I’m speaking on Sunday at church, and as I was writing my sermon I found myself typing “the darkest depths of my soul” and had a good laugh over how dramatic that sounded.
My sermon is about the spiritual responsibility that comes with parenting, and about how it is our job to model what a right relationship with God looks like to our children. If I just say that I believe in God, but don’t allow that belief to have an effect on my daily life and decisions, I am teaching Eden that Christianity is just a persona, or a cause that we like to identify with.
In my experience, God is after the darkest depths of my soul. He wants to rip out all the rot that I have allowed to decay in the back of my heart. The sin that I let my mind skim over, the indulgence that I justify, the inactivity where I need discipline. God is all about pushing me to give him more than I initially wanted to.
It starts with choosing mundane obedience when I am tempted by flashy indulgence. Learning how to meditate and pray, choosing to give of myself by tithing and fasting. It continues as I figure out what it will actually take for me to obey the Holy Spirit’s prompting in my heart. As I build that foundation of discipline and obedience, God asks for me to air out the dark places that I had been hoping he didn’t notice. Every time I submit a part of my heart, he asks for another one. Till I am stubbornly shouting, “I DIDN’T EVEN WANT TO GIVE YOU THAT MUCH, STOP PUSHING YOUR LUCK.”
It sucks, really. The process is rough. It makes me look weak and it forces me to back track and make things right where I went wrong. It calls for humility and some self-deprivation (*gasp*).
But my kid needs to see that. When she is 16 and being told that all the cool kids are into sexting and cyber bullying, I want her to have the wherewithal to realize that a life built on self-gratification only leads to grasping for the next worthless thing. A life built on trust and obedience may seem narrow-minded, but it is really the best way for God to mold you into someone beautiful and strong, ready and able to do good works, not bogged down by sin and selfishness. I want her to see the value of following Christ wholeheartedly.
So, that is the gist of my sermon. Being a mom has made me more aware of the responsibility I have to raise this little soul with a foundation in the truth. My choices, actions, past & present sin all affect how she perceives God. And I take that responsibility very seriously.