Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Faith created

We are learning the 'fruit of the spirit.' Count three fruits three times: love, joy peace. patience, kindness, goodness. faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. We pray for these fruits. Ask the Spirit to give us kindness towards one another. To bring us happy hearts, his joy. To give self-control when we feel none.
I'm stuck on these gifts. How they can all be faked, learned behavior, masquerading as heart change, hiding the hypocrite inside. All, except faithfulness.

We can't fake faithfulness, not for long anyway.

Life is built to challenge our faith, that the one who is faking it will be revealed and the one bearing true fruit will be pruned.

In that realization, I find a terrifying, freeing parenting truth. No earthly thing creates faithfulness.
I brought you into a plentiful land to enjoy its fruits and its good things.
But when you came in, you defiled my land and made my heritage an abomination. Jeremiah 2:7
How can I bless my children more than God blessed his? How can I give them more, train them more, cite example upon example of God's goodness more than God himself did?
But my people have change their glory for that which does not profit. Jeremiah 2:11
Earthly blessings do not produce faithfulness. No amount of blessed rituals or sacred family practices. I cannot create faith.

Nor can I force it.
In vain have I struck your children; they took no correction. Jeremiah 2:30
How can I discipline more effectively than God? How can I hope to correct my children perfectly, justly, lovingly, in proportion, faithfully at all times?
Yet my people have forgotten me days without number. Jeremiah 2:23
Discipline, even Godly discipline doesn't force faith.

Terrifying. This human momma wants control, wants results, wants a formula. Blessing + discipline = faithful children. Isn't that in Proverbs somewhere? Do it right, and they have to respond.

No. It isn't. And how many times have I watched parents 'do it right' before the eyes of unrepentant children.


And freeing.

Because I won't do it right. I don't do it right. I will never balance blessing and discipline. I will never parent so diligently. I am frail and weak and prone to wander myself. How can I teach anything else to my children?

And freeing because the book doesn't end with chapter 2 {how horrifying if it did}.
I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Jeremiah 31:33,34, emphasis mine
He sets his word in place, in hearts made fertile to grow and bear much fruit.
To guarantee that this new covenant will not fail, Christ takes the initiative to create the faith and secure the faithfulness of his people. ~~John Piper 
Faithfulness isn't about training, but covenant. Promise from God through Jesus that he will change our hearts. Create in us a new person that longs for him, that blooms with faith.

His steadfast love completes what all the parenting in the world fails to achieve. Create faithfulness in his children. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your thoughts are important. I love to read them.


Related Posts with Thumbnails