Let’s put our ultimate trust in God to authentically transfer our faith, not in our flawless execution of the conservative Christian parenting plan.
Ever feel deflated by the weight we’re carrying to be good and faithful parents, or the pressure we feel to overcome our own strongholds of fear and past failures for the preservation of our families future? Take hope, the entire story doesn’t land on us or end in the rubble of Jericho’s walls. It won’t vanish in the joke of an unattainable ideal of perfect faith found exclusively on sacred paper.
The path forward for the nation of Israel included generations of “battles” and conflicts to fight for the promise of ”Shalom” for real Peace and true Rest. Ultimately they never actually were able to “rest” for more than a generation. The Apex of that promise in the Old Testament could be seen with King David and his son Solomon (and that was with serious flaws), but in general, their ability to “maintain” the vision and the promise of peace and rest, was short-lived, and when it was present... usually only felt for a single generation.
Reading the Old Testament without the new is a sobering process. It’s like trying to be a “good” parent all on our own. It focuses us repeatedly on the themes of repentance, restoration, redemption and relapse, over and over with God warning, encouraging, reminding and eventually judging His people over and over from one generation to the next until their stories and circumstances become simply a part of the tapestry of the nature of man and God, in a wild and provocative pattern of human tragedy and divine intervention.
It’s a powerful teaching aid, designed by God to direct our attention to the “fulfillment” of the elusive promise as found in the Messiah.
Our best efforts, our purest of intentions will not completely carry the day, not as a nation, a church or a family. Our strongest convictions to “do better” cannot overcome the tide of the human condition. We have thousands of years of Old Testament history to make the case of our inability to be “faithful” on our own. We have amazing men and women of faith and courage and conviction who at the end of their days were unable to successfully transfer their wisdom, their faith to their kids.
But Jesus was...
Ultimately expressed in His son, God’s love and relentless desire to redeem us shines through all of the darkness of our failures, despair and frustration. The point of the Jericho story, the point of the Old Testament scriptures, the point of all we've been through is to drive us straight to our savior. To admit our inability to get it “right” and fall on our knees before the cross of Calvary with a heart of eternal gratitude not just for the salvation of our souls, but for gift of the promise fulfilled.
Finally a permanent solution to all our Angst!
As we parent today, this week... this year; let’s agree to REST in the Promise of God’s FAITHFULNESS. From this place, we can parent with genuine power and love and peace. From this place we can walk past the rubble of Jericho and all of the battles yet to be fought, confident in the grace and ability of God to reach into our mess and make it beautiful. No matter what.
God is faithful, let’s put our ultimate trust in Him to authentically transfer our faith…not in our flawless execution of the conservative Christian parenting plan
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23, ESV)