Sunday, June 05, 2005

Pearls of Wisdom

Anne shared something in the comments on my post about the Pearl's that I'd like to share. She said,

Another Pearl article I just don't like- and I did used to like them! Another one that if I hadn't realized this before, would've made me feel guilty and put undue pressure on myself to produce the "perfect" and saved Christian kids.

He makes it sound like you are either passionately successful or a total failure as a parent. Where's the middle ground here? I just don't see it as this black and white. The Christian life and parenting are both struggles. We should strive to live for Him and improve, but we will have struggles and failures too.

I suspect Anne's not alone in her feelings. Many times after reading an article by the Pearl's or someone similar, I would have felt the same anxiety and the pressure to do this job perfectly without failure. But in continuing to walk with the Lord I have discovered that I cannot do it all perfectly. And I am in good company. Paul wrote in Romans 7 verse 18
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
As Christians we are called to live a holy life. That is a high standard. Micheal Pearl reminds us to live that life. And for that I am grateful. But like Paul, I have the will to do good but often I fail. What am I to do? That is what my Savior is for. When I fall down HE picks me up. I cannot and will not be the perfect parent. When I fail, get angry or hurt another, I can seek forgiveness. 2 Corinthians 12:9 states, "
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
and in Phillipians 3:12
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
So we needn't feel any more guilt that we don't measure up to some such a holy standard. None of us (including the Pearl's) do. Jesus is the restorer of relationships that have been broken by sin and failure and the guilt that accompanies it. The Pearl's serve to remind us of the holiness of our calling but I wish they would also remind us more often of the forgivenss found in Christ when we fail.

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