I birthed fighters.
And some days, it's hard. Like with the baby who fought sleep so hard I cried tonight, and the obedience-checks we're walking into with our four-year-old regularly, and my ever-seeking justice and reason to everything oldest boy.
But I also am so very thrilled about it. I see it in the way they fight to be heard, fight for time with their people, fight for being the first to help mama with a need, fight to make their baby brother laugh the hardest, fight to understand and continue seeking answers, fight to pray at family worship, fight to make friends wherever we go, fight to sing praises to God (even in their silliest and most rambunctious of hours)...
They fight for (much of what) is good.
They fight just as they are.
And we as their mom and dad, have the weepiest hearts these days, to help them fight for what is good & holy, just as they are in Christ.
I'll always give an honest cup of tea, and sipping that looks like me sitting on my couch right now and my entire body feels heavy. Over the years I've become incredibly okay with sitting in the discomfort, looking at the tears staining my sweatshirt, and acknowledging why.
My why in this moment is sitting cozy with the Lord and letting Him know through my tears,
"This world feels unbearably hard to raise these little fighters in God, especially as I see the ways the world (and the enemy) are fighting for them ... in confusion, in fatigue, in tolerance for all that isn't what You want, offering up everything that makes them feel okay and happy and self-accepted and enough on their own. Father, I am so tired and they are STILL SO TINY. Help me hold my own fight in truth and the power of the cross, help me to love them as You do, and let that love fan the flame of Your Spirit fight within them. Amen."
And then He gifted me time from a friend this weekend and reading Little Pilgrim's Progress with the boys.
Both moments were His voice and a tender hold from eternal embrace. May it encourage you who are also shepherding little fighters this side of heaven.
To my friend on the phone, "I feel like I have five heads today. Have I completely missed it and been off this entire time? Is it okay to raise them in this half-in, half-out space of living to our heart's content 'because grace' and He loves us no matter what? Cause that's what I'm hearing."
"No, Margot, the way is narrow. We know this. You're doing a good job, keep standing firm. He's got you."
The gut-check truth we are raising our sons in...He is grace and He is love poured out and He does love us no matter what, which means we get to be tender loving-kindness and grace to all of our people in the broken, messy, hard of it all.
But (and there is a big but) ...the power of the cross and the truth of His word should compel us into a life set apart. A life where we are gifted His word as a guide, as a lamp unto our (littles') feet. Where we can recognize our sin because we now know and are clothed in Light. Where there is holy freedom and there is holy joy. That doesn't look like our heart's content, but His heart made new in ours, our lives made new in Him.
The world will try to trip us up, the world will tell us standing firm is too religious and confrontational. The world will tell us that if we call sin sin, then we are judgemental and off-balance. The world will have us pick and choose which servings of His word we'd like to take to fill our needs. The world will tell us He loves us and because of that, He wants it all for us.
But when my six-year-old asks me why Jesus had to die, it's not just because He loved us. It's because He wants all of me for all of Him. He wants my story to bring Him glory and for me to know life abundant in Him. It is (his)story after all...that is the narrow way.
And it. is. hard.
We were never promised easy, I wish I could tell them we were. And that in itself is a very hard thing to steady my sons in. I want it easy for them (breathe that mama sigh and throw that holy tantrum, I have).
But I want a life with Jesus more for them because that is everything that matters for now and for eternity.
Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few."
So, what can we do mamas, besides cry on our couch and grieve for the way of the world today?
Pray without ceasing.
Give thanks for the time we are in.
Armor them with what God says.
Sit their sweet tush's down in a gospel-teaching church.
Don't leave it at sin and brokenness. Hold them there,
Let them know He's got them always,
but then walk with them in the glorious light.
Sing glory loud, in the kitchen and in the car.
Sow grace, forgiveness and the love of the cross.
Read about Little Christian,
make it tangible through clever stories.
Surround them with believers who will love them tenderly
and gently restore them in truth.
Show them what it looks like in marriage and in friendship.
Model it in humility and your own "I'm sorry's".
Boldly hold your head high in the confidence of Christ.
Take the stigma out of counseling and get them
with a good one when those seasons come.
Talk about the kingdom to come and the kingdom now.
And squeeze them tight in the joy that they are a part of it here.
All of those things will ready them for the fight, both tender and mighty.
You're doing great, friends. He is for you, and He is for your little ones oh so much! Look them in the eye and give them the steady heart of Jesus.