I am the Mom of five kids. They are mostly grown, and over the years I’ve been a relatively unorthodox Mom in many ways.
Pretty laid back, seeing the big picture, relaxed and generally trusting, they too have come to realize that I’m a bit abnormal as Moms go.
Over the years they themselves have affirmed, “Wow Mom, I didn’t realize how cool and chill you are!”
Of course there were the oddities. I didn’t let them watch Walt Disney movies when they were kids (just way too much deception and lies cloaked in niceness, BLUCK!)
(they still give me a hard time about this)
But they did watch ‘real’ movies much sooner than any of their friends did. Movies that portrayed real emotions, real situations, real truths and real lies; all upfront and easy to see.
We scrapped the manipulative ‘here is how to be a good girl or boy’ children’s stories. I figured if I felt like throwing up glancing through them, why would I subject such stuff on my kids!
Instead we relished in honest tales, like The Bronze Bow, Who Owns the Sun, and Bruchko, just to name a few.
I’ll never forget the week we were reading the story of Jim Elliot. A missionary in the Ecuadorian Jungle who was speared to death by the Waodani Tribesmen living there. And how we ended our week at Missions Fest to witness Steve Saint (whose Father was also killed the same), and one of the men who done the killing, there, live and in person, sharing their grand story of redemption.
Real life learning. Tangible lessons.
Thing is, the goal is not to be good. The goal is definitely NOT to be nice.
(Going after nice or good become their own idolatry!)
And though we are not on a quest to be bad or mean, when we hold up outer accoutrements rather than inner honesty, we walk in falseness.
And when we don’t know ourselves, we cannot know others or God in any real emotional intimacy.
Our body language will tell one story and our words will tell another. Emotions will frighten us, and strong passion will make us uncomfortable. We will not be able to manage groups well, for which of our many personalities do we present when with many?
Congruency and honesty within our inner core takes a lot of work. Initially it means that we shed good and nice, and that we get on with real.
The lessons I hope my kids have learned:
– Be yourself
– Stand tall
– Live honest
– Hold your space
– Walk in passion
And finally – God is big enough
No one is fooled by veneers. We may think others can’t read us. But its just not the truth. Everything about you screams… everything about you.
Go for the honest. Go for the real. Go for healthy.