My son has a milk moustache. It mixes with the peanut butter and jelly already mucking up his lips, his cheeks. He is out of his chair – dancing.
“How does my skeleton make me move, mommy?”
He sings a made up silly tune as he dances, whirling around, experimenting with all the angles his body can make. He knows he is not supposed to be out of his chair until he is excused from the table.
I let him dance.
I answer his questions.
I remind him, gently, to sit down and finish his lunch.
He obeys with a full smile, milk moustache in all its glory, nourishing the skeleton that makes him move.
His skeleton does make him move, or rather, it allows him to move. It gives his body form and substance, makes his movements meaningful and deliberate. It allows him to walk and dance and run. It will enable him to do hard work and to hold his wife. This structure which houses his organs, his heart, his soul, is rigid. But within that rigidity, because of that structure, my boy has complete freedom of movement.
It is helpful when enforcing boundaries with my children to remind myself that it is not my duty to raise children, it is my duty to raise adults. Right now they ask endless questions and poop their pants with virtually zero social consequences. One day, a day too swiftly approaching, that will change. I do not want to raise men who are a thorn in the flesh of society. I do not want to raise men who grieve the Holy Spirit. I want to raise strong, confident, godly, gentle, responsible men who love Jesus and love their people well. But I want to raise my men. I want them to be selfless, but to be wholly themselves.
Looking to God as the standard of perfect parenthood, I find that CS Lewis was right when he writes from the perspective of the demon Screwtape:
“When He talks of their losing their selves, He means only abandoning the clamor of self-will; once they have done that, He really gives them back all their personality and boasts (I am afraid, sincerely) that when they are wholly His they will be more themselves than ever.” (CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters)
See, the thing is, God loves us. Intimately. Personally. At every stage of our lives. He sees us from the womb to the deathbed and loves us in the skin-on-bones, bleeding to death, sweat and tears, hard work of parenting kind of way. He loves us in the Abba Daddy watching His baby girl dance in princess dresses way. He loves us in the late night talks on the porch with dad kind of way. His love is not limited by His kindness. He is not afraid of breaking us. He is interested in getting glory out of us. continue reading
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” Crazy Chicken Lady. Depression Warrior. Chronic Introvert. Beth Biggers is the lone island of estrogen in her family of four. She married her best friend at the tender age of nineteen. She is the chief entertainment, homeschool teacher, and hiney wiper for two crazy beautiful boys who call her “mom.” Well, one of them calls her mom. The other one calls her “Nar Nar.” No big deal. She abuses ellipses. She tells the truth, sometimes to a fault. She steals library books on accident. When she’s not busy chasing kids, saving lives, or Netflix binging, she uses her Big Girl words to express herself and talk urban homesteading, family, homeschooling, and Jesus-loving on her blog at www.bethbiggers.com “