Welcome to today’s installment of Reverent Sundays, where I write about an aspect of my faith. This can deal with recent books I have read on Christianity, my thoughts on religion and current issues, as well as particular messages I find touching and/or powerful. I am aware that most of my readers are not religious, and that is fine — you are more than welcome to not read these posts if they make you uncomfortable, enrage you, or bore you to tears. I am open to debates and discussions in the comments section as long as everyone remains respectful. Enjoy!
I love my children. I am amazed whenever I gaze upon their faces. I take delight in their happiness. And as I have said in the past, becoming a mother is helping me be a better person — and bringing me closer to God.
But, as long-time readers of this blog may know, motherhood has not been easy for me. And never has the doctrine of inherent sin been more clear to me until I had babies and witnessed their little bodies and spirits already be tainted by sin.
But wait — doesn’t Jesus tell us that “whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it” (Luke 18:17)? Yes, and this is certainly one of the most-quoted verses of the Bible, and for good reason: we must all embrace Christ with a childlike faith. (See “Like a Child” for a succinct list of qualities of a childlike faith.) But this does not mean that all children are innocent!
We do not teach our children to throw tantrums. We do not teach our children to be selfish. We do not teach our children to hit others, throw objects, or lie (studies show that infants begin to lie as early as 6 months of age!). Yet they do these things without incitement, as if they were ingrained in them from the start.
Non-believers may call these survival instincts, or even just human nature. We call them the by-products of original sin — inherent sin. Because we ALL (even tiny babies!) are sinners and fall short the glory of God.
This may seem a bit harsh, and even discouraging. But I do not see it as so. Instead, I look at my girls — at their imperfections, their sins…and I realize the sheer amount of love that I, as a sinner, have for them and become simply OVERCOME. Because the amount of love that this sinner has for these sinners, knowing that it is IMPERFECT love, makes me grasp just how much more and how perfect God’s love must be for us.
Every day I remind myself what our pastor taught us at Claire’s baptism class: our #1 job as Christian parents should be to make sure that our children will never know a day when they did not feel loved by God. And I like to add my own reminder to this reminder, that I should strive my best to love our children the way that God loves us, and I pray that God will help me do so.