A few years ago, I was clawing at normalcy. A few health conditions knocked me off my feet, and I was sinking into a pit of anxiety. Every day I felt like I was trending water, and any moment I could go down.
And the mess is so big
And so deep and so tall
We cannot pick it up. There is no way at all.
(Dr. Seuss, The Cat in the Hat)
I was really struggling in all areas of life, and I had four kids with another one on the way. That season was one of the hardest of my life thus far.
I had a large piece of lead on me, and I was sinking.
The truth is, we are all broken. Some of us might be more broken than others, but we ALL are broken. Raising kids is tough and raising Christian kids in our culture is even harder.
Throwing our Mess onto our kids
I’m afraid that my brokenness will bleed onto my kids. Doesn’t it seem like chaos congregates together? We look at one disheveled room and suddenly the whole house is disheveled.
We see ourselves as damaged, and we paint that onto our kids.
When we focus on our mess, it multiplies.
If I’m their role model and if they emulate me, here comes another walking disaster.
I can already see bits of me in one of my children. That child deals with problems the same way I do.
Yuck! Some things shouldn’t be passed down.
If we look into the Bible, we can see this exact issue happening in King David’s life in 2 Samuel. King David made a lot of messes in his life. Adultery, murder, problems with relationships and love problems. Guess what happened, his children followed his example.
Ugh! My ears don’t want to hear this.
Do you ever think like I do? God, you gave me these kids so I think you should help me clean up my clutter so I can raise them better. Or God if you take away my problems, I will work extra hard at showing them you.
My mess can lead my children to His message.
Instead of wishing it away, maybe I should be talking about my problems and showing my kids how much I need Jesus. Even if I take my children to church every week, they still need me to show them obedience and character every day.
Being a Christian doesn’t guarantee a mess-free life, but a messy life can lead to a need for a Savior.
When we look back to King David, his family did suffer from the sinful choices he made. But the one constant throughout the book of 2 Samuel was David remained steadfast with God.
When he sinned, he asked for forgiveness.
He got into trouble, but he depended on God.
Life got dirty, but David stuck to his Savior.
God was a refuge for David where he could escape the distressful situation, and David trusted that God would not disappoint him.
At the end of a day, isn’t this the example we want to be for our kids?
Mistakes, mishaps, and messes happen, but our kids see dependence and devotion to God. Here is the best emulation our kids could ever have: mastering life with Jesus.
9 The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed,
a refuge in times of trouble (Psalm 9:9, NLT).