Friday, November 22, 2013

No Nonsense November: The Only Way Out

I was perusing the news and found myself drawn into an update on a murder trial.  The details aren't important except that they were awful, unmentionable and committed by a minor.  Yet, it happens so much these days.  Whether it's more than it 'used to be', I don't know.  But it's convicting nonetheless.

I'm a first born perfectionist daughter who loves a clear set of rules that will allow me to do something the right way and loves improving towards that illusive perfection.  So, even if I really stink at follow-through or accomplishments, in my head, I take things very seriously!  Like marriage, like parenting, like Christianity, like healthy living, like frugality, etc.  And for people not like me, I know that high achieving and always improving can be downright annoying.  A broken-record or a snob, you say.  And some days, you're right.  That's why I need balance so badly.  But that's not my point today.



That random news article took a hold of me somehow and convicted me of why I (should) take some things so seriously.  Our society is crying out in pain and suffering through these children that find themselves choosing paths of hate, pain and violence.  Everything from divorce to substance abuse to pornography is seeping (if not gushing) into our kids lives and then for some families it's just a time-bomb, waiting for the right trigger.

Even when we mean well and get lost along the way, consequences still cut deep.  I seem to have very little figured out, but I see bold truth in a few things.   Healthy marriages, strong role models and active parenting aren't the solution, they are the groundwork - the bare minimum - to raising healthy, reasonable, productive kids.  Some days it feels like we're lucky to even smile at each other, much less feel like we're doing a good job in our marriages or roles as parents.  So it might sound like I'm saying we're all worthless unless we're perfect.  I'm not.  Not at all.  Because I'm not worthless and I fail miserably all the time.

I'm saying when you think you're being paranoid about how much sexualized tv your kids are watching or when you make light of a drug problem or how hateful families are to each other, just stop.  Pornography is killing marriages everywhere.  Sexual abuse is rampant.  Substance abuse is washing lives down the drain and feeding violence everywhere.  It's happening.  Don't act like its not.  Instead, join me in an effort to love your spouse. Ensure your kids are safe, loved and have plenty of honest men and women in their lives.  Love your neighbors.  In a society with so much hate and ugliness, our best weapon is to fill every space we can with security, honesty, beauty, respect, hard work and wise love.

I think of the moms of these children who get dissected in the news because of their crimes.  How much pain they must bear.  We can throw blame around and where will it get us?  Instead, let's be proactive, preventative and most of all convicted that Jesus came to save us from all of this hate.  Submitting everything to him - our marriages, our children, our habits, our hearts - is the way out.  The only way out.
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