What a depressing title.
What an honourable calling.
It’s something I have been thinking about a lot lately, and as it happens, it was the topic at church on Sunday. You know God is trying to get your attention when he does stuff like that.
As a mother I am comfortably aware that a lot of my parenting is different than the majority. Whilst this is hard at times, it is something I take great pride in, because it means that I am actively living out Romans 12:2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
I don’t mind making the hard decisions, or being the mum that stands out; that’s kind of the plan. But the impossible conflict with this type of parenting, is that I am also raising children who go against the status quo. And whilst this is the goal, it can be hard to watch them make the impossible decisions to go against the flow.
At the moment Taylah is faced with a tough choice. Not going to go into details as it is quite long and convoluted, but at the end of the day it comes down to disappointing someone she loves, and following what she believes God wants her to do. Which is hard enough at any stage of life, but particularly at the tender age of seven.
Jesus told the disciples not to worry if the world hated them, because it hated Him first, which is yet another example of God’s (or is it ours) backwards way of thinking. Give and you will receive. Whoever is last will be first. And if everyone hates you, ‘good job! You’re doing the right thing!’
On Sunday after church, Taylah came running up to me, excitedly announcing that next week kids church would be doing a play, and she was going to be Rahab! Tim just looked at me and said, ‘don’t say anything.’
Now as a parent, I’ll admit that that is probably not the starring role you would like your child to have. A prostitute who hid a couple of spies on her roof, lied to the king, and then lowered them out of the window. Initially it didn’t inspire the same sort of pride as when Bridie came home last year and announced she would be Mary in the preschool nativity play.
But the more I think about it, the more I realise just how poignant this role is. Rahab was a woman of faith, who chose to reject the beliefs of the city around her, and put her trust in a God she barely understood. Very similar to a seven year old girl who is only just beginning to comprehend the God she has been told about since she was just tiny.
Taylah has a lot of spunk. On Friday she came home from school and said that there were ghosts in the girls toilets. It wasn’t just her; a lot of the kids were experiencing ‘paranormal phenomenon’ with pieces of toilet paper moving, and the like. I chose this moment to explain that whilst the toilets were probably very safe, there are things out there we can’t see. Just like God has Angels who do his work, the devil has demons who do is. But the good news is those demons tremble at the name of Jesus, and we can take authority over them because of his blood.
Now some may think this is a very deep conversation to get into with a seven year old, but when else do you bring it up? And besides, I felt that she was mature enough to accept it.
So yesterday she heads off to school, armed with this information, ready to cast demons out of the toilet!
Although highly hilarious, (more so when they found a toilet bowl full of blood and assumed it was demons because they are too young to understand any of the workings if menstruation), moments like this fill me with a sense of pride. Because not just any kid would do that. Most would either be too scared, or think the whole thing was just craziness.
I have a feeling Rahab might have. And at the end of the day she was credited as a woman of faith in the genealogy of Jesus himself.
So whilst the idea of raising children that will not be understood at best, and hated at worst, sounds like cruel and unusual punishment, I persevere with hope because if she can learn these lessons now, it will put her in good stead for when she makes to make even harder decisions as an adult.
Like not becoming a prostitute.