I just ran across this great post over on Joel Brueseke's blog, Grace Roots. Basically, it's about being open about the things we struggle with as believers. So many of us wear the Mask of the Perfect Christian. It seems like churches are filled with happy, well-adjusted people with perfect marriages, perfect jobs, and well-behaved kids. Their prayers are always answered, and God is always powerfully at work in their lives.
The problem is, that's not my life. I'm anything but well-adjusted. I do have a great marriage, but that's mostly because I married way out of my league. My job ebbs and flows, I wonder if my kids will survive my parenting, and I often feel like my prayers bounce off the ceiling, if they get that high at all. I have so many besetting sins that I can barely stand up.
Yet when I get together with other believers, I have to fight the desire to slip on the Mask. I want to be perfect too. Yet more than that, I need people that I can be real with. People who empathize with my struggles. People who will help me with my burdens while I help them with theirs. It's not easy to find people like that, but they are out there. I hope God puts more of them in my path.
One thing that's really important to me is that my kids know it's OK to struggle, and even fail, as believers. I want them to see their dad being open about what's going on in his life. It's becoming clear to me that one of the great gifts I can give my kids is the gift of knowing how to respond to failure. To know that God loves me just as much when I've totally blown it. To see Him as the Father of the prodigal son, waiting out on the road, looking for His son's return. I've got a long way to go...
(BTW, these pics aren't related to the post. They're just part of my monthly "shameless pics of my kids" quotient.)