I brag on my children all the time. I gave birth to only two, but the number of children I ‘claim’ could easily amount to dozens!! And, to me, each one of them is PERFECT. They are the recipients of the same love I have tried to show to everyone: the unconditional love of one who sees who you are and loves you, faults and all.
I have three sons that actually live under my roof, none of whom do everything exactly as I would wish. And yet, I insist that they are perfect. They are (for the most part) transparent and completely disclosed to me. In their own timing, the tell me just about everything that is going on in their lives.
NOTE: did you see all the ‘out clauses’ I provide them? That is simply because my name is NOT Holy Ghost, Jr. I don’t NEED to know everything about them. I need only know how to pray and how to be available to receive them in whatever disclosure they and the Holy Ghost provide me.
The two sons that I bore are relatively guileless. We three sleep with our doors unlocked and walk in on one another whenever the need arises. We laugh out loud and talk ‘smack’ with one another in ways that some people looking in from the outside may deem inappropriate. All of this has taken some adjusting to for the son I claim.We have accepted how foreign a concept that kind of disclosure is for him. But, they all know there is never a question that they cannot ask without expectation of the whole truth. They know if I say, “Because I said so,” it’s because the answer is beyond words and (most times) they trust my gut. Even when they defy my order of, “Because I said so,” they know that they can come to me and receive correction without condemnation and some prayerful deliberation about how to handle the fallout.
When the sons I bore were small and our lives took on many different versions of ‘a living hell,’ they watched their father and me very closely. The degree of how closely they watched us did not reveal itself until they were both considered, ‘adult.’ I think the most fascinating thing about that is how accurately they assessed those situations, even as children. Part of that, I imagine is because, while they knew they could always come to me. They also knew they could not come to their father and expect that same amount of candor and disclosure.
They watched how we walked out our ‘faith’ and how we demonstrated our relationships with God. And, while things have not always gone obviously in my favor, they have seen God sustain me and provide for us in ways that have defied imagination. They have understood my childhood abuse, my divorce, our homeless and unemployed seasons, and viewed them through the lens of the Grace of God. They have taken the lessons they learned and used them to extend that grace to others so that I would never question that they have their own personal relationships with God.
This is not a result of my telling my children what to do, mind you. It is, more to the point, a result of me telling them WHY I made certain choices when I made them. They saw that I was not living my life as a victim, although many people may have perceived it as such. They saw that I was living my life as a VESSEL for God to work through. I can only say that because they have said as much in some fashion or another.
Some of what has been revealed to me as they have gotten older were the details about things neither I nor their father realized that they had observed as children. Things they observed only in part as children, that they have inquired after in their maturity, have produced the fruit they supposed it would. These things have confirmed for all of us that, when you walk in integrity, it is alright to be exactly who you are, exactly in the moment that you find yourself, without apology or defense before the God who made you. Things that have confirmed that the consistency of your integrity will ALWAYS win out, especially in the times that you believe nobody is watching. They have discovered that doing the right thing, the right way, for the right reasons will bring reward in SOME WAY, as much as doing the wrong thing the wrong way for the wrong reasons will bring destruction.
Your best move will always be to forgive quickly, love people anyway and do the right thing, the right way, for the right reason, whether or not you believe nobody is watching. God is ALWAYS watching. And He ALWAYS repays.