This side or that one? Neither.
Before we start on some important matters— This is us. A perfect representation of what really happens. The boys messing with Cadence's hair, a dog butt, Phil amused, and me... well, just giving up on my dream. The one about getting a perfect family portrait.
Here we go. And I'm pretty much just diving in with no fancy intro.
I refuse to take part in what this world does. Or better, how the culture says we must choose a side on certain matters. I refuse to let social norms shape me or what I am supposed to say or do. We talk about this exact thing often at home. We face our belief systems head on and question each other about all of it. We ask a lot of why questions and go back and forth in conversations that stop and then go again. Sometimes we disagree. You can only imagine how that works out with two 8s in the house who are both passionate and justice minded (more on that another day). But one thing we have agreed on as a family, and have set our hearts on, is to reflect Him. To be image bearers of the most Holy One, no matter what the world tells us to do.
We are not perfect and do not claim to be (hence the picture). But one thing I can say for certain is that we stand for honor and kindness and goodness... especially behind closed doors. Our children watch us, listen to us, even when we think they do not understand. They watch how we treat people at the store, or how we respond to the rude, short-fused employee behind the counter. They hear us in the car as we wait for the person to slowly cross the road without a care in the world that someone is actually waiting there. Me in the car as I wave and smile: “Hellerrrrr lady! Can ya step it out? Thanks. Byeeee.” Should I have said anything at all? Well, at least not when my kids are present. Ha! But seriously. Isn’t the point of it all to teach our children, the next generation, about kindness, respect, and truth? More importantly, to lead them and point them to Him? Yes! It is our responsibility to point them to the One that is perfect in love and abounding in goodness, so that ultimately they become more like Him.
My hope is that our lives would speak for itself, not our social media posts, or lack thereof. I want our day to day lives to speak loudly of who we are and what we stand for. I want our home to be full of color and love for all those that come through, no matter their background or previous life experiences. I want the goodness of God to rule our lives so richly, that the world would look to us for answers when it is deep in chaos, panic, and uncertainty. This is what the body of Christ should be doing. We should not fit in a box or wear social labels. Let Him guide you. Let Him be the one you hear and emulate. It's not for us to get into online quarrels or pick one side or another created by the culture.
Take this. In Joshua 5, on his way to Jericho, Joshua met the angel of the Lord. Take a close look at how the angel responded to Joshua’s question.
13 When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, “Are you friend or foe?”
14 “Neither one,” he replied. “I am the commander of the LORD’s army.”
He literally said, "NEITHER ONE!"
Like Joshua, we are often looking for a side to take. Or watching and wondering what “side” others are on before making a move. What it boils down to is there is really only one side… His. Now figuring that part out requires getting close enough to hear.