding down the fort. That's when it happened. War. Between the four year old and the six year old. It was the usual round of he-said/she-said. Drama. Tears. The whole shebang.

I got them tucked in, and though the tears had stopped, that indignant six year old lip was still stuck out.

I sat on the edge of the bed and brushed his hair back.
"Still mad?" I probed.
He looked away. "She's the worst person in the whole world!"
Scowl. Huff.

"Mmm hmm," I said. "And you did not respond correctly," I pointed out.

He looked at me like I had suddenly gone deaf.
He emphatically repeated, "She's the worst person in the whole world!"

Under my breath, I prayed, "Lord, make him a little wiser tonight."
Then I continued.
"Ethan, she did you wrong. No doubt about it. But, frankly, that's not what the Lord is concerned about. He's more concerned--MUCH more concerned--about how you reacted."

"No 'but' about it, " I cut in. "When you stand before the Lord, all He wants to talk about is how you respond when people do things to you. You will never be able to make her do the right thing. That's for the Holy Spirit to do. But you will answer to the Lord for how you react."

I could see the wheels turning.
Fresh tears. Fresh frustration.
"I wish Adam and Eve had never sinned!" he sobbed.

Here comes the wisdom.

"Yeah," I agreed. "That sin thing we inherited from them. Makes it tough, doesn't it?"

Nodding. Crying.

"And we all have to deal with that. So, people are going to hurt you because people sin. That's life. And life's hard. And you can't ever make people better. You can't ever make people behave. But you are still accountable for what you do in response. That, you CAN do because you have the Holy Spirit living inside you."

Understanding was dawning; I could see it.
The sniffles stopped. He breathed deeply.
The fresh air of wisdom.

A few weeks ago, I read something like this:
Meh, theology isn't all that important.

How sad, most especially from the pen of a believer.

Raising little people to be big Christians is nothing if it isn't theology!
How do I tell them about God
but leave out the part about Him being sovereign and good?
How do I teach them about themselves
but leave out the part about them being totally depraved?
and that every inclination of their hearts is only evil all the time?
and that, with that inclination, they must guard against responding to sin with sin?
How will any of us understand that God has only ever been about one thing--
His glory, not our well-being--without theology?

Without a proper understanding of theology, our children will be surprised when stupid sheep act like stupid sheep. They will be taken aback when God doesn't always intervene to prevent wounding. And they will justify their own sinful responses when they are sinned against.

In short, they will be victims.
You know victims.
They are walking wounded.
Their hurt is their most valued possession.
And they hang on to it more tightly than their favorite pair of jeans.

Instead of properly framing their lives in terms of the choices their own depraved souls have made--and the consequences of those choices--they improperly frame their lives as a series of wounds at the hands of other believers. And they can recite names, dates, and conversations
They live a 'woe was me', arm-across-the-forehead existence.

And they have the spiritual depth of a puddle.

If you don't think theology is important, quit.
Don't even bother going to church.
Or having babies.
Or homeschooling.
Without theology, you're not equipped to pass on a legacy to a new generation.
You don't know Who you are dealing with.
And you can't worship Who you don't know.
You're certainly going to lose this opportunity called parenthood.
Worse still,
You might lose this battle called life.

It's natural for my six year old to see himself as a victim.
But it's my job to not let him remain that way.
It's my job to lead him to the Cross,
To get him to drink deeply of God's wisdom.
And I'll be darned if I let my kids grow up to be victims.

Life's hard. Get over it.

Be a student of sound theology.
Teach your children sound theology.

And get over it.

1 comment:

  1. Kevin DeYoung frames the whole victim thing even better.

    "It's All Your Fault"