As I sit here sipping my coffee doused with coconut oil, butter and stevia, I’m thinking this truly IS ‘whimsy in my cup’. Little did I know when I named this blog I’d be drinking such a concoction. Funny. And really NOT what this post is about. Ha!
Really I’m pondering the spirit-led life. I’ve been reading in the book of Romans for a week or so now and having a new version of the Bible (The Voice translation – try it!) always makes things you’ve read dozens of times before jump off the page a little bit more. So this is actually a post about the Law, the Spirit and parenting. All of which I know very minimal about but I am where I am and know what I know.
To me, the book of Romans is a very heady book. It says right in verse 1 of chapter 7, “My brothers and sisters who are well versed in the law…”. Well, that’s not me. I’m not Jewish. I like reading but I’m no philosopher. I like studying but not things that have no application to me. And the Law – or rather studying the Law – has no application to me.
We were born under the influence of the Law. It’s just there. It’s what it is. We don’t have to understand it. We just know that a toddler will be naughty because they were born ‘into sin’ as the Bible says. And that’s as deep as this goes for me, so let’s make a turn around…
My kids do not need to be taught the Law. What they need to be raised up in and practicing is walking in the Spirit. This, my friends, takes a lifetime of practice – mistakes will be made, none of us will do it perfectly. Did you read that? NONE of us. I don’t care if you’ve walked with the Lord for 10 years, 30 years or 50 years. If you are still walking around in your gorgeous flesh body, every once in a while you will not do it right – you will make a wrong choice, you will walk ‘in the flesh’ rather that ‘in the spirit’.
So my goal with parenting is: First off, my kids need to know that the Spirit LOVES them. God is a person. His Spirit wanting to dwell in them and be on them. And He is love. He is radically and passionately in love WITH them. He created them uniquely- in looks, in personality, in gifting, in purpose – because he LOVES them.
Secondly, He is pursuing them because He wants them to love Him back. He made a way. There is no hoop to jump through. Just love Him back. And love looks like something – giving their life over to Him because they can trust Him with it. It’s divine connection – you have my life and I have Yours.
And lastly (as in for the rest of your life), God wants to journey with them. He wants to communicate. He wants conversation. He will lead, they can follow. Every day is an adventure. Every day they have choices. The law of the flesh and the law of the Spirit present themselves on a daily and momentary basis and they get to choose where they want to walk. As do I.
Life in the Spirit brings ease, brings peace, brings trust. But that law of the flesh sometimes deceives us, just like it did Eve so long ago in the Garden. Sometimes it looks like a better way and sometimes we choose wrongly. My job as a parent is to help reconnect my kids with the Spirit when they’ve chosen the flesh. Not to remind them of the Law but to remind them of how beautiful life in the Spirit is. Because of Jesus, it’s not hard. There is no shame. There is no punishment. There is mercy. There is grace. There is redemption. And life in the Spirit is what we’re made for.
“The beauty of your new situation is this: now that you are free from sin, you are free to serve a different master, God’s redeeming justice.” Romans 7:18
“How could you not know that His kindness is guiding our hearts to turn away from distractions and habitual sin to walk a new path?” Romans 2:4b
“…The law of the Spirit of life breathes into you and liberates you from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2
“…But if you live your life animated by the Spirit – namely, God’s indwelling presence – then your focus is on the work of the Spirit…a mind focused on the Spirit will find full life and complete peace.” Romans 8:5-6