Recently I found a blog post by the mom of a teenage daughter who talked about the danger of teaching our kids to “be an example”:
And when she hears adults tell her to be an example, she thinks that means she can never mess up, can never have problems, can never just be a teenager with struggles like everyone else.
She might then mature into a woman who believes being a Christian means having it all together, saying all the “right” things, staying a few steps above everyone else.
Fact: I do not have it together.
And one of my biggest faults is acting like I do.
My husband is incredibly private. And I always want to respect that. But I also feel the need to acknowledge that
we I am human.
And I have felt the Lord telling me this over and over and over again for the past few weeks. Through sermons, friends, and family, the Lord is calling me to be real.
Let me be clear. He is not calling me to air personal issues that belong to my family. He is not calling me to gossip. He is not calling me to be disrespectful to my husband and his need for privacy.
I need to be honest. With myself. With my family. With my friends. (and, says Randy, the people who read my blog…ha. ha. ha.)
Instead of trying so hard to be an example, just be honest. “If you struggle, say so. If you hurt someone, apologize. Then they really will get to know you and they won’t have reason to call you a hypocrite.”
I am one of those people who hates to struggle, much less admit it.
My mother loves to tell stories about me learning how to do math and how I would get so frustrated because I somehow felt like I shouldn’t have to learn it, I should just know it already.
The same is true as I begin new things as an adult, whether it be a new job, workout, or relationship, I know-in my heart of hearts-that I always act like I have all the answers.
Paaaaiiinnfullll. (to the person on the receiving end and to me as I realize this about myself)
So here’s the not-so-skinny on Theresa:
I’m a mess. I need Jesus. And I do not have all the answers.
My marriage is not perfect. My relationships are not perfect.
I struggle with self-image.
And other people’s opinions matter too much to me.
Yeah, God is working on me, but it is not a pretty process. There are pieces of my life that are going to take a long time to “fix” and patience is not my strong suit. There are bad habits that I have formed that are going to be hard to break.
The same author of the blog I quoted above wrote this as well speaking of raising a daughter:
She needs to be reminded of who she is, not who she is expected to be. In Christ, she is loving, even if she is acting unloving. In Christ, she is patient, even if she is acting impatient. Appeal to her new creation identity rather than simply shaming her for her wrong behavior.
Tell her she is beloved. Tell her she is beautiful. Remind her what is already true. Invite her to live into the truth of who Christ is forming her to be.
So these are the things I am reminding myself of as I walk with Jesus. Being real. Being Theresa. And these are the things I invite you to call me out on as we experience life together.
Yes. I am a Jesus-needing-mess-of-a-woman. And I want to own that without dwelling in it.
But we’ll save that for another day…