As most of you know, I have dedicated my life to showing the love of Jesus to kids of all ages. I love Jesus and, wow, do I love kids. Every child in my life or who crosses my path gets my benefit of the doubt. I have this crazy ability to see the hurt and suffering and vulnerability of every child. And with that grows my love for them.
But my love, and my willingness to show Jesus’ love to these kids is just not enough. And here is why.
We are raising a generation who idolize people with mediocre talent or who have gotten famous for doing absolutely nothing. This laziness to stardom is morphing into the New American Dream. The Real, honest and true American dream is slowly flushing down the toilet. The one that prides itself on hard work and reaching goals.
Unfortunately, my small blog post won’t do anything to change how apathetic our kids are. In fact, I could sky write it and have it published in every respectable newspaper in America, and everyone will simply shake their heads in agreement and go about their business.
I know I’m right, and it saddens me. Because I know that a change of heart in today’s kids, and to challenge them to reach their full potential, will require something from you, and honestly, you aren’t willing to give it.
Changing and shaping our future would require you to lay your judgement down of that foul mouthed teenager and actually talk to him with the same respect you demand. It would beg you to maybe give a kid a hug. And the thing is, it would require you to do all of these things more than once, in fact more than twice. It would require an invested commitment on your part to pour into the next generation instead of expecting them to fend for themselves.
All of these years you have thought that putting your blinders on and forcing the outside world to disappear is what is best for YOUR family. But you see, the entire world affects your child, so why wouldn’t you want to take some ownership for your neighbor’s child, your friend’s child, or even the unknown child? All of those kids will have tremendous influence on your own kid, the future of our world and all upcoming generations.
But instead we judge the child, criticize the parent, homeschool our own kids so they don’t have to interact with society and then ask, “what is this world coming to?”.
And the answer is You . You are what this world is coming to. Stop living so selfishly. It’s not about you. It never was, and it never will be. This life is about giving generously of your life because Jesus gave generously to you of His.
Tolerance. This is the buzzword that looms and makes my job so much harder. We are living in a world of gray that refuses to accept a standard and allows whatever feels right, looks right, seems right, without regard for any such thing as absolute truth. I would say the lines are getting fuzzy, but it seems lines no longer exist.
This is particularly true in regards to male and female. I remember the year I bought Cody a baby doll for Christmas. He would be as mortified at you knowing this as much my husband was that I encouraged it. He wanted a baby, he wanted to be a dad. THAT I could not discourage. So I bought him a doll, and he played daddy with it for about two minutes and then the thrill was gone.
He didn’t want the doll because he wanted to be a girl, he wanted the doll because he wanted to explore the role of a dad, the role of being a man. But now, things have changed….
Now, our world is promoting genderless-ness. As if there are no innate differences in how we were created. But we ARE different. Scientists don’t disagree–well at least I don’t think they do. I am pretty sure they can tell you all the differences between our anatomy and physiology. And the differences would be clearly defined, no fuzzy lines. Boys have these parts, girls have those. Boys have this kind of hormone, girls have allllll of these kinds of hormones. It’s true. It’s absolute.
In the Bible, our gender differences are absolute. Men-work. Women-have babies. Really, it says that. It also says that God created us in whichever way he created us– either as a woman or man. He never makes a mistake. He never says, “oops, I accidently put a woman in a man’s body or vice versa.”
So now that I’ve covered Science AND the Bible: why is our world okay with removing the boundaries that clearly define the differences between male and female? And more so, why is it shameful to be accepting of our genders as beautiful & exciting, part of a bigger vision that is unfathomable?
I read an article this morning about a son we “refused” (that’s a whole other article) to wear anything but dresses, so his dad decided to wear dresses with him. I read a children’s book that encourages demasculation by referring to her son as a princess boy. I’ve seen young girls so terribly ashamed of their bodies and being feminine that they pile on layers and layers of clothes to cover themselves, I had a 9 year old girl so ashamed of herself that she changed her name to something that “sounded like a boy” so no one would know she was a girl.
Parents–STOP. I implore you. Instead of erasing the lines that clearly define us as humans created beautifully, with complexity and purpose, encourage your boys to embrace their roles as leaders and warriors, fighting for what they believe in and rolling up their sleeves to get the work done. Show your girls the beauty within themselves without having to use their bodies to gain approval or hide their bodies in utter shame. Allow both of them to see how their genders contribute to the workings of this system we call humanity. Please, let your boys be boys and your girls be girls. You will be sorry if you don’t.
Yesterday was Father’s Day. For those of you who forgot, I believe you can still get a card but will be able to get it at least 1/2 off. Your dad will be proud that you saved money.
I’m always torn about Father’s Day, for both personal and professional reasons. Personally, I became legally fatherless at the age of 8. My biological Father’s legal rights were terminated a few days before my birthday, and I wasn’t adopted by my new step-dad. So Father’s day means pretty much nothing to me. I have a fantastic grandfather, but he didn’t really “father me”, so to speak. So rummaging through the cards at Hallmark is sometimes comical, but not meaningful.
I have an amazing husband who is an awesome father, and he deserves the best of the best–even the stupid card that sings and lights up that Zac talked me in to. Eight-Ridiculous-Dollars later, I know how important a father is to my children.
But not all children have that love, or desire to blow money on dad. And so on Sunday morning in Children’s Ministry, I struggle with making Father’s Day Gifts. Mother’s day, on the other hand, is not so difficult. Most kids have a relationship with their mother, or have some mother figure who has stepped up and kids are always excited to paint and color and staple. But dad’s….
Lots of kids don’t have dads, or father figures or anyone they can happily decorate a cupcake for. It saddens me, because there is nothing I can do to take that all too familiar pain away. Like with my own father, I wonder if these innocent lovies have a father out there somewhere thinking about them.
Even when Father’s Day offers a nothing but a sting, I use it as a chance to explain the beauty found only in our heavenly Father. I give each child, fathered or not, a hope to cling to. There is a Father, who created you and loves you immensely. Every piece of art you create with your life hangs on his fridge. He saves every Hallelujah uttered from your lips in a file marked with your name. He delights over you, disciplines you, holds you, and loves every part of you ruined from your past and every thing you will be in the future. It is the truth that has sustained me, and He will be enough for these kids, too.
So yesterday, and today, and everyday, I celebrate the Father I have in Christ. I hope that you do to.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. (Psalm 68:5 NIV)
The “I Don’t Know Girl” evolves quietly and slowly. As kids face more and more pressure to be accepted and perfect, and more and more rejection if they do something wrong, their ability to make decisions slowly dwindle. The “IDK Girl” struggles with self confidence which encourages individuality.