I learned something the other day that absolutely disgusted me. Like puke coming up my throat disgust.
Something that made me want to urge Corey to surprise some teenage guys with a swift upper-cut to the jaw followed by a lesson on CHIVALRY and DECENCY.
Something that made me want to take some teenage girls by the shoulders, look them squarely in the eyes and tell them “This is not what you we created for. You are cheating yourself of something beautiful.”
As the urge to simultaneously smack someone and vomit subsided, my boys’ faces flashed through my mind and I got this hard knotted-up ball in the pit of my stomach. My sweet rambunctious elementary-age boys, who at this point in their lives are mostly consumed with basketball and Minecraft, but at some point in the not-so-distant future will be teenagers.
And instead of wanting to vomit, I wanted to cry.
I wanted to sit down on the kitchen floor and weep because there are things I cannot protect my boys from. I want to assure them that our loving, respectful home is the norm. That this world is a good, honest place in which to live. But the truth is, it’s not. Though beauty surrounds us, there is also an undercurrent of ugliness that will not disappear until Jesus returns.
Sooner or later my boys will be exposed to filth, and they will reach an age where they will have to choose which road they will travel down; the one that somehow taunts senses with a sweet scent even though it is filled with rancid feces, or the one that takes considerable effort and discipline to navigate, but will lead them to the most beautiful place imaginable.
The. Foot. Of. The. Cross.
I want to take them by the hand straight to the cross with blinders on their eyes and muffs on their ears. To take them innocent and protected straight to Jesus, and say,
“Son, this is where you want to be. This is the only place. Here is your Savior.”
But I can’t. Corey and I can lead them, and love them and point them in the right direction, but ultimately, they will have to live life in the midst of the crap. They will be exposed to the good and the bad and they will have to make choice after choice between right and wrong.
And it will be hard.
And all along the way the world is going to pull at their shirtsleeves, and dangle shiny things in their faces. And I will be a spectator with a front row seat. And there will be days when I will again want to melt down onto my kitchen floor and weep.
But I choose not to live in despair. I choose to live in hope. Hope that the sin-sick ugliness of the world around them will make the beauty of Christ’s sacrifice even more exquisite. And I will be praying to Jesus –
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:6-12)
That they may be –
blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” (Philippians 2:15)
And if this mama could pass along one thing to her boys about chivalry and decency it would be this: “Always look to Jesus first. But second, watch your daddy closely and take careful notes because he’s got it figured out. And he will tell you a million times over that there is not one shiny thing in this world worth substituting for the man God intends for you to be.”