My much wiser yet not that much older brother recently told me he hoped his kids hung around all broken people. He hoped they were friends with the people that needed Jesus the most. I thought this was weird because we are Christians and we (sometimes unintentionally) go to great lengths to make sure our kids are surrounded by “other Christians.”
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that our family goes to church each week in the hopes that our kids will grow up with a sense of community there. We hope that Claire goes from one program to the next making like-minded friends along the way… and Briggs too when he stops biting the other children. I realized recently when I faced with brokenness in my own world that my instinct was to pull my children far from it instead of embrace it and point to Jesus. Let me make a disclaimer here that I am not naïve, I don’t expect my kids to be a “light” at 3 or stand up for the bible at 5 but I do hope they don’t believe Jesus is only for the Christians at 15. I do pray my kids walk in circles of broken people and realize the only thing they know different (lord willing) is the healer of all brokenness. I realized at the end the day I had to believe that brokenness wasn’t contagious it was already in the DNA. When I gave birth to each of my kids I believed they needed a savior (and now that the oldest is a two and half year old I pray she realizes the same soon).
However, the lie I slowly started to believe was that if I sheltered my kids from brokenness they wouldn’t experience it themselves. If I sent them to top tier schools and provided them with the perfect Christian upbringing then maybe, just maybe, they would escape this painful word we hate to say….sin. That’s not the truth though, I am starting to realize that the more exposure I have to others sin the more I cling to jesus. The more I see that humans are flawed no matter how much I love and respect them then the more I grasp that I am not exempt. When Jesus said in romans that all had fallen short of his glorious standard, I think he meant not only me but my precious little babes as well.
So I was faced with a choice, pull away and protect or embrace and trust. I chose to trust that forgiveness doesn’t mean I am weak it means I know I have been forgiven. I am choosing to believe my God has written a story for my children that involves him, and the best thing I can do to usher them into that plan is to trust in a God who is worthy of our lives not just our Sundays.