Tuesday, July 05, 2005

the danger zone

Most people swear that when I have kids I will change my mind about a lot of things. I'm sure they're right, because I know being a parent transforms you in a way that nothing else can. It's easy on this side of parenthood to say you'll do this or that - but the true test doesn't come until you bring your baby home and all of a sudden realize you possess more love for that little creature than you ever thought possible. Or when he's 12 years old and driving you crazy. Then, will I feel the same way about issues? Will I still desire the same things for my child? I don't know if I will or not. But I do know that I want to raise my children to love and honor Jesus supremely, no matter the cost. How that will exactly play out in their life, I guess time will tell.

My parents raised me to be safe. Certainly, in some aspects, it was a noble cause. They taught me not to run with the cutlery, talk to strangers, or stick tweezers in the electrical socket. All good things. But they also taught me, in many aspects, a very safe Christianity. If there is such a thing. It was very man centered and consisted of doing what would deliver the most immediate benefit to my family, my health, my education, etcetera. The Gospel was made more palatable by tweaking it here and there, because it couldn't mean this if it meant you had to do that. Like, it just couldn't be possible that taking your children on a dangerous mission field on the other side of the world could be of God, because they might be harmed. Well, when I hold my first precious baby in my arms, I might change my mind - but I want to demonstrate to my children a trust in God firm enough to endure danger. I don't want to spend my entire life modeling a sanitized and safe Christianity to my kids. I think of Perpetua, a martyr in the early church, who was separated from her nursing baby because of her refusal to deny Christ. While jailed, her father brought her son to her, begging her to recant, yet she refused to apostacize. She was later torn apart by wild beasts and her child was left motherless. Safe? Not hardly. Could I do the same thing? Probably not. But I want my children to one day learn to trust God despite the consequences, whether they be physical, or whatever. I guess this is all easy to say here, but what about when the rubber meets the road? Maybe I will think differently...but I hope not.
posted by Christie