If you missed reading it, part one is in the archives for February.
I do not understand the logic behind raising kids in the Old Covenant, separate from the way God fathers us in the New Covenant. Is Christ only for adults? Somehow, when the age of accountability is reached, (who can say when that it?) are kids suddenly expected to gracefully morph into new testament disciples that are empowered by the Holy Spirit and have a clear concept of a good God, let alone an intimate relationship with Him?
I know I’m not a parent, but if the gospel is too complicated for my little child, it’s not Jesus. Jesus said we can’t enter the Kingdom if we don’t become like a child. He even said it would be better to be drowned in the sea than to offend a little one. That’s strong language.
The switch from child to adolescent is traumatizing enough, but if kids are raised on shame and fear, it just gets a hell of a lot harder to hear God as young adults. Literally.
Kids are people even when they’re small. Everyone was a kid once. Kids aren’t live dolls, puppets, or babysit charges. They are a generation that need the gospel, and if they aren’t experiencing it in childhood, how do we expect them to love God when hair shows up on their chin? The gospel is much more than “conversion.” It’s a life, of saying “yes” to God a million times, falling in love a million times, being filled a million times…
Is there an appropriate age to know God?
Kids are smart, they are perceptive, they are passionate. If there’s ever a good time for them to learn to hear God voice, it’s childhood. If they are familiar with Him young, life will never be impossible as adults.
Maybe it’s not about forcing kids to be well behaved adults. Maybe it’s about empowering adults to be like children, and learning to raise children like Christ is raising us. We can all grow up together.
Am I saying I don’t believe in correction? No. But what I am saying is that every time God puts me in time out, He is in the corner with me. He takes the shame so I can be renewed.
Am I saying love is soft and undisciplined? No. But what I am saying is that I want to be like Christ; Every single time I feel God discipline me, I see Him taking the stripes, and I am the one beating Him. Like I said, love is the greatest chastening. If that line was the only point of my bizarre dream, I’ll take it.
Is humility easy? Is shame painless? Is death soft love? Tell that to Jesus as His flesh is being ripped apart and tears are streaming down His face because He is being punished for me and you.
Love is not weak; control is. I don’t know where we get the idea that letting go of fear and control means doing nothing. Loving Him means we die with Him so we can resurrect with Him. Loving people means dying and resurrecting too, because He first loved us.
Am I saying that God doesn’t intend for us to learn from the Old Testament? No, but what I am saying is that provision was made for us to be like Christ; putting new wine in old wine skins will burst the skins, and both will be lost. (Mark 2:22)
God’s original design for partnership and relationship was good, but we screwed it up. A scapegoat was necessary before Christ came. Man had to pay for their sins. Children were beaten to promote obedience. Animal blood was spilled in sacrifice. Fear of punishment was used to straighten paths for righteousness’ sake.
BUT, God wasn’t willing to let humanity pay for their crimes forever, so He paid the ultimate price to restore us to Himself forever. Why would we continue to pay for our sins, to burst old wine skins, to haunt children with fear of death when Christ was beaten and shamed for our empowerment?
Go ahead, call me anti spanking, anti OT, anti Bible, anti sound doctrine, and dream haunted wild woman. 😉 That’s fine.
Sometimes, I need to stop and preach the gospel to myself. The gospel never stops. It continues empowering, continues filling, continues overcoming this world.
I am so thankful He keeps saving me from myself. If I don’t discover the reality of His chastening love, how will I live in restoration?
Love continues to bring men to their knees to this day. Love never fails; It’s a promise.