This is the second week of high school for my two fast-becoming-men sons. I dropped them off feeling that familiar threat, “They’re never going to believe you Sheila. They’re never going to love Jesus.” That voice of accusation, lies and hopelessness that likes to try and tempt me to give up. Whatever that means.
But today, I remembered Jochebed. I wrote about her in an essay Morning by Morning published yesterday. Reading my own words I thought about my voice as a writer. I sound like a preacher sometimes I think. It’s mostly cause I’m preaching to myself. It’s hard for me to step away from the pulpit and let you see my bleeding wounds. But I’m learning to find the assurance of the body of Christ there. In the vulnerable gatherings of people, online, but even more, in person.
I struggle to not feel hopeless for my kids. For my husband. For myself. Jochebed must have struggled to not give in to hopelessness. Surely the threat of Egypt on her beautiful newborn son made her wonder if her God really was the living God. Surely she was tempted to wonder if the stories she heard about Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and Joseph and the God they put their faith in were true. But ultimatley she didn’t give in to unbelief. She didn’t give up Moses to the river or to Pharoah’s daughter’s arms out of hopelessness. She gave him up in faith.
I gave my boys up in faith. Again. May the God who preserved Moses in the river and in Pharoah’s house preserve the two beautiful sons he entrusted to me!
You should head over to Morning by Morning and read the touching essays and stories there. You’ll find encouragement!
Here’s an excerpt of my piece on Jochebed:
Being a Christian mom in the current American culture is daunting. Like Mike Cosper describes in his book, Faith Among the Faithless: Learning From Esther How to Live in a World Gone Made, we find ourselves in an “in-between space” where as Christians, we like Esther have to choose between power and weakness, safety and vulnerability. There is much to be learned from Esther. But as a Christian mom, married to an unbeliever, I find a lesser known character in the Bible inspiring me to walk by faith at such a time as this.
My husband of almost twenty-five years and I do not share a worshipful response to Christ. The strain on our relationship as we pull our yoke two different directions has impacted every person in our family, especially our kids. Raising my sons with a desire for them to know Christ feels threatened daily in our home. And in our politically-correct, pluralistic, secular culture where you can believe whatever you want as long as you don’t believe the exclusive teaching that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, pointing my kids to Jesus is mocked.
And it’s not just the threat on my sons’ minds and hearts that concerns me. Their lives are literally at stake. The suicide rate in the U.S. for teen boys is astounding. The message they’re taught says they’re nothing but randomly formed animals, the result of a hapless passing of millennia. Yet they’re taught they should be moral (whatever that means to them) with no grounds for that morality. In a milieu of endless entertainment, they’re bored and hopeless. The edict of death seems to have been declared on our sons by unseen rulers in our present age.
Read the rest here at Morning by Morning.