I’m teaching the importance of words. I hope my kids learn this. But first I have to learn it myself and these lessons are hard learned.
The things we speak to each other frame the content of our lives. The things we speak to ourselves determine what we believe.
So I teach my children God is good. His Word is good.
I teach them to usher in praise when the world seems to crumble and groan and stretch in anguish. I teach them that every broken thing cries out for redemption and there is but one Redeemer. I let them see me cry when injustice rolls across my news feed and my life and the world, and I don’t press the tears away when my lips mumble, Lord, have mercy.
I teach them to lean in close to God, tucked right up in His presence.
When she traces her finger along the page while reading The Hiding Place and her history texts begin to talk of nations splitting, a world at war, and a leader infecting with hate and murder, I tell her wait until the end of the book. She will the see the story of a God who would be withCorrie Ten Boom as her family hid Jewish people and paid the price with their lives. She will see what it means to live and die with integrity, with faith, with mercy. She will see what it means to live claimed by God.
I teach them nothing can rob us of our faith, we can only give up on it.
I teach her that when we cannot bear the brokenness we start with lament. We start with grief and repentance and turning our hearts over to God. Without that, we have nothing to offer the broken and hopeless and grieved because mercy starts there. I teach her that God is close to the oppressed.
Mercy mends the broken the way justice binds truth to action.