This is me processing some things... I recently finished reading Families Where Grace Is in Place by Jeff VanVonderen. It is an amazing book and I highly recommend it to any one raising a family! I am going to discuss some of the ideas and principles he talks about in his book.
I also recently read (did I finish? hm.) Easy to Love Difficult to Discipline by Becky A Bailey Ph.D.
That book is also amazing, I definitely recommend it. But I struggled in my reading of it. While the principles she presents in her book are good, moral and healthy principles. I felt overwhelmed with all the goals she sets out for the reader, the parent. Her tag line is, "You can't teach what you don't know."
Very true. Her goal is to teach the parent new skills to use in disciplining themselves, so they can in turn discipline their children. And while I got some great tools, and a new understanding about some of my attitudes and how they can effect my children,. I still felt very overwhelmed.
It kind of could be described like this:
Would I be able to carry out these things fully? No. Not to say that means I'm going to ditch the ideas and principles because they are impossible to perfect. I just left the book feeling insecure.
And then God grabbed me. I've had so many questions for Him the last 6 years. I've had this big 'ol pile of things I was trying to untangle even before I had kids...And then I became a parent and the pile grew. How was I going to do this? How were my children going to grow up under my care and leave respectably unscathed? Maybe even a bit more on the whole and healthy side then...not.
HOW HOW HOW???
I have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. It really is simple. The world was perfect, man and woman were perfect and whole.
God and man were in perfect relationship. Man was perfect. Genesis 3 talks about how God walked in the garden, He was very close with his creation. But that wasn't good enough for man, and he (general "man/he" female implied.) and human tried to meet their needs some where else. Genesis 3:6 says When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
She saw there was more beyond perfection, she wanted some thing besides God... And with that was the fall of mankind. Our sin separated us from God. He laid out a whole beautiful story of how He called us back to Him. He chose a people (Israel) and all through the Old Testament, called to them. Gave them laws - a way to temporarily rid themselves of sin. But it didn't remove the guilt. The sin was always there waiting, and they had to continue to rid themselves of sin. They had to follow His Law very carefully. I don't have the time or space to go into all the details in this post but there were a LOT of things they had to do. All those rituals and sacrifices were reminders...That they were His people, and that He was one day going to send a doctor to heal their sin. All those commandments and sacrifices were a picture, a shadow of the Redemption He would send. First to His people Israel (also known as the Jews) and then to the rest of the world (known in Bible-speak: gentiles).
So we were separated. Death entered the world. And even now, we are all born separated from God...We can chose to live life separated, and eventually we die. That empty needy place will never be filled by any thing but God
When Adam and Eve ate that fruit, the consequences meant that we'd all be born into sin.
To keep it simple: the doctor for sin was Jesus. God sent His son and He was tortured and killed at the hand of a His people. He died for them, to overcome death. You can read about it here. But pretty much as crazy as what happened sounds: Jesus became the bridge back to God...So that we could live in relationship with him.
The veil of sin that was hanging between us and God was torn. And if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. But the greatest perk of stepping beyond the veil of sin? We are free of guilt! God now, as mind blowing as it may seem, sees us as perfect. Not "sinners saved by grace", but fully and completely redeemed. We're back in the garden in His eyes, we're free. Now the New Testament talks a bit about this...But if you have any questions email me... My point is, God is now the one to fill that empty needy hole, He is the only one who can.
And yet, we walk around with this knowledge, we believe in the saving power of Jesus. But try to make ourselves LOOK healed. Whatever we view as "good" and "positive" we fill ourselves up with.
And with that...I will close Part One...Will link to Part Two when I get it written!! Stay tuned.